Seaman’s Memorial in Hero’s Square

The Cayman Islands Seaman’s Memorial Statue has been relocated to Heroes Square as part of the 2007 National Heroes Day activities 22 January.

Seamen's memorial

Crane operator Steve Bain places the statue into a hole prepared the previous day. The installation team is led by Mr. Tom Buckner, far left, equipment manager for AI Rentals. Mr. Tommy Bodden, who supervised the transfer of the statue to its new home, watches at right with Mr. Bob Soto of the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation. Photo: Carol Winker

The 14-tonne statue and base known as Tradition, which was erected in 2003 as a symbol of national pride that celebrates the relationship of Caymanians with the sea, was on Harbour Drive in George Town.

The memorial carries the names of 450 Caymanians who lost their lives at sea.

The relocation and rededication of the monument will be only one element of the programme for National Heroes Day.

The event was first held in 2003 as part of the Quincentennial celebrations. It was supposed to be held annually, but has not been held again, partially because of the effects of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 on the country.

2007 National Heroes Day is intended to mark a renaissance of the event.

‘It will become one of the most important events on the annual national calendar,’ said Cabinet Minister Alden McLaughlin, whose ministry is organising the event.

The theme of the 2007 event is National Heroes Day: It’s about who we are. Core values of the Caymanian culture will be highlighted during the programme.

The public is invited to attend the free event, although all guests are asked to be seated no later than 9.15am. The official programme will run from about 10am until 11.45am and will be followed with entertainment and refreshments in Celebration Park until 2 pm.

Among the entertainers will be the Brass Band of Battle Creek, a 31-member brass and percussion band with some of the world’s elite musicians.

Mr. McLaughlin said trumpet legend Doc Severinsen said the BBBC was creating a new music movement in America.

‘He said, ‘It’s one of the most accomplished bands I’ve every worked with in my entire career’.’

Other performers will include Dance Unlimited, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Band, the North Side Kitchen Band and a choir of 100 children from combined schools.

Governor Stuart Jack will attend the event along with members of the government and other dignitaries.

‘All elected members of the legislature will play a role in the proceedings,’ Mr. McLaughlin said.

In addition, Mr. Jack will present awards of the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour to those to the recipients who chose to receive them during the event as opposed to during the Queen’s Birthday celebration.