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National Honours and Awards

Greetings fellow Caymanians and residents!

Now is the time to celebrate who we are and where we came from, even as we anticipate the promise of days ahead. Ushering in a new year, we are poised to take an objective look back, and a look forward to a brighter future for all in the Cayman Islands and indeed the whole world.

The time is here to give due credit and thanks to stalwarts among us who have made significant contributions to our community.

I speak, of course, of those deserving national honours, whether it is being named as a National Hero or being inducted into the Order of the Cayman Islands, which is now in its second year of operation. It gives great pleasure to announce that Cabinet recently approved the appointment of the late William Warren Conolly, OBE, JP to be a National Hero, in accordance with The National Heroes Law Section 3 (1) and (2), (1998 Revision). Mr Warren contributed hugely to the development of this country, and this appointment is well deserved.

As you are aware, our National Honours and Awards Law, 2010 gives due recognition to those among us who have provided distinguished service to the Cayman Islands community. Bestowed in person or posthumously, these awards don't interfere with, or supersede, any granted by Her Majesty the Queen, the Governor or the Cabinet.

Under the law, the National Honours and Awards Committee -- which is set up in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition -- advises me on granting these awards based on public nominations in three categories.

The awards granted under the Order of the Cayman Islands are as follows:

One, the Medal of Honour in three classes: Commander, Officer and Member - awarded for eminent service of national importance or outstanding, brave or humane acts;

Two, the Medal of Merit in Gold and Silver distinctions, granted for long and meritorious service in the arts, sciences, literature and other fields; and

Three, the Long-Service award - for diligent service and exemplary conduct in 20 years or more of public service.

During our National Heroes Day in January 2011, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the recipients, including five new National Heroes, 24 Order of the Cayman Islands award recipients and 51 Aviation Pioneers who were chosen to commemorate the 2011 Heroes Day aviation theme. Government also gave high honor and recognition to the late Captain Charles Kirkconnell by announcing that the Cayman Brac airport will be renamed in his honour. And the law school will be renamed the Truman Bodden Law School and the University College Campus will be named the Benson Ebanks campus. It gladdened my heart that we could proudly and publicly acknowledge persons among us who have served our community selflessly, without expectation of any return or recognition because they believe that is the right thing to do.

Now I am equally thrilled to name 2012's Order of the Cayman Islands award recipients. Let us once again celebrate our human wealth, our precious individuals who have inspired, influenced and enriched the lives of persons around them. They deserve to be recognised and now is the time to do just that.

2012's award recipients are:

Medal of Honor

Commander Awards: Dr. Joseph Benjamin William Jackman; Rudolph McLaughlin; Kent Mitchell Rankin

Officer Awards: Cap'n Vernal Ebanks; Alex Sylvia Pennington; Warren Wadray Watler; Dolcy Ilone Powery

Member Awards: Raymond Irvin Scott; Florence Yvonne Wood; Elizabeth "Betty" Rosena Wood; Helen Merren

Medal of Merit Awards

Gold: Charles "Greggie" Gregory; Charles Lambert Seymour; David Jonathon Ebanks; Edward Lancelot Solomon; Ralph Francisco Williams

Silver: Allen Kennedy Ebanks

Long Service Award

James Dale Ramoon; Errington Albert Webster; Anthony Donovan Williams

As a developing country we must recognize and honour those who have contributed to our development and made sure that these islands is a good place to live and move and have our being.