To Sir with Love’ author receives surprise National Award
Edward Ricardo ‘E.R.’ Braithwaite, author of the book that was made into the popular 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier “To Sir With Love,” was yesterday conferred a National Award when President Donald Ramotar performed the duty of affixing him the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH).
“I am surprised because I did not expect an award. I don’t know that I have done anything to deserve the award but, I am grateful for what the award represents,” said Braithwaite, who served as a diplomat in the formative years of Guyana’s independence. He was at the time speaking with members of the media following a simple investiture ceremony at the Office of the President.
The award comes the morning after Braithwaite joined a live audience to witness a Guyanese re-enactment of the play at the National Cultural Centre (NCC).
He spoke with admiration about the instrumental way in which the play was tailored to suit the Guyanese audience and hailed the director and cast for an admirable job.
The book is based on Braithwaite’s experience as a schoolteacher in the East End of London some years after he attained a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in physics at the University of Cambridge.
Braithwaite, a former student of Queen’s College, and then the City College of New York, was honoured for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature and effective service as a diplomat.
President Ramotar said he was honoured to bestow the Cacique Crown of Honour on “a man who has made us proud and has made Guyana’s name famous by his writings.”
He also made reference to Braithwaite’s tenure as a diplomat and the distinction with which he served.