Students remember Mr. Jim

Year 3J St. Ignatius students took time out Monday to recognise National Hero Jim Bodden.

His daughter, Mary Trumbach attended the special Heroes Day Assembly at the Catholic Church and was moved by the memories of her father.

Displaying poster pictures and some wearing costumes of his many accomplishments, students talked about the early nation builder and provided information on James Manoah Bodden – a man who dedicated his life to the country in public service.
The late Mr. Bodden was born in Lower Valley Bodden Town in 1930 to parents Jeremiah and Mary Carolyn Bodden, said one student holding up a picture of Mr. Jim Bodden.

Another said, when he was a teenager he migrated to Port Arthur Texas where he met his wife Mary.

He tried his hands at many jobs including learning to thatch, selling jewellery and he even tried being a private detective, said students.

Mr. Bodden was a visionary said the students. He came back to Grand Cayman in the 1950s and in 1972 was elected to government and in 1976 he was named Minister for Tourism and Aviation.

He had so many dreams for Cayman, said the students. He decided that Cayman needed its own airline to compete with the other islands, which was when he established Cayman Airways and organised the building of Owen Roberts International Airport, they said.

Mr. Bodden noted that tourists were not visiting the islands in the months of October and November so he decided to organise an annual Pirates Week festival to attract more visitors.

The first Pirates Week activities kicked off in 1977, which lasted for seven days after the Pirates invaded Hog Sty Bay.

Mr. Bodden passed away suddenly in 1988, said students sadly. He was loved by all Caymanians as a man of vision who made things happen.

In 1993 The National Hero’s Law was passed. Any person who had done a great for deed for these Islands would be recognised. Mr. Jim Bodden was the first person to receive this prestigious honour 28 June, 1994.

A statue of Mr. Jim is erected in Heroes Square he will be remembered as a man of vision who helped modernised Cayman, continued the students.

In 2003 Cayman celebrated its 500th anniversary. To celebrate this, the fourth Monday in January became known as National Heroes Day, which is now a public holiday.

Ms Trumbach could only kiss and hug the students for their presentation as she accepted the framed photograph of her father.