Premier names five new National Heroes

| 17/09/2010

(CNS): As the architect of the National Heroes programme that recognises those who have made a significant contribution to the development of the islands, the premier has announced five new National Heroes. McKeeva Bush said the committee had agreed that the late William Farrington, a former West Bay legislator; Desmond V. Watler, Cayman’s first chief secretary; former legislator Ormond L. Panton; Evelyn Wood, Cayman’s first female legislator; and Joyce Hylton, a social development pioneer, will all be officially installed during next January’s National Heroes Day celebrations. Bush said these people had set the foundations for what Cayman has today.

The national heroes are usually awarded posthumously, with the notable exception of Sybil McLaughlin, a former speaker of the Legislative Assembly, who was the only hero so far to be awarded while still living.
“Without these great men and women, where would the good ship Cayman be today?” Bush asked rhetorically, as he announced the latest heroes during a television broadcast on Thursday evening.
He also announced that the country’s primary schools would all be renamed in honour of Caymanians who have made great and valued contributions to our communities. The first two to begin this naming exercise will be the Bodden Town Primary School, which will now be known as the Theoline McCoy Primary School, and the Savannah Primary School, which will be named after Edna Jackson.
“Whatever I do is for the good of all the people of these islands, and I ask for your understanding, your support and your prayers,” Bush stated as he ended his broadcast.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    I knew it would be just a matter of time when this whole National Hero stuff would be devalued to the point of irrelevance. Pretty soon the designation "National Hero" will be given out like cheap pens at a sales convention. It has already begun.

    (Good-oh, Mac! If you continue to set the bar lower and make the title any more meaningless even you may qualify someday.)

    Bottom line: Just because a person was a "first" at something, or was a pioneer or did their job well does not make that person a hero.

    The solution would be to rename the current title to something fittingly distinguished and reserve the term "National Hero" for those vary rare instances where it is demonstrated that a person truly imperiled self, or at least made quite extraordinary sacrifices, for the greater good. Making a "significant contribution" regarding something you were elected for or paid to do is not good enough in my book.

    In my mind no one on or proposed to join the roster of national heroes deserves to be called a hero.

  2. Anonymous says:

    All respect to the memory of the good people that have been nominated, but do they really qualify for the title "hero"? Here is a good definition… "Heroes are people who possess extraordinary traitsof altruism or self-less concern for the well-being of others, even at the expense of their own existence." It seems to me that most of these people were just doing what everyone else should be doing. That is, doing their job and doing it to the best of their ability. To misquote the words of the Tina Turner song "Thunder Dome"  We don’t another (dead) hero!  We need a living hero that can lead us out of the mess that we are in. Whenever that person shows up, I will willingly throw in my $10 to help build a statue to him or her!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The only good thing he could do for the country is to clip his wings and resign. Ivan pales in comparison to this man.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Order of the Cayman Islands is another option. "These honours, all of which may also be granted posthumously…",4967847&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

    • Anonymous says:

      I am Fri 18:47: Didn’t you steal my idea of the OCI?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry. I didn’t recall seeing it – since I would have read that on the weekend.

        • Anonymous says:

          No problem, my friend! At least two of us have a viable idea (which won’t go anywhere!)

  5. Hallowe'en Jack says:

    Don’t judge us!  They don’t have to be the best heroes, nor to be particularly good ones.  All they need to be is suitably qualified to be a hero.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear Cayman! We must stop doing things that make people laugh at us. After 48 years of independence, Jamaica has just seven National Heroes. Google them, folks, and compare their struggles and sacrifices to our pleasant and affable former civil servants and minor politicians who have become National (?national) Heroes here in Cayman. It’s embarrassing. If one reads Roy Bodden’s books one realises just how small and insignificant we are and these "heroes" are just fairly prominent (for a while) citzens, not one of whom lost life, limb or even income.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you compare us to Jamaica? Jamaica has been through so much chaos in its short history of independence it is a wonder they found time to name that many national heroes..

      • Anonymous says:

        What an absolutely unbelievably ignorant comment about a "real’ country. You must get out more and learn about the world beyond Hog Sty Bay. There is one, you know, and it’s been around a long time. Bless!

  7. Pit Bull says:

    For those of you new to Cayman, there is a special use of the word "Hero" here.  It means little more than "a decent chap".

  8. Anonymous says:

    WB wasn’t given a choice either with naming the school hall; the Minister for Ed announced the name at last year’s School Leaving. He did say Mrs Kidd taught him. No disrespect to her but I understand from then-serving PTA Exec members that Mr Herbert Crawford was the one who fought/worked hard to get that hall – and he was in attendance at the School Leaving when the name was announced.

    So you see, even WBers don’t always have a say.

  9. Rick Powell says:

     How many who grew up in Bodden Town remember Mrs. Theoline McCoy as a teacher? I remember her as the piano player in the United church and as an outstanding member of the community. Mr. Bush down in the West, did not consult Bodden Towners as to what to name their primary school. Educators like Mrs. Hildred Ebanks and Ms. Pearl Carter would have better choices.

    • A BoddenTowner says:

      The Bodden Town Primary School should be named  "THE HILDRED EBANKS PRIMARY SCHOOL"


      Class Rooms :- Ms Evelyn Wood, Ms  Pearl Carter, Mrs Theoline Mccoy,

      Ms M Farrell,  Mrs Marjorie Beckles,  and I am sure we can find some more names.


      These are the true Teachers of the Bodden Town Community!!!



  10. Anonymous says:

    You people need to understand!

    Distraction artists will throw things like this to you and keep you debating and discussing this almost non relevant issue while they push through more damaging issues..

    Like for example the cruise ship dock which will take away from the country the monies earned by those that currently bring passengers ashore from the cruise ships, the port fees/taxes that our country and Govt currently earns from cruise passengers, and the little bit of money that local duty free stores make from cruise ship passengers.

    The first and last duty free, iquor and jewelry businesses that cruise ship passengers will see will be owned by the Port Developer who will earn all of the income from the dock facilities. So how will this benefit our economy?

    It does not matter whether a million or a billion cruise ship passengers come cause we are not the party thats going to benefit from it.

    So is it better to give a 99 year contract or a mere 21 year contract?

    Or we could just debate the National Heroes issue, and the Chinese distraction issue while the Port issue is eased down our throats…

    Anyway.. Its vacation time again.. so off we go and let the crabs stop each other from getting out of the bucket!!!



  11. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why the late Dr Roy McTaggart was not made a national hero. It was his foresight that kept us out of the illfated West Indies Federation

    • Peter Simple says:

      I have always wondered why Dr.Roy has never been included.  am lead to believe if he had not dug his heels in Cayman would still be a part of a country that gained the reputation of being a first class example of a third world country.

      • Anonymous says:

        Peter, It is reputed that the late Jamaican Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante on meeting Dr Roy McTaggart, made the staement "So you are the devil who stopped me from getting my hands on the Cayman Islands"!

  12. Cat says:

     I think Mr.Desmond Seales should have gotten thisas well. HE is a real hero, who stood up for the truth no matter who it is. But I think it is safe to say he may not get because he stoood up to Mac though….he he

    • Anonymous says:

      OMG – Desmond Seales? Truth? Hero? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Or are you high? You must be high.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We already have National Heroes Day, why do we need, particularly when the country’s finances are crippled, to spend unnecessary money on Heroes Awards?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Marco Giglioli? Vassel Johnson? Bill Walker? Oh, I forgot, they weren’t born here.

    The term "hero" is a difficult one for Cayman (leave aside the talk about whether we are a nation!). All these people who are already heroes or have just been nominated are or were honest (well, apart from the one with the statue) decent, committed citizens with the advancement (as they saw it) of Cayman as their goal. All credit to them. But they didn’t have to put their lives on the line in battle/risk being hanged by the imperial power governing the country they loved and wished to become free of colonialism, etc etc.We need to come up with another term than "hero" which is a 19th century Victorian England term and which, in any case was given to some pretty dubious Englishmen.

    Having said all that, I have had difficulty coming up with a sensible suggestion as an alternative. Maybe we should create recipients of the "O.C.I (Order of the Cayman Islands) which would go after their name. In time, it would gain prestige but it could not be handed out to anyone by over zealous ezzardian nationalists who think that being born here is the crucial criterion. That would fatally cheapen its value.

    Oh well, I suppose I can await the thumbs down from both sides of the Cayman/Expat divide we have nowadays.

  15. Anonymous says:

    "Whatever I do is for the good of all the people of the islands"?  What a load of poop.  Look what you have already done. Can you in all good conscious call any of it good?  Most of the people of the island do not want you to do any more for them.  Please just stop.  Thats what we are all praying for.  The fact that you are calling out who is a hero is just wrong.

  16. Bubba Jay says:

    All of the nominees are deserving of the award. Kudos to this Government for spending the so called thousands the poster on here refers to. At least it is being spent on CAYMANIANS who should have been honoured years ago and not some popmpous band from the USA- like the one that was brought here at OUR expense to elevate the ego of a certain civil servant

  17. Anonymous says:

    What about Desmond Seales…….LOL!!!!?????? Have a great weekend you hear!

  18. Just tellin' it like it is says:

    No disrespect to these five people, but McKeeva’s latest antics cheapens the whole national heroes thing.  No disrespect to Ms. Sybil McLaughlin either, but the PPM started it when they awarded her this title.  A national hero normally takes 25, 50, even 100 years to be identified and all of a sudden a little Island like Cayman has seven in the space of what … 15 years.  Laughable! 


    • Anonymous says:

      PPM did NOT award Ms. Sybil Mclaughlin the National Hero’s title. That award was given by Mckeeva Bush & the National Team government because they wanted to put "their" person as Speaker of the House but that would mean removing (nice way of saying fire) Ms. Sybil, who was the then Speaker. Therefore, so as to soften the blow of her removal as the Speaker, she was made a National Hero & Mckeeva Bush & his government were then able to appoint one of their people as the Speaker. Please go & read up on yourCayman political history, this is public record. So please stop telling fibs & spreading propaganda, the PPM were not even in existence when she was made a National Hero.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well I’m pleased to see Ms. Wood name officially in history!!!!! I have always questioned it from time I was in Primary school studying Cayman’s history.

    • Pit Bull says:

      How long did that study period take?  10 minutes?  Perspective.  Totally not present in Cayman and "Heroes" Day is a good example of this.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Another idea pops into his head and out of his mouth without any actual thought process in between. Does Mac stop for a single second to think about how much it will cost to rename the schools? Did he take it to the teachers or the parents to ask what they thought?

    • Anonymous says:

       Turtle Farm comes to mind.  Waste more money and call it what you want Mac, we still gonna call it Bodden Town Primary School and call you foo-foo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Benson and his ExCo members did not consult anyone when they named John Gray and George Hicks high schools after Scottish missionaries so I suppose we can’t expect anything better of Mr Bush.

  21. Sunneversets says:

    The words "National" and "Heroes" have rarely been put under so much strain.  What a waste of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    • chris Johnson says:

      Just who made this decision? It should have been made by a committee consisting of wise and knowledgable local residents. Up and until now we had but two National heroes and now with the swoop of the pen we have another five. Having just re-read an old history book on the Cayman Islands and having been here a number of years and reasonably read on the history of the Cayman Islands, there appear to be more suitable candidates or at least additional persons that might be nominated. It is unfortunate that the late Harry McCoy is no longer with us because he was a fountain of knowledge on the history of the Cayman Islands and indeed might himself have been considered a candidate.

      I think that the idea of national heroes is very worthy but I also trust in going forward we will not see the award being devalued by nominating five persons per annum and may we please see the formation of a representative and knowledgable committee with no axes to grind. They can determine the candidates and numbers each year.

      • Anonymous says:

        The decision was made by McKeeva. He will tell you he had a committee of civil servants but they had nothing to do with it.