iLocal News Archives

National Heroes Day – Cayman Brac

Opening Remarks

by Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Hon. Bernie Bush, MP

Hon. Bernie Bush, MP

Protocol having been established, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Heroes Day, I am honoured to be in Cayman Brac to recognise the achievements of our Sister Islands volunteers and charitable organisations. Your impact on the people and communities you have served has been immeasurable.

I must also highlight and commend the important role that Cayman Brac has had in the overall development of the Cayman Islands. With several of the Sister Islands residents leading in many fields of work, they quickly utilised their talents in volunteerism further helping their communities to thrive, and to shine.

The individuals and organisation being recognised this morning are just a few of the many who have volunteered their time, talents, energy, and money, without personal gain, for the benefit of all.

Our small island populations have been tight-knit, self-reliant and supporting of each other through good times and bad times. Today’s recipients have given out of respect for their fellow islanders and the land they so dearly love, and call home.

As unsung heroes, this year’s theme allows us to honour each of you, and publicly thank you for your service. You are important to the development to the Cayman Islands and today your efforts are forever engraved in our history.

As the Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, a volunteer from my early days as a teenager, and co-founder of Special Olympics Cayman, Scholars International and Future Sports Club, I can fully understand the level of commitment it takes to fit in community work with family commitments and responsibilities, and to also have a full-time job. This kind of commitment can be challenging, but the fact that our recipients have continued to give so much, makes them worthy of these awards. As a country, we thank the awardees recognised today for their generosity, and time.

Each one of you are a credit to these islands, you reflect the beliefs of our founding fathers, and our sense of Caymanian hospitality and Christian values. Volunteerism has always been a part of our culture. It is who we are, and our communities are far better because of it.

This year’s awards have been granted not only to individuals who have volunteered; but also to charitable organisations. The ability to honour long-standing organisations that have contributed to the development, enhancement, safety and well-being of the community allows us to also recognise the work of those who serve collectively. The Lions Club of Cayman Brac is a great example of such an organisation. Their far-reaching impact includes the annual health and wellness drive, which encourages the whole community to take up active lifestyles. Another initiative is its fundraising and educational eye care campaign.

In closing, I would like to thank the Protocol Office for their work in managing this event over the past 20 years. Their management of Cayman’s largest national recognition ceremony is greatly valued, not just by Government but by a grateful public. 

My heartfelt thanks also goes out to the National Heroes Day Nominations Selection Committee. Assisted in their duties by the staff and management of my Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage. These committee members worked long and hard for months throughout the selection process, we could not have done it all without you.

I would also like to the public to know that there were many individuals who did not receive recognition but it was because people did not think to nominate them. You were not nominated, you could not be recognised, but many of those, like myself, did it not for recognition but because we saw there was a need, and because it felt good.

I hope that today’s recognition of the Sister Islands Early Pioneers, Pioneers and Voluntary Services will motivate everyone, especially our youth – the next generation – to see the value of giving back to our community. In the words of a sports icon and hero Arthur Ashe: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Thank you and have a good day!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *