The Gladys B. Howard Little Cayman District National Trust Visitors Centre has been named after the woman who set up the Pirates Point Resort on the island in 1986 and who has worked with the community for decades to protect the local environment.
A plaque erected at the National Trust building reads: “Convinced that Little Cayman’s unique ecosystem should be preserved, Gladys Howard assumed a leadership role on numerous environmental and community initiatives that have contributed enormously to making Little Cayman the special place that it remains.”
In the early 1990s, she came up with a plan to move Little Cayman’s old landfill and, in its place, build the National Trust Building that now houses the visitors facility. The National Trust House on Little Cayman is also houses the island’s small library and provides other services to the community.
Ms. Howard also created the popular annual Easter Auction, which raises funds to support the National Trust. The event raises approximately $50,000 each year, and is described, along with the annual Mardi Gras celebrations that Ms. Howard also helped initiate, in the plaque as “part of the social fabric on Little Cayman.”
This is not the first time Ms. Howard has been recognized by the National Trust for her efforts in local conservation. In late 2013, a newly opened National Trust boardwalk on the island was dedicated to Ms. Howard for her efforts in protecting land in Preston Bay.
This year, Ms. Howard will be one of three local honorees recognized by the International Diving Hall of Fame for her contributions to the dive industry.
She has also been recognized for being a pioneer in developing sustainable tourism in the Cayman Islands. In 2012, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Stingray Awards. In 2003, she received the Queen’s Badge of Honour, an award given to her by Prince Edward during the Cayman Island’s Quincentennial.
She is described in the plaque as a “committed and energetic environmentalist, world class chef, consummate innkeeper, diver, good friend and a true citizen of the world.”
“Convinced that Little Cayman’s unique ecosystem should be preserved, Gladys Howard assumed a leadership role on numerous environmental and community initiatives that have contributed enormously to making Little Cayman the special place that it remains.”
Plaque at the Gladys B. Howard Little Cayman National Trust Visitors Centre