His work has not gone unnoticed.
The 70-year-old Walters has been conferred with the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) by the Jamaican government. The announcement was made on the country’s Independence Day, August 6 last, noting Walters’ service in the promotion and defense of the rights of Jamaicans and other ethnic minorities in Canada. The investiture will take place at King’s House on National Heroes Day, Monday October 18.
The Ottawa-based Walters served eight years in the Jamaica Civil Service, 11 years in the private sector, six years in the Jamaican Diplomatic Service, and 22 years in the Public Service of Canada. He also served as a volunteer to 17 groups in Ottawa since 1964 and has published the monthly community newspaper, The Spectrum, for the past 26 years.
His extensive community work has been recognized with citations from various groups including the Ottawa Police, the Jamaica Ottawa Community Association, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, the Government of Jamaica, the Government of Canada for his outstanding work on the Treasury Board’s ‘Embracing Change’ initiative and through the Canadian International Development Agency which honoured him with its Employment Equity Award in 2003. This past January he was recognized with the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamkeepers Award for service to the community.
A prize-winning journalist, Walters graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in 1968 and received his Masters degree from the same institution in 1979. For six years he was a member of Jamaica’s diplomatic service – in Ottawa as Counselor and in New York as Consul with responsibilities for the Embassy to the United Nations.
In launching The Spectrum in August 1984, he gave Blacks and visible minorities in Ottawa a voice, a face, a credibility and a respect that were long denied them by the dominant daily media.
Before migrating to Canada in 1964, Walters worked in senior positions in newspaper journalism with the Jamaica Daily Gleaner and the Jamaica Daily News. At Carleton University in the 1960s he became the first Black editor of the university’s weekly student newspaper, The Carleton.
Walters retired in January and is now devoted to publishing a few books, the first of which, Sugar Boy, was launched in March. He is currently getting his life story ready for publication.
A member of the Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, Walters served as its Chief Deacon and for 20 years as a member of the choir. He is married to the former Merle Campbell. They have three sons, two grandsons and two granddaughters.