Nominations for National Heroes sought

Cultural heritage will be honored

Nominations for next year’s National Heroes observance will focus on members of the community who have contributed significantly to the development of the Cayman Islands’ cultural heritage, officials said Monday.

The Ministry of Health, Sports, Youth and Culture is accepting nominations until Sept. 30 for National Heroes Day 2014. The awards, which will be presented on Jan. 27, will focus this year on cultural heritage, and members of the public are invited to nominate candidates for the awards.

Minister for Culture Osbourne Bodden said cultural heritage is defined as tangible and intangible aspects that contribute to Cayman’s cultural identity, including buildings, monuments, artifacts, social practices, rituals, festive events and oral traditions.

Nominees may be submitted in the following categories: “Early Pioneers,” “Pioneers,” “Memorial Scroll,” “Long Service” and “Emerging Pioneers.”

The Early Pioneers category will recognize those who contributed to the promotion and preservation of Cayman’s cultural heritage before 1960, while the Pioneers category will recognize those whose contributions occurred between 1960 and 2003.

The nominations to these categories will be narrowed to 50 honorees, and those chosen will receive a pin and certificate at the awards ceremony.

The other three categories have no limit. Emerging Pioneers will recognize those whose contributions to Cayman’s cultural heritage have occurred since 2003; Memorial Scroll recognizes deceased members of the community and their contributions to cultural heritage; and Long Service will acknowledge those who have contributed to Cayman’s cultural heritage for 10 or more years.

Mr. Bodden encouraged the public to nominate individuals they believe have been instrumental to Cayman’s cultural development over the years.

“Celebrating our heroes is a way of giving thanks to those people who have changed our lives through their selfless actions,” he said. “So let us return the favor, show our admiration and appreciation, and make a difference in their life.”
The National Heroes Day 2014 Committee will include representatives from the National Gallery, the National Museum, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, the National Archives, Government Information Services, the Protocol Office, the Ministry of Culture and each of the districts.

Chief Officer for the Ministry of Culture Jennifer Ahearn said more than 100 nominations were received during last year’s Heroes Day nomination period, but that there were many members of the community whose achievements were not recognized because they were not nominated.

She advised the public not to assume someone else would nominate a worthy individual.

“If there’s someone you want recognized, take the time to nominate them,” she said.

Officials for the Ministry of Culture said this is the second year public nominations are being accepted for National Heroes Day.

“A public nomination such as this helps to boost national pride, which in turn elevates our country’s presence to the rest of the world,” Mr. Bodden said.

Heroes Day is scheduled to take place on Monday, Jan. 27.

Nomination forms are available online at www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky and www.gov.ky. For more information or to submit a nomination, contact the National Heroes Day Committee at email [email protected]

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