Hundreds of residents and tourists
gathered in Heroes Square on Monday to honour nearly three dozen Caymanians for
their services to the community, to education and youth and for outstanding
Nineteen people were awarded the
Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour and another 15 received the
Spirit of Excellence award.
Before the event, Premier McKeeva Bush
asked the gathered crowd to observe a moment of silence for the five lives lost
at sea recently in one of worst maritime disasters in the history of the Cayman
Under the theme ‘Celebrate Our
Christian Heritage’ this year’s National Heroes Day celebrations were led by
Master of Ceremonies Roy Bodden.
Governor Duncan Taylor shared with
the public what he considers to be a hero: “To my mind a hero is somebody
showing true altruism, somebody who devotes himself to others and to their
community with no thought for themselves,” he said. “Often heroes are quiet,
unassuming and even unsung, especially when they are building a community.”
Mr Taylor recounted how during a
visit to Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour told him he had been making fish tea in
Bodden Town for 200 people every Saturday for 10 years to build and strengthen
the local community.
“I would suggest to you that in a
small way, Mr Seymour was also a hero,” Mr. Taylor said.
“To get true happiness, to get real
satisfaction, a sense of worth comes from helping others, supporting and
building family and the community around one in an altruistic manner,” he said.
“We are here today to celebrate
many outstanding members in our society who have done just that.”
Minister for Health, Environment,
Youth, Sports and Culture Mark Scotland focused his remarks on the opportunity
to commemorate Cayman heritage.
Too often in modern society the interest
in history, heritage and tradition is lost, he argued, making it difficult to
retain ones identity.
He encouraged the public to become
reacquainted with Cayman’s past and revisit Caymanian literature, which tells
of a time when “the focus was on community where everyone bonded and cared for
each other,” Mr Scotland said.
Premier Bush in his speech asked
the audience to consider “how our heritage for so long moved so many to do good
for others in the community,” adding that he believes “it is a spirit we need
He said how recent earth tremors
should remind everyone of their vulnerability and interdependence.
Mr. Bush called on the public not
just to talk about their beliefs but to put them into practice.
He reminded the audience of the
lasting contributions church communities have made to the social development of
the Cayman Islands over the years.
“Our honoraries have translated
speech into action throughout a lifetime of service. They have helped to
improve the lives of various sections of the community and proven that one
person can indeed have an impact on wider society,” he said.
It is the parents and grandparents,
not the teachers or the pastors, that must take responsibility for their
children, he stated.
“And when we don’t, it is no surprise that
those children turn out to be the gangs of today.”