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National Heroes Day honours Uniformed Services

Local News 24 Jan, 2022 Follow News

National Heroes Day honours Uniformed Services

National Heroes Day was much-reduced in size, owing to caution over Covid, so that 500 honorees who normally receive their awards onstage at Heroes Square could not do so this year, but will have to wait until later in the year instead. The conch-shell which heralds the official beginning of the celebrations, was blown by Miss Arianne Ebanks,. The Master of Ceremonies was Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE, Cert Hon JP.

During his opening Remarks Hon. Bernie Bush, MP, Minister for Home Affairs, Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, said, “This year’s observance honours the uniformed services. Growing up in a small community like ours, Caymanians and residents over the years have come to regard uniformed services personnel as our very own local heroes, mainly because their job often requires them to perform heroic acts,. The men and women of the uniformed services literally save lives, whether by rescuing boaters gone adrift, pulling people from burning buildings, and cars, conducting search and rescue operations after a disaster and collectively supporting national efforts to secure our Cayman Islands. Thanks to the uniformed services members’ historic willingness to engage with the community, a significant number have over the years come to serve as beacons of safety and order to our community. Today we pay tribute to them all.”

Premier, the Hon. Wayne Panton, said, “The theme for this year’s National Heroes Day, ‘Honouring or Uniformed Services,’ is most fitting for a time such as this. We recognise the contributions of our courageous men and women in our Fire Service, Police Service, Customs & Border Control, Prison Services, Cadet Corps, Coast Guard, and the Cayman Island Regiment. I thank all the dedicated persons who have helped make this National Heroes Day particularly special, including the Ministry of Culture, the Protocol Office, our uniformed services and many volunteers and service providers.”

Ms Teresa Echenique announced a special Citation for Bravery, for Trevor Carmola, Jr. Trevor noticed an elderly gentleman in distress as fire swept through his wooden home in Bodden Town during April last year, when he was just 14. His training with the Cayman Cadets helped him spring into action, helping the gentleman from his home to safety. Trevor came onto the Heroes Day stage, resplendent in his smart red Cadets’ uniform to receive his award from Hon. Wayne Panton, Hon Bernie Bush. It read, “For exceptional courage in keeping the Cayman community safe for all citizens. We salute your spirit.”

Two young members of Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade, Zerah Allen & Miss Zanai Bush, then read out brief descriptions of the each Cayman Islands’ ten national heroes, James Manoah Bodden, William Warren Conolly, Thomas William Farrington, Sybil Joyce Hylton, Sybil lone McLaughlin, Dr. Roy Edison McTaggart, Ormond Lauder Panton, Leila Elberta Ross-Shier, Desmond Vere Watler, and Mary Evelyn Wood.

Writer of Cayman’s National Song, ‘Beloved Isle Cayman,’, The Honourable Leila Elberta Ross-Shier (16 November 1886 – 26 September 1968) is the newest addition to Cayman’s pantheon of national heroes, and a bust of her was unveiled during the ceremony. Ms. Ross-Shier was a gifted librarian, who used to help children with their reading and writing. She was a prolific writer, composer, accomplished musician, and imaginative poet, singer and storyteller.

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