March 21, 2023

NT plaque unveils family story

National Trust plaque unveils family story on Cayman Brac

A plaque unveiled by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands on Cayman Brac last week has revealed a fascinating family story linked to Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

The plaque marks the donation of 12 acres of land on South Side to the Trust by the Herrman family from the United States.

Just before the unveiling ceremony last Friday (13 April 2018), Ms O’Connor-Connolly found she had an unexpected connection to the family. The MLA for Cayman Brac East realised she had been delivered by the late Dr. Roy Herrman, who had saved the life of both she and her mother Shirley Mae O’Connor during her complicated birth.

Dr. Herrman and his wife Estelle spent a lot of time on the Brac during the 1950s and 1960s, and was fortunately on-island when Mrs. O’Connor experienced difficulties during labour. She could not be evacuated for help and, although he wasn’t a midwife, Dr. Herrman was able to safely deliver the baby.

“I have waited 57 years to say thank you for saving my life,” said an emotional Ms O’Connor-Connolly during the ceremony. “It is the result of this gentleman’s kindness and skill that you see a teacher, lawyer, Premier, Speaker of the House and MLA stand before you today.”

The event was attended by Dr. Herrman’s daughter Barbara Wolfe, who flew into the Brac from the United States for the occasion.

I am so happy to meet Ms Wolfe and to be able to express my gratitude, not just for saving me when I was a baby, but for so generously donating this land to the people of Cayman Brac,” said Ms O’Connor-Connolly.

The land, which stretches from the sea to the Bluff, is of environmental significance and includes a turtle nesting beach.

The plaque was unveiled officially by Ms O’Connor-Connolly, Ms Wolfe, Minister of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing Hon. Dwayne Seymour and Ministerial Councillor Capt. Eugene Ebanks.

Ms Wolfe, who represented her three sisters, told the people attending the ceremony that her family was donating the land “for the turtles”. The Herrman family previously gifted the unique geological feature in the Brac’s West End known as “The Splits”.

The unveiling ceremony was also attended by members of the National Trust’s Cayman Brac District Committee, Trust Chairman Andrew Gibb and other Trust members from Grand Cayman. The transfer of the land from the Herrman family to the National Trust was facilitated by the International Reptile Conservation Foundation.


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