Heroes Day to honor tourism sector

Next year’s National Heroes Day will recognize the pioneers of Cayman’s tourism industry, the organizing committee announced Thursday.

The Heroes Day ceremony, which will be held on Jan. 23, will honor those chosen from public nominations. The nomination period, which begins on Sept. 1, runs until Sept. 30.

Members of the public can nominate people they believe have made significant contributions to the tourism industry over the years.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is also minister for culture, said in a press release, “We chose tourism as the 2017 theme because the tourism sector is a vital part of our country’s past, present and future. It is time we recognise the people who are committed to this constantly growing sector, and celebrate their hard work and efforts.”

The National Heroes Day Committee will oversee the nomination process.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell, who met the committee at its meeting Tuesday, said, “I am so pleased that tourism has been chosen for National Heroes Day 2017. I look forward to the public getting involved to recognise the men and women who have given so much to the tourism community, and who continue to help tourism thrive in the Cayman Islands.”

The “Pioneers in Tourism” will receive commemorative insignia and certificates at the ceremony.

The government’s Protocol Office organizes the National Heroes Day ceremony with assistance from the Ministry of Culture.

The award categories are:

Early Pioneer: An individual, alive or deceased, who made significant contributions to the early development and delivery of tourism throughout the Cayman Islands before 1960.

Pioneer: An individual, alive or deceased, who made significant contributions to tourism from 1960-2006.

Emerging Pioneer: An individual who has made significant contributions to tourism from 2006 to present.

Memorial Scroll: A deceased person who was a leader or notable contributor to the development and/or delivery of tourism.

Long Service Award: A living individual who may not have been a leader, but a long serving person in the tourism community, who has contributed for 10 years or more.


  1. I would nominated Ron Ebanks for his dedicated services from 1968 – 1995 , first working with other charter boat Captains to owning his own charter boat company, and helping other Caymanians get started in the water sports / Tourism, and making 100’s of thousands of visitors and locals very happy in those years.
    That also sold his business to Caymanians to make sure that it stayed Caymanian Tourism Hospitality.
    That was the first one to start using the sand bar and the fish and conch scraps that I threw in that caused the stingrays to be attracted to the sand bar.

    Ask gentlemen like Mr Arec Joseph, Mr Ian Boxall, Mr John Stafford, Mr Brain Uzzell, that when I first took them to the sandbar if there were any stingrays there yet, and if there were other boat that joined at first.
    That’s how Stingray City was made at the Sandbar.

  2. Yes Susan, it is me, Ron Clair Ebanks, I nominated.
    Cause I think that it’s time for the public to know how Stingray City was really made.
    I have read many different untrue stories about how Stingray City was made, like the fisherman would stop at the sand bar to clean their fish to avoid the mosquitoes. If the fisherman did that to avoid the mosquitoes, couldn’t they have anchored any where in the North Sound to clean their fish, then what was so special about the sandbar, was that the only spot in the big North Sound that didn’t have mosquitoes? No, if you anchor anywhere in the North Sound 100 yards away from the land you would not have mosquitoes.
    I hope this answers your question about who Ron Ebanks is.

  3. Whether Ron Ebanks is nominating himself or another person called Ron Ebanks I am not too sure; However I am positive the one he is talking about should be nominated. Because Yes, he has been a tourism ambassador to the Cayman Islands, “Ron Clair Ebanks”, and yes I would gladly support his being nominated.
    But friends, and Cayman families, We the people of Cayman has really come to it now, that we are not recognizing our very own for these nominations, and dear me how sad it is that we have to jump and hold up our hands in the crowd indicating, “I am here, I am here, see me here.”.

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