Two “national treasures” of the Cayman Islands, Gladwyn “Miss Lassie” Bush and “Aunt” Julia Hydes, will be recognized with specially crafted headstones to mark their graves.

Miss Lassie, a visionary intuitive painter whose home on South Sound Road is preserved as a heritage site, passed away in 2003 at the age of 89. Aunt Julia, a beloved folk musician and drummer, died in November 2015 at the age of 106.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, as Cayman’s culture minister, handed over a $24,000 check for the headstones to the Cayman National Cultural Foundation in the presence of the two icons’ family members at the Government Administration Building on May 3.

According to a press release, Premier McLaughlin reiterated the high regard and esteem that the Cayman Islands community continues to have for these two cultural stalwarts.

He said the headstones would take about six months to create and place. Miss Lassie, who is interred at the South Sound Community Cemetery, was a Member of the Order of the British Empire and also received a number of awards for her contributions to art, music and culture.

Aunt Julia is interred at the West Bay Cemetery. She received the Certificate and Badge of Honour as well as several awards, including the Cayman National Cultural Foundation award for pioneering work in cultural heritage.

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