Past Leaders Honoured
At a recent awards ceremony held in the Westin Galleon Ballroom, past and present political leaders as well as Speakers of the Legislative Assembly, were presented with certificates affirming the recent conferral of their award of a lifetime honorific.
The Premier Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, handed over the document proclaiming the honour to former Speaker and National Hero Hon. Sybil McLaughlin, MBE, JP; former Speakers Hon. Edna Moyle, OBE, JP and Dr. the Hon. Linford Pierson, OBE, JP as well as present Speaker Hon. Mary Lawrence, MBE, JP and former Leader of Government Business Hon. Truman Bodden, OBE, JP.
In turn, the Premier also received his certificate from the Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Orrett Connor, MBE, JP, who served as Master of Ceremonies for the occasion. Other recipients unable to be present to accept the certificates in person were the Deputy Premier and former Speaker Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, JP; and former Leader of Government Business Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP.
Former Speaker Hon. Capt. Mabry S. Kirkconnell, OBE, JP, and former Leader Hon. Thomas Jefferson, OBE, JP, also received the honour posthumously.
Mr. Connor welcomed the gathering, followed by a moment of silence for the two posthumous honourees. He said the conferral was the latest in a number of initiatives introduced by the Premier, to recognise persons in the community who have given notable service. Other similar events included the Order of the Cayman Islands awards given out during the National Heroes Day, and more recently during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He added that these were significant steps in the Premier's nation-building efforts.
Mr. Connor also lauded the Premier's latest initiative to expand the summer internship programme, which enabled enthusiastic young Caymanians to gain work experience and also learn about how government functions.
Expressing his appreciation for the dedication to country shown by the recipients, the Premier said, "We are acknowledging your hard work and diligent attention to the onerous tasks of high office. I am elated that today we are continuing on this path of bolstering our collective self-worth." He hoped that various strategies of nation building will impact the younger generations positively, inspiring them to emulate the honourees' achievements.
He outlined other elements of the nation building initiative such as: identifying national symbols and recognising outstanding persons as national heroes, as well as naming national institutions after stalwart Caymanians who have contributed to the country's success. Not mentioned on the occasion, but also forming part of this strategy, are the Young Nation Builders scholarship programme and grants to other heritage and cultural development activities and programmes.
For further information contact: Bina Mani