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Cayman: National Heroes Day Celebrated at Heroes Square

Grand Cayman 24 January 2022 – National Heroes’ families and members of the Cayman Islands government celebrated National Heroes, uniformed services and nation builders, at a National Heroes Day ceremony in Heroes Square today (Monday, 24 January 2022).

After the arrival of His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, OBE; Premier, Hon. Wayne G. Panton, JP, MP; and Minister for Home Affairs, Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Hon. Bernie Bush; Miss Ariane Ebanks opened the ceremony with the traditional blowing of the conch shell.

Speaker of Parliament, Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, MP then read the Proclamation.

The National Anthem by Mr. Rudy Myles, OMH, Cert. Hon., preceded the opening prayer by retired Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Detective Inspector Rev. Kim Evans.

The Minister for Culture in his opening remarks spoke of the pride and esteem the community has for Cayman’s National Heroes and the Islands’ nation builders. He formally acknowledged the great debt of gratitude that the Cayman Islands owes to uniformed services personnel, past and present.

“The giving of your time, talents and potentially your lives is remarkable, and we appreciate and acknowledge such a tremendous sacrifice,” the Minister said.

In his keynote address, the Premier also paid homage to the country’s National Heroes, nation builders, and uniformed services while explaining that the latter would be fully recognised at award presentations in due course. 

“Each of these men and women selflessly gave their all to the Cayman Islands. They were all ordinary people who made extraordinary contributions to our people and our country and it is fitting that we remember them on this 2022 National Heroes Day. To all who helped build this wonderful place we are blessed to call home, we say thank you. Through our National Heroes Day we celebrate our proud past and look to a future filled with nothing but hope.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of persons allowed at outdoor gatherings, the invitation-only ceremony did not include award presentations to those nominated under the theme of Uniformed Services. The special event did feature a colourful parade, wreath-laying for previously recognised National Heroes and nation builders, as well as the installation of a ceremonial bust of the nation’s newest National Hero, Hon. Leila Ross-Shier, Cert. Hon.

Master of Ceremonies, Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE, Cert. Hon., JP kept the proceedings lively and on schedule.

The two-hour event included the recognition and awarding of a bravery citation to teenager Trevor Carmola Jr. for exceptional courage. The cadet corps member risked his life to save an older Bodden Town man, whose house was on fire in April 2021.

Those that would normally have attended the annual observation were invited to tune in to share in the event live on Radio Cayman, and the government’s YouTube, CIGTV and Facebook channels.

Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Roy McTaggart, JP, MP shared in the commemoration of Cayman’s National Heroes.

Before the close of the event, the commemorative bust of the newest National Hero was unveiled by the Premier in the company of her family.

At the end of the ceremony, the Premier announced that next year’s National Heroes Day events will “Honouring Volunteerism and Charitable Services.”

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