The presentation of National Heroes Day certificates and insignia to 55 uniformed services recipients from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman was preceded by brief formalities, which set the tone for the afternoon. The awards ceremony under this year’s theme: ‘Honouring Our Uniformed Services’ was an invitation-only event because of current COVID-19 mandates.
Master of Ceremonies, Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE, Cert. Hon., JP, officiated the two-hour ceremony for attendees, and viewers who tuned in to acknowledge and honour the Sister Islands recipients.
A Procession of Flags followed the official arrival of the Premier, Hon. G. Wayne Panton, JP, MP and His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper, OBE in descending order.
The National Anthem was led by District Commissioner B.L. “Mark” Tibbetts Jr., and the Opening Prayer was given by Sergeant Ashton Ferguson.
In her Opening Remarks, Minister for Education, District Administration & Lands, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly spoke poignantly about every day heroes close to home, calling them. ”Ordinary people daring to go sometimes where angels dare not tread, to do extraordinary things. So as you sit or are an active participant here today, whether you are family member or a recipient, consider it a colossal blessing, that we here for such a time as this, and ask yourself, what if those circumstances presented themselves to myself, what would l do?“
During his address, Minister for Home Affairs, Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Hon Bernie Bush paid tribute to the awardees noting that: “Those of you in active service have especially been tested by the events of the past two years. From providing cohesive COVID support, severe storm relief, and maintaining the many vital functions that underpin the very fabric of our society, we have depended on you.
“The sacrifice of your time, talents and potentially your lives is humbling and is being fully acknowledged here today.”
In Premier’s address, Hon. G Wayne Panton, JP, MP acknowledged the enormous debt of gratitude felt on by of the nation. “Thank you for saving lives and thank you for the care with which you conduct your duties. Just know that many people in our country pray for you on a daily basis that you reach home safely to your families at the end of your shift.
Awardees, past and present who served in the Sister Islands were drawn from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (and Special Constabulary), Cayman Islands Customs & Border Control (including former Immigration and Customs Officers) and Cayman Islands Fire Service.
In closing, Mr. Nickolas DaCosta sang a special arrangement of the National Song ‘Beloved Isles Cayman’. On that high note, the event ended with official departures and the Recession of Flags.
The National Heroes Day awards presentation on Cayman Brac was organised by the Protocol Office in collaboration with District Administration.
To watch a replay of the ceremony, subscribe to the Cayman Islands Government YouTube channel, or view on CIGTV or Facebook.
By Elphina Jones (GIS)