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Memorial tombstones unveiled

Memorial Tombstone for “Aunt” Julia Almeria Hydes

Two cultural icons were recently honoured by the Ministry of Culture and the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF). In May 2017 the Hon Premier and then Minister for Culture, presented a grant to CNCF for the construction of headstones on the graves of Gladwyn Klosking Bush (also known as Miss Lassie) and Julia Almeria Hydes (also known as Aunt Julia). The specially crafted headstones were unveiled at a ceremony on 15 December, at the South Sound and West Bay Cemeteries, respectively.

Both ceremonies began with a prayer and reading, with Reverend Godfrey E. Meghoo speaking at Miss Lassie’s ceremony and Pastor Alson Ebanks speaking at Aunt Julia’s ceremony. At both ceremonies this was followed by an address from the Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin.

Rachel Yates, the great-grandniece of Miss Lassie, gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the Bush Family, while Heather Rivers Parsons, the granddaughter of Aunt Julia gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the Hydes family.

Mr. Edroy Hydes, son of Mrs. Hydes also shared fond memories and expressed his gratitude to the Government for the continued recognition of his mother.

Commenting on the contributions of Miss Lassie and Aunt Julia, the Premier noted that as the Cayman Islands continues to grow and change, it becomes particularly important to remember cultural icons. “I’m lucky to have been part of the bridge generation of Cayman. I was there to see what Cayman once was, before it become the metropolitan place it is today. Reflecting on those changes it is clear just how important it is for us to preserve our traditions and remember those who laid the path for us.” He also shared his personal memories of both Miss Lassie and Aunt Julia.

In addition to the Premier several government officials attended the unveiling.

Speaker of the House, Hon. McKeeva Bush and Councillors Capt. Eugene Ebanks and Austin Harris attended the ceremony in West Bay, while Minister Roy McTaggart and Councillor Barbara Connolly were at the ceremony in South Sound. Ministry of Culture Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn, CNCF Creative Director Henry Muttoo and CNCF Managing Director Marcia Muttoo attended both ceremonies.

Ms Gladwyn Klosking Bush, who is interred at the South Sound Community Cemetery, passed away on 24 November 2003 at the age of 84. She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and also received a number of awards for her contributions to art, music and culture.

Ms Julia Almeria Hydes was 106 when she passed away on 15 November 2015 and is interred at the West Bay Cemetery. She received the Certificate and Badge of Honour (Cert. Hon.) as well as several awards, including the CNCF award for pioneering work in cultural heritage.

For further information contact: Edlyn Ruiz