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Cayman Islands Government

Heroes Day Farmers

Agriculture focus of National Heroes Day 2016 celebrations.

Cayman Islands farmers were honoured at the annual National Heroes Day celebrations in George Town today (Monday, 25 January 2016).

The focus of this year’s event was agriculture, with more than 320 farmers recognised for their stalwart efforts.

In addition to the farmers’ awards, a new national hero was announced by the Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA.

The late Dr. Roy Edison McTaggart joins the eminent ranks of eight other national heroes, including the only living recipient, Hon. Sybil McLaughlin MBE, JP.

The Cayman Islands’ other national heroes - Hon. James (Jim) Manoah Bodden; Hon. Thomas William Farrington, CBE, JP; Hon. Sybil Joyce Hylton, MBE; Hon. Ormond L. Panton, OBE, Hon. Desmond V. Watler, CBE; Hon. Mary Evelyn Wood, Cert. Hon. and Hon. William Warren Connolly, OBE, JP. - were also honoured by young people who take part in the annual youth parliament.

A colourful parade and awards ceremony, attended by Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick, included contingents from various uniformed services and community organisations. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Band, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, the Prison Service, Cadet Corps, Girls’ Brigade, Scouts and Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders marched through the streets to Heroes Square where the event was held.

More than 300 farmers received awards, some posthumously, for their contributions to farming in the categories of early pioneer, pioneer, emerging pioneer, memorial scroll and long service award.

There were 142 long-service certificates, 109 placed on the memorial scroll, 38 in the Pioneer, and 19 in the Early Pioneer categories.

“Their labours of love are the reason we are here today to celebrate their achievements,” said Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP. “My personal appreciation of our farmers is well-known, and we still have many things to look forward to from this sector. I can only encourage our young people to follow in their footsteps – with what are sure to be equally rewarding results.”

Wreaths were laid in tribute to all of the Cayman Islands’ national heroes and nation builders, followed by a moment of silence. Pastor Robert James Arch, Cert. Hon., from Church of God Universal, said the prayer, while the national song Beloved Isle Cayman was performed by Rudy Myles and Lisa Scott. Mrs. Scott is the great-granddaughter of the song’s writer Leila Ross-Shier.

Cayman Arts Festival Primary String Players, comprised of children from George Town and Savannah Primary Schools, provided entertainment at the event.

The agriculture theme continued after the ceremony, as attendees and guests sampled fare from local cooks at food stalls in the George Town Public Library car park, while being entertained by the JR Douglas Band and the Back Beat Band.

Awardees also had the chance to have their photos taken along with the Hon. Premier and the Hon. Mr.Tibbetts in the George Town Town Hall.

Also inside the Town Hall, an agriculture display will run until Friday (29 January). It features photos from the National Archives, farming artefacts, plants traditionally farmed in the Cayman Islands and a dedicated walk down memory lane, courtesy of the Bodden Town Heritage Committee.

National Heroes Day is organised by the Protocol Office, For more information contact 244-2612 or email protocol@gov.ky

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks