In 1967, Clive Hylton left Jamaica with the aim of pursuing a Canadian post-secondary education and returning home.
He’s still here 46 years later making a vital contribution as a tireless volunteer in his growing Markham community.
“At times, I felt bad that I did not go back to Jamaica to continue what I started,” said Hylton.
At age 15, Hylton launched a soccer club in his Kingston community for young boys to keep active through an outdoor sports activity.
“I firmly believe that is where my passion for helping others really began,” said Hylton, who was honoured with an Unsung Hero Award at the recent Herb Carnegie Future Aces Foundation Amazing Aces gala. “Giving back to community is part of my DNA and I don’t do it for recognition.”
For almost two decades, Hylton co-ordinated and coached several sports activities in the city, including soccer, volleyball, swimming and track & field. He also successfully petitioned the Town of Markham to preserve its basketball courts for positive youth engagement and he donates scholarships to students.
As a two-term president of the Markham African Caribbean Association (MACA) which he joined in 1985, the married father of three children played a key role in the organization’s acquisition of a centre, building a positive relationship with Markham Town Council and creating a working relationship with York Regional Police Service (YRPS).
Like Hylton, Rudolph Clarke also migrated to Jamaica from Canada nearly four decades ago.
Just 10-years-old at the time, he attended high school in the city and in Napanee and excelled in track and field and wrestling before pursuing his first degree in economics and sociology at York University. Graduating with honours, Clarke obtained a law degree from Queen’s University and practiced for a decade.
Along the way, he helped launch the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada and was a member of the Delos Davis Law Guild before joining Sterling Dental five years ago as the company’s facilitator.
“Rudy has been a beautiful match for the family and the business,” said Clarke’s brother-in-law, Dr. Anthony Sterling, who was honoured at last year’s event. “He has a law background, he’s very smart and articulate and he’s a people’s person. I am extremely happy that he’s getting this recognition for things that people don’t see him doing.”
YRPS Sergeant Ezra “Tony” Browne has received a few accolades during his 32-year law enforcement career. Being honoured at a Herbert Carnegie celebration stands out.
A YRPS honorary chief and founder of the Future Aces Creed to enhance the overall development of young people, Carnegie passed away 15 months ago at age 92.
“I was very fortunate to meet Dr. Carnegie on several occasions and each time I was inspired and motivated by his strength and resolve,” said Browne, who was the third Black uniformed officer to be hired by the Service in 1980. “Despite the many barriers he encountered, he pressed on diligently and tirelessly, turning adversities into opportunities.”
Arriving in the city in 1968 from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Browne was a key member of the “Recruit with a Vision” team provided with the task of making diversity a core cornerstone of the Service. He also played a leading role in the establishment in 2000 of the Corporate Communication Bureau that addresses public relations, media and hate crimes issues. He managed the bureau for three years before leaving.
In addition, Browne co-ordinated the Service’s Black History Month and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination events and used his vacation to travel with retired York Regional Police Services chief Armand La Barge and other officers to Jamaica on a few occasions to assist the poor and orphans in Trench Town and other Jamaican communities.
Unsung Hero Awards were also presented to Durham Regional Police Constable Angela Sitaram, engineer and financial advisor, Mario Loreto; entrepreneur, Robin Jones; security & loss prevention specialist, Robert Balecki; business analyst, Malynne Maloney; award-winning spoken word artist and motivational speaker, Nicolle LaRain; early childhood educator, Caitlin Paterson and children advocate, Jean Smalley Vanden Brink.
The Amazing Aces Awards were launched in 2008 to recognize couples for courage, service, educational excellence and exceptional achievement. The Herbert Carnegie Future Aces Foundation board switched the focus this year to highlight unsung heroes in the community.
Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor David Onley attended the event and paid tribute to outgoing executive director, Bernice Carnegie, who has been replaced by Tka Pinnock.
Migrating from Jamaica 11 years ago, Pinnock graduated from Queen’s University and the London School of Economics and was the Jamaica 50 Celebration Inc. youth committee chair and a youth program assistant and resource development co-coordinator at Tropicana Community Services Organization. She also sits on the Wolmers’ Alumni Association Toronto board of directors and is a MACA vice-president.