Nettleford exhibition ends today
September 24, 2004
Nettleford exhibition ends today

A regional travelling exhibition that displayed in poster form the life of Professor Rex Nettleford ends today at the University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Continuing Studies at Richmond Hill. {{more}}
Entitled “From Bunkers Hill to the Vice Chancellery, UWI”, the exhibition displayed posters from Nettleford’s early life and some of his work which included publications and articles.
Paul Lewis, chairman and programmeco-ordinator at the School of Continuing Studies explained that the exhibition helps to celebrate the life and achievements of the Professor.
In a biographical sketch of Nettleford, Valerie Cato, Acting Resident Tutor at the UWI School of Continuing Studies said that he was the first of UWI’s graduates to hold the position of vice chancellor, an achievement she described as remarkable.
The Jamaica-born Cato said that Nettleford’s life started in deep rural Jamaica in a place next to Bunkers Hill in the parish of Trelawny as Ralston Milton Nettleford.
“Bunkers Hill,” Cato said, “is the closest place to where he was born and most people have no idea where it is, Cato smiled, while adding that he came out of very humble peasant stock and knew what it was to work hard.
“Professor Nettleford is the sort of person that everybody takes to. Anybody who has any dealings with Professor Nettleford can tell you that,” said Cato.
According to Cato Nettleford is a personable man with a brilliant mind who excelled in school.
“He was very bright and he earned a scholarship to enter secondary school in Montego Bay,’ said Cato who also disclosed that the scholarship only paid for Nettleford’s tuition, which left him no choice but to work as an office attendant at a doctor’s office.
Having been awarded a number of honorary degrees, a number of words have been used to describe the cultural icon among them, luminary, visionary, educator, intellectual leader and historian.
The Guild had once described professor Nettleford, “as someone who brings to the vice chancellery a uniqueness that the best of orators around us cannot quite capture”.
Dr. Adrian Fraser wrote: “His aura of dignity somehow couples with the most natural disposition which I can only characterize as Nettlefordian.”
He was also described as the finest son whose towering contribution to social and cultural development both regionally and internationally has brought distinction to the university and the Caribbean.
Professor Nettleford also attended the Ivy League Oxford University where he was President of the Ballet Society. The noted dancer and founder of the internationally acclaimed Jamaica School of Dance was described by Oxford as, “a man of the greatest versatility, effective in action outstanding in erudition and most super in dance”.
Honorary Consul of Jamaica Morine Williams was also present at the opening of the exhibition. Williams said that Professor Nettleford belongs to, “that group I would distinguish as Caribbean icons.”
She added that Professor Nettleford is an indomitable crusader of higher education, culture and history to name a few. She is hoping that visitors to the exhibition could be influenced by the professor’s life.
Sylvia jack of the Curriculum Development Unit in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports also made brief remarks in which she congratulated Professor Nettleford on his various achievements and commented, “his achievements exemplify that education is the key to freedom.”
The exhibition was opened by Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne.