By Christopher Tobutt
Each district has been honoring their seafarers as part of Seafaring Heritage District Celebrations. At North Side, on 16 November Seafarers and their families and friend filled the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre. Mr. Alfonso Wright, Executive Chairman of Celebrate Cayman, welcomed everyone
Mr. Wright explained that originally, Cayman’s seafarers would have been recognized as part of the National Heroes Day Celebrations in January 2021. But since Covid made public gatherings difficult, it was decide that each district would hold their own celebrations. Only the list had been extended, through much painstaking work and research, and now more than three thousand names were on it, altogether, Mr. Wright said. And it would only be captains and seafarers of high rank who would be honored, but everyone who went to sea, because, by sending their allotment money home to their wives and families month after month, it was all of Cayman’s seamen from the humblest engine-room wiper, to the most important captain, who had transformed the Cayman Islands.
At North Side Mr. Conrad Connolly said the opening prayer, thanking God for the contribution all the Seafarers and their families had made. Miss Seriah Frederick sang the National Anthem, ‘God Save the King.” North Side MP Hon. Jay Ebanks gave the opening remarks. He spoke of Cayman’s gratitude to the seafarers, and how important it was to remember the contribution they had made. One of the members of the Cayman Islands Seafarers’ Association rang the silver bell, denoting the opening of the watch, just like the seafarers used to do at sea. When Mr. Ebanks called the names on the list, the men or their family members rose from their seats to be honored. Each of the seamen received special certificates of honor at the end of each of the ceremonies, and enjoyed a nice time of fellowship over refreshments.