Two cultural icons were honored on Dec. 15, when the government unveiled specially crafted headstones on the graves of Gladwyn Klosking Bush and Julia Almeria Hydes.
Ms. Bush, also known as Miss Lassie, is buried at South Sound, and Ms. Hydes, known as Aunt Julia, was interred at West Bay Cemetery. Reverend Godfrey E. Meghoo helmed the proceedings at Ms. Bush’s ceremony and Pastor Alson Ebanks performed the prayer and reading at Ms. Hydes’s ceremony.
Premier Alden McLaughlin spoke at the unveiling of the stones at South Sound and West Bay Cemetery, and family members also said some words of remembrance.
Rachel Yates, the great-grandniece of Ms. Bush, and Heather Rivers Parsons, Ms. Hydes’s granddaughter, spoke on behalf of their respective families. Edroy Hyes, Ms. Hydes’s son, also shared fond memories and thanked the government for the headstone.
The Ministry of Culture and the Cayman National Cultural Foundation were integral in the process of erecting both headstones.
Ms. Bush, a Member of the Order of the British Empire, passed away in November 2003 at the age of 84. Over the years, she had been given several awards in recognition of her contributions to art, music and culture.
Ms. Hydes passed away at the age of 104 in November 2015. She had received the Certificate and Badge of Honour and also the CNCF award for pioneering work in cultural heritage.
In addition to the premier, several government officials attended the unveiling.
Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush and MLAs Capt. Eugene Ebanks and Austin Harris attended the ceremony in West Bay, while Minister Roy McTaggart and MLA Barbara Connolly were at the ceremony in South Sound. Ministry of Culture Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn, CNCF Creative Director Henry Muttoo and CNCF Managing Director Marcia Muttoo attended both ceremonies.
Premier McLaughlin spoke about the contributions of both Ms. Bush and Ms. Hydes, saying it was important to remember Cayman pioneers even as the islands continue to evolve.
“I’m lucky to have been part of the bridge generation,” he said. “I was there to see what Cayman once was, before it become the metropolitan place it is today. Reflecting on those changes, it is clear just how important it is for us to preserve our traditions and remember those who laid the path for us.”