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5 Famous People From Grenada
Canadian Parliament MP - Jean Augustine
Jean Augustine, the first black woman on Canadian Parliament, was born in Happy Hill, St. Georges, Grenada, in 1937. Her father died when she was just a year old. Together with her mother and younger sibling, she lived with someone they called 'Granny.' Jean was an exceptionally good student and eventually became a teacher.
At age twenty-two, she left Grenada to work as a nanny in Canada. The family she worked for encouraged her to study at the University of Toronto where she received a BA and an MA in education.
Upon graduating, she became involved in politics, campaigning for women's rights and multi culturalism. She was on many committees and worked tirelessly for the rights of women, children, and black people.
She was elected to the Canadian Parliament in 1993 and was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1994-1996. The people of Grenada are very proud of her and when she reached parliament, they presented her with a plaque engraved with 'From Happy Hill to Parliament Hill.'
In 2009, she was awarded Canada's highest national honor; she was made a member of the Order of Canada.
Caribbean Inspired Fiction
Writer - Tobias Buckell
Tobias Buckell is a speculative fiction writer who now lives in Ohio.
He was born in Grenada where his family lived on a yacht. In 1995, the yacht was destroyed by Hurricane Marilyn and he moved to Ohio where he finished high school and went to college.
Tobias has written stories since he was a child and had his first short story published in 1999. He also won first place in the L. Ron Hubbard 'Writers of the Future Award.' Since then, he has written many short stories and has published four novels.
On his website, Tobias states that his Caribbean roots inspire his love of fiction writing. The novel, "Crystal Rain," has a strong Afro-Caribbean influence, although the events take place in another world.
In addition to writing novels, Tobias is also a professional blogger. You can visit his website to read his articles on a range of topics and find out more about his fiction writing.
Cooking for a Cause - Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman often sails his yacht around the Caribbean and has a special fondness for Grenada's cooking and cuisine. He loves the remoteness and quiet of the islands as well as its beaches and restaurants.
When Grenada was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, Morgan received a call from a friend who was living there, asking if he could help. He combined his love of cooking with his desire to help by compiling a book called "Morgan Freeman and Friends: Caribbean Cooking for a Cause."
He freely admits the idea came from his sister-in-law, Donna Lee, who also worked on the book. It's a collection of Caribbean favorites from renowned chefs and Hollywood stars, who added their own favorite recipes and anecdotes. The proceeds from the book went to the Grenada Relief Fund.
The actor is perhaps best known for his roles in "The Shawshank Redemption," "Million Dollar Baby" (for which he won an academy award), and more recently, in "Invicta," playing Nelson Mandela. (4134322)
Calypso King - the Mighty Sparrow
The Mighty Sparrow, born Slinger Francisco, is often known as the Calypso King of the World. He was born in the small fishing village of Gran Roi, in Grenada.
He moved to Trinidad with his family when he was just one year old. It was there that he joined the catholic church choir and his musical career began. The Gregorian chants and Plainsong that he learned during this time became deeply embedded in him and strongly influenced his subsequent compositions.
He also listened to the American greats such as Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra, as well as developing a taste for Calypso from Lord Kitchener, Lord Invader, and the Mighty Spoiler.
He had his first hit at the age of 20. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, his career took off with many hits and music awards. In the 1980s, his songs became more like social commentaries as he believes that calypso is the music of the people.
He has also won awards from governments and universities. Currently, he has over 70 albums to his name.
Successful Singer - Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean was born Leslie Sebastian Charles, in Trinidad in 1950, and has lived in Britain since he was ten years old. His parents were born in Grenada and when his father died in 1978, Billy went over to the island for the first time.
Like so many others, Billy fell in love with the Spice Island. He started to spend more time there after his hit single "Caribbean Queen," which was very successful in America as well as in Britain. He became well known all over the world for his music.
He is a Grammy award winner and has albums which went double platinum. Billy inherited some land from his father and built a studio in Grenada in 1993. He is now trying to give something back by trying to encourage investment in Grenada.