Diversity Our Strength
A decade after receiving a Bob Marley Award, Deputy Chief Peter Sloly has been bestowed with another honour in the late reggae artist’s name.
He was among five individuals and a community organization presented with Bob Marley Day Lifetime Achievement awards at City Hall on February 6, which was proclaimed Bob Marley Day in Toronto.
The award is given to people who share Marley’s One Love vision – a universal love and respect for all people regardless of race, creed, or color.
“Over those 11 years, I have continued trying to improve the Toronto Police Service to be better at the service part of things, including the safety, but very particularly the service – serving a diverse city in a way that’s respectful and a way that captures the spirit of our city’s theme which is ‘Diversity is our Strength’,” said the Jamaica-born Sloly, in his acceptance speech.
“In those 11 years, I have tried to build the fabric of the city by sitting on boards like Covenant House, the YMCA and Civic Action because it’s more than just policing. It’s about building social cohesion and capacity in small neighbourhoods and building resilience in our young people.”
Lawyer Courtney Betty, who started the Bob Marley Day Awards in 1991, joined Roots Canada communications director Raymond Perkins, Councillor Michael Thompson and Jamaica’s Consul General Lloyd Wilks in presenting the award to Sloly.
“Peter is indicative of our vision in using Bob Marley as a platform in some ways to be able to catapult individuals during difficult times into positions of greater authority,” said Betty.
Other Bob Marley Day Lifetime Achievement Award winners were Betty, who has stepped down as the event’s principal organizer, Thompson, Mayor John Tory, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Coteau and the Jamaican Canadian Association.
For the past 24 years, the City of Toronto has recognized Bob Marley Day on February 6, which is the day Marley was born 70 years ago.
He died in 1981.