Thirty long-serving Pirates Week volunteers were officially honoured at a public function on Saturday, 3 November, where they were presented plaques by the Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford.
The honourees, many of whom have contributed to the festival for more than two decades, were recognised in an evening when the applause for them was long and sustained.
The group had been selected by the district and central committees of Pirates Week on the basis of significant and extended voluntary contribution (minimum 10 years’) to the festival.
The Anniversary Awards Banquet also saw the presentation of a plaque paying tribute to the late Jim Bodden, former member for Tourism, who originated the idea of the Pirates Week Festival in 1976.
Organised by the Pirates Week Office, a division of the Tourism Attractions Board, the event was underwritten by the Ministry of Tourism as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations.
Mr. Clifford, in awarding the plaques, referred to the pivotal part the volunteers play in producing an annual festival that has become the most important vehicle for displaying Cayman culture through the various heritage and sports events.
The group included William ‘Billy’ Banker, Abrana Banks, Jackie Bodden, James Christian, Carmen Conolly, Atlee Evans, Craddock Ebanks, George Ebanks, Darvin Ebanks, Kadie Ebanks, Betty Hurlston, Mike Lockwood, Alvin McLaughlin, Eulene McLaughlin, Florence McLaughlin, Ina Orr, Tony Powell, Denton Rivers, Tony Rowlands, George Seymour, Gerry Smith, John Smith, Josie Solomon, Norman Stewart, Ladner Watler, Fred Whittaker, Colin Wilson, Florence ‘Flo’ Wood, William ‘Buddy’ Wood, Sr.
Gilbert Conolly, CEO of the Tourism Attractions Board, said ‘The Pirates Week Volunteers are a special group of people. They are passionate about the Festival and dedicated beyond the call of duty. The Anniversary Awards Banquet was a fitting tribute to recognise the hard work contributed by 30 of these individuals over the years. To all the others, represented by those 30, I say thank you.’