Giving vote of thanks

Good afternoon ladies, gentlemen and children.

As we come to the close of the 2008 Silent Witness March, it is my pleasure to deliver the vote of thanks to all who have helped make this event a success.

What began as a determination to remember those 26 women’s lives that had been lost internationally in 1990 as a result of domestic violence is today a national initiative to take a stand against domestic and gender violence.

The goal of this initiative is to promote peace, healing and responsibility in adult relationships in order to eliminate domestic mistreatment by 2010.

As you can see, we too wish to eliminate the exploitation in the Cayman Islands and we thank you all for being here at this well supported Silent Witness March here in Cayman Brac and we are working toward this common goal and I am confident that this will be an annual event.

On behalf of the organisers of this year’s Silent Witness committee, we would like to express our deep felt thanks to Mr. Ernie Scott, district commissioner, for setting the tone of the event through his insightful remarks and Mrs. Sybil Jackson, BPW Cayman Brac member, who continues to give her all to this community.

We would also like to thank Mrs. Kathy Kirkconnell for her participation and continued support.

Ms Liz Walton for her positive influence and steadfast contributions.

Pastor Davelee Tibbetts for his inspiring prayer.

A heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly for the strength that she represents.

Our thanks also go out to Mrs. Chevala Burke for her voluntary spirit and timely assistance throughout this event.

Ms. Tammy Banks-DaCosta and Miss Zorina McCoon for their usual delightful performances.

Mrs. Carmella McLean for her unwavering support of this effort and every effort that I’m involved with.

Mrs. Connie Godet for usual due diligence advice.

I’d like to also specially thank Ms Marsha Smith, BPW member and Ms Debra Rankin that volunteered of their own personal time and services.

I’d also like to thank all of the companies that contributed either by way of donations and/or services to make this event a success- we appreciate you publicly today – I would like to particularly thank Ms Nola Bodden, Mr. Garston Grant, Carib Sands and Moses Kirkconnell, Cayman Brac Power and Light, Cleveland Dilbert, Colford Scott, Glorine and Scotts Development, Edlee Martin, Tortuga Rum Company, John Foster, Foster Food Fair, Billy Bodden from Billy’s Supermarket, Kirkconnell Market, Mr. Burnard Tibbetts, Brac Police Department and Carlton from Cayman Net News.

And special mention to the churches, school children and Cadet Corp that participated today on this momentous occasion.

And of course Yvonne Walton and the rest of the Cable and Wireless family for their involvement today.

Last but not least, we thank the members of BPW Grand Cayman especially Mrs. Velma Powery-Hewitt, the president that supported this joint effort, YBPW namely Ms Charmaine Moss, immediate past president for her guidance throughout this effort and every year, BPW Cayman Brac, specifically Ms Melanie Scott who has been a wealth of information and assistance and for all the BPW Cayman Brac members for their dedication to the cause.

And of course everyone here today that has supported this effort and made today a huge success and for those that couldn’t be here with us for whatever reason but are here with us in spirit – we thank you!

I’d like to share a poem given to me by a BPW Grand Cayman member Sandie Wilson:

You can shed tears that I am gone,

Or smile because I lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that I will come back,

Or open them and see all that I’ve left behind.

Your hearts can be empty because you can’t see me,

Or they can be full of the moments we shared.

Do not turn your backs on tomorrow and live yesterday

But be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

Do not remember only that I am gone

But rather cherish my memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your minds – be empty and turn your backs

Or you can do what I would want

Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

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