On National Heroes Day on Monday, the Cayman Islands government will honor 430 individuals who have played a role in developing and promoting the territory’s tourism industry.
A public ceremony will be held in Heroes Square in downtown George Town starting at 8:30 a.m. Dress is business attire for the event, which has as its theme “Pioneers in Tourism.”
Nominations for tourism heroes have been accepted since September in categories for Early Pioneer, Pioneer, Emerging Pioneer, Memorial Scroll for deceased contributors, the Long Service Award for a long-standing member of the industry, and a bravery citation for an individual of exceptional courage. Pioneers will be awarded with commemorative insignia and certificates.
Nine national heroes will also be honored: James Manoah Bodden, Sybil Ione McLaughlin, Thomas William Farrington, Sybil Joyce Hylton, Ormond L. Panton, Desmond V. Watler, Mary Evelyn Wood, William Warren Conolly and Roy Edison McTaggart.
Premier and Minister of Culture Alden McLaughlin said in a press statement, “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.”
Highlights of the day will include 300 preschool and primary schoolchildren waving the flag, a demonstration by the Pathfinders Drill Team, and the District Youth Cook-Off in the library parking lot from 1-3 p.m. Members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service band, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, Cadet Corps, Girls’ Brigade and the Scouts will march through George Town.
After the ceremony, there will be a tourism display at Town Hall, and live music and free refreshments will be available at the George Town Public Library parking lot.
Road closures will be in effect from 6 p.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Monday to allow for setup and breakdown. Closures will be lifted temporarily Saturday from midnight to noon. Roads affected are the top of Fort Street at the junction of North Church Street, the bottom of Fort Street by the clock tower, Edward Street at the junction of Main Street, the end of Edward Street at Cardinall Avenue, and Albert Panton Street at the junction of Cardinall Avenue.
The National Museum on the waterfront will offer free admission to all local residents from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Features include the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Exhibition.