Brackers remember war heroes at unofficial ceremony

| 14/11/2010

(CNS): While the official Remembrance Day ceremony will be held this afternoon (Sunday) on Cayman Brac at the civic centre, around two dozen of the island’s residents gathered outside the District Administration Building at Stake Bay this morning for a quiet unofficial ceremony to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, keeping two minutes of silence at the traditional time of 11 o’clock and laying wreaths at the cenotaph in remembrance of the Brac’s fallen war heroes, whose names are recorded on the war memorial. Captain Arlin Tatum said he had originally intended to come to the cenotaph by himself this morning to lay a wreath for his father, who died during World War II. (Photo: L-R Moses Kirkconnell, Ventisha Conolly and Arlin Tatum)

However, after he told CNS that he would be skipping the official ceremony in protest of the time change, the small crowd joined him Sunday morning in support and to pay their own tribute to the war veterans. Thosepresent included the first elected member for the Sister Islands, Moses Kirkconnell, whose father, he noted, was a veteran of World War II.

Kirkconnell explained the significance of the two minutes silence at the time the peace treaty was signed after World War I in 1918, and at 11:00 am he asked those gathered to join him in two minutes of prayer and respect for the men and women who gave their lives to uphold our freedom. Ventisha Conolly, representing the Lions Club of Cayman Brac, led the singing of the National Anthem, Jonathan Tibbetts offered a prayer, and everyone read allowed an oath of remembrance.

On Saturday, following a wave of public support for Tatum’s protest at the change in time and venue, Sister Islands MLA and Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly released a statement explaining why she had changed the almost 100-year tradition, saying that as acting premier it was her duty to participate in the memorial ceremonies on both Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman. “This unavoidable and temporary change of time and venue should not detract from the pride and respect that we all feel towards those brave and valiant heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and prosperity. I look forward to honouring all our veterans and seamen and encourage everyone to take part in these Memorial Day proceedings on Sunday.”

Tatum, however, disagreed. “I hope this doesn’t happen again,” he said at the ceremony. “This is not about politics or politicians. This is about veterans who died. If it happens again next year, I will do this again if I have to come by myself.” He said he was overwhelmed that so many people showed up to join him.

Nola Bodden said she was representing her late father, Nolen B. Foster, who served in World War II and always laid a wreath in honour of all those lost in the merchant navy. He died five years ago and for the last seven years she has laid a wreath on his behalf. “This was always a sentimental time,” she said. “I know he’s looking down today and saying, ‘Well done!’ We’re supporting the veterans – all those who are gone and those who are still alive.”

Elsie Kynes, who describes herself as a supporter of O’Connor Connolly, said that in this instant she was just wrong. “This is not about Julie. I had an uncle and cousins that died and I stand behind Mr Arlin and Mose.” However, she said she was disappointed that only a few dozen people actually turned up Sunday morning. “I think more people from Cayman Brac should have come out to support them,” she said.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think our deputy premier shouldn’t have changed the time that the Cayman Brac rememberance day services just to make it convenient for her to come. This is selfish and disrespectful.

    I dare say this Ms. Julianna. You better make good of your time in office because I don’t think you’ll be getting anymore if you keep doing foolishness!

  2. Chet O. Ebanks says:

    As a Cayman Bracker I am gonna say my two cents now. What Julie did was just down right rude and disrespectfull no manners at all. When was the last time the head of Government attended both cerominies. Shame on you Julie. They good people of The Sister Islands voted you in and this is how you repay them no respect at all. Remember that you need the good citizens of The Sister Islands, they don’t need you. You where elected to serve them not yourself. 

    To another piece of breaking news. On Saturday 13th November I observed Acting head of Government Premiee Julie being dropped off in the Ford expedition at the Village in George Town by her personal driver. she was going to Virginas beauty salon. I would like to ask when has going to a beauty salon using an offical Government vehicle and flag flown and all become offical Cayman Islands Government business. This is a waste of my tax dollars and it needs to stop. Government vehicles are not used for personal errnads. Get with it Julie. I sure hope the good citizens of The Sister Islands send you and the rest of these crons we have in Government now a clear message on election day 2013. I say that message is NO VOTE THEM OUT, elect some young Caymanians who have the intesrest fo this country to do the job. I can say can’t do any worse than what has been done.


  3. Anonymous says:

    OH WOW…. I just read the government website statement from Julianna,

    "I fully support the venue and time, however at times, even with other official functions, things has had to change due to exceptional circumstances." 

    Who is leading our country?  "…things has had."

    Ok, second point,

    "As Acting Premier it is my duty also, to participate in both of these Memorial Ceremonies, hence the reason for this unavoidable and temporary change."

    Can someone from protocol or the constitution office please present the public with where the law states that the Premeir or Acting Premeir must be in attendance at all Veteran’s and Seamen’s Memorial Day services?

    Don’t think it’s there Julie… try again!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am curious to know – did anybody go the the "official" ceremony???? I hope everyone put their foot where their mouth is and stood behind Mr. Tatum and ignored the "official" celebration to send a message not to be forgotten!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I speak as one who was there and was not wearing a poppy. Perhaps the others’ reason for this was the same as mine. In previos years people went around asking for donations and giving out poppies in return. This year, I saw no one doing this. Kind of hard to find poppies growing on Cayman Brac! This external symbol of support is fine but let us not use it to judge the sincerety of people’s hearts. To stand in defiance of tyranny is why our people served and died, not so that we could drop a dollar in a bucket and pin a flower on our lapels. By the way, anyone notice if Miss Julie was wearing one? After all, the poppy is RED! I have heard that she and the Premier have an aversion to red!

    XXXX Mr. Arlin said that if is changed again next year, he will do it again even if it is alone. He can rest assured  that he will not stand there by himself. If I know "my people" as Miss Julie often refers to us Brackers, the crowd standing with him will grow bigger! 

  6. Dexter Rivers says:

    Thank God for the decent people who believe in doing what is right!

    • Anonymous says:

      What idiot can put a thumbs down to this comment about "decent people who believe in doing what is right"? That idiot must believe in doing what is wrong. Very strange person! 

  7. Anonymous says:

     Mr. Tatum and those who joined him displayed honourable intentions and while their presence at the cenotaph was definitive it is indeed curious that there is not a single poppy being worn by any of them (as per the photo). 

    Wearing the poppy is in itself symbolic of the gratitude owed to veterans and their failure to do so seems to dull this tribute a bit. It would be interesting to hear from Mr. Tatum, Mr. Kirkconnell or any of the persons who joined them explaining why the poppies were missing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Wouldn’t wearing a poppy be the same as signing anonymous on this forum? Basically, it would mean that you could say that you support something but until you show up and do something it is only for show. 

      These men and women did something so the poppy, while important in its own right, was secondary to actually showing up.

    • Ronnie says:

      No Poppys – Whoops!  Guess we all make mistakes and don’t do it right.

    • Arlette Fatta says:

      In response to "Mr. Tatum and those and any other would be detracters"  perhaps the writer should check with Captain Tatum as to whether or not poppies were readily available on Cayman Brac for this occassion, he is listed in the telephone directory.  My checks revealed a few were available at the afternoon service.

      Whilst I do acknowledge that poppies are symbolic in the honouring of our veterans I wish to point out that Captain Tatum’s stance onthis matter was not one of pomp and ceremony but one that was heartfelt.  Please note that whether Captain Tatum wore a poppy or not, is totally irrelevant, as he has always been and continues to be committed to the cause of the Veterans and Seamen Society, even today. 

      Rememberance Day throughout the world honours those who fought in wars to protect the future and freedom of their country and is especially meaningful for those whose family members participated.    The  lack of one poppy cannot detract from the significant contribution that Captain Tatum has made to this valuable society.  Captain Tatum has always honoured his father’s memory and those that died with him and before him, by participating in this service as well as in giving his time, talent and treasure with no costs attached.

      Captain Tatum seeks no accolades for his actions, he did what was right.  If we were to check the history books we would see that this particular service was never one of "politricks" as it is usually presided over by District Administration. 

      To Captain Tatum:  I am honoured and proud to call you Daddy. 

      Arlette Tatum-Fatta

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Arlin, Mr. Moses and everyone else who was there to show their respect and support to our seamen at the cenotaph in Stake Bay yesterday. You all have made alot of Cayman Brackers very proud! Mr. Moses, if I was still living on Cayman Brac you would have my vote everytime. Mr. Arlin, I wish you would run! Because you would have my next vote for sure! God bless you all and thank you for to sticking to tradition and respecting and honoring our seamen at the traditional time. God bless everyone that came out and supported you all yesterday.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If more Brackers had shown up they might not have gotten their parking lots and driveways paved….

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all Brackers are for sale and I’m one.  I don’t care what it is parking lot, paved driveway, appliances, etc.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Arlin Tatum, you are a true leader, congratulations for your intestinal fortitude, your fallen comrades who fought so bravely, gave their all, are very satisfied by the correct stand you took against pure politics for politics sake. The weak explanations are but bla, bla, bla, and more bla, bla, bla….

    All wars are started over politics, the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters pay the sacrificial price to satisfy the wicked self centered games of politicians. 
    Will we ever wake up to recognize we are the pawns when we allow ourselves to be on their game board of politicians?
    Mr. Tatum you showed how we can jump from the politicians game board, thanks Sir.
    It is my suggestion that from henceforth all Memorial Day ceremonies be lead by the true heroes, the real leaders  – our veterans – let the politicians be relegated to only a back drop mode, they have not earned the respect of the people.
    Cayman Brackers who attended the real Memorial Day ceremonies and boycotted the false political meeting Memorial Day ceremonies exemplify the spirit of independent thinking patriots – it scares politicians whenever the people begin to think and then have the courage to act for the right reasons. 
    If the Cayman Islands is to halt our downward sell out path then we need thousands of patriots who are willing to stand up for right, regardless of the bully regime who tries to shout down people upholding the principals of good government.
    These patriots need to have only one credo – Is this the BEST long term decision for the Cayman Islands?
    When this becomes the national credo then the Cayman Islands will become sustainable once again.
    Thanks again Mr. Tatum for raising the awareness of following process for all of the right reasons and then having the leadership strength to execute that credo.
    May God Bless you Sir.
  11. Verticalpig says:

    We owe a debt of honour to those who fought and died for our freedoms.

    Suffering some inconvenience in our own too busy (or too lazy) lives is rather the point of the Act of Remembrance.

    The very least we can do is suffer a little inconvenience once a year by observing two minutes of silence in the time honoured manner on the correct day at the correct hour.

    By all means have additional services at other days and times but have a little humility in the face of a noble tradition and don’t go making yourself bigger than the event.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am going to vote for Mr. Arlin Tatum & Mr. Moses Kirkconnell next election, & I strongly encourage all Cayman Brac residents to do the same.

  12. Anonymous says:

    While I was not there for the ünofficial"event, I did hear about it, albeit late.

    I support the thought, but please bear in mind thatMrs. Julie wears two hats at this point.  She obviously cares about the Brac and it’s people or she would have let it go at 11am without her being there.  She had the official duty to be in the Capital of our islands and made it to here home ASAP afterwards. 

    How much do you expect? Anyone can criticize, condem and complain and most fools do!

    The lady tried her best to be both places.  Moses would have done the same.  Both of our representatives are good examples and should be respected and given the opportunity to defend their actions/decisions before any penalty’s are set.

    Have you considered all the good works, or do you sider only that this program interfered with your afternoon nap? 

    Sorry, but she really doesn’t deserve the mis-treatment especially now.  If you really want something to complain about, there are many more real pressing issue to complain about.  It belittles everything else when condemnation is cast on an issue like this.   Not belittling this, because I’ve had 2 uncles and a Great Grandfather who served…and a grandmother whospoke of the evils of war and hatred…but life goes on and we learn evryday to improve on life.  Improve on circumstances and find the good in things.

    • Anonymous says:

      My simple question is this, why couldn’t Mr Bush be at the Ceremony in Grand as Government representative and Miss Julie be on the Brac. Seems common sense to me. there is NO way the time or day should be changed to accomodate one person!!!.

    • Anonymous says:

      A couple of points here…

      Julie only always wears 1 hat… it is her I’m the most important person hat and I will change everything just to be important. (Respect is earned, not forced).

      Moses did what was right.  He supported the wishes of the people and was at the cenotaph at the correct time.

      Most fools complain but real men and women take action… the article proves that!

      Since you are the same one who contradicts yourself by saying not to complain and the proceed to do just that… the real issues are that we have a nice smooth road with no increase in business to help pay for it.  There are no tourists at the hotels to drive on it. 

      No one is questioning the ceremony only the reason why Julianna had to be there.  It is about the Veteran’s and Seamen, not the politician.

      The "unofficial" service was held POINT MADE!

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Regardless of your babbling rationalising about what Miss Julie did, expressing displeasure over a politician running roughshod over a tradition is entirely justified.

      Only  fools justify a political wrong by holding out that the good stuff outweighs the bad stuff so some bad stuff is ok. If your measure is valid then we should all be absolved of all our wrongdoing as all humans, to continue to survive as an individual, a person must do more right stuff than wrong stuff. How does this bad for good exchange programme work, anyway? How many units of good does it take to cancel out a unit of wrong?

      "Find the good in things…"? That is a common preface to the encouragement of denial. I think it is more rational to appreciate the good and exorcise the bad. But then I try to live in the real world, not something everyone likes to do.

      You say that they should be "…given the opportunity to defend their actions/decisions before any penalty’s are set." If there were no protest, no complaint, then what would they be defending against? One hallmark of politicians is that they are scarcely inclined to justify their decisions until they are called down for them.

      The basis of your comment is too ambivalent to be meaningful. On one hand you say you "support the thought". Meaning you support Mr. Tatum’s protest. One the other hand you castigate those who voice their protest. That does not make sense.

      How dare you call expressions of displeasure "mis-treatment"! It is good for citizens to express their displeasure, even if it casts the object of that displeasure in a bad light. Please be reminded that Miss Julie is an employee of the people. She works for the citizens of this country and like any employee she is subject to reprimand when the employer is not pleased. She knew, or should have known, before she ran for election that criticism is part of the job. Moreover, she is paid quite handsomely for what she does. And what she does is to represent the people. Part and parcel of that job is to hear the displeasure of those who take exception to something she does as part of her job.

      Moses would have done the same? Unless you are Moses, you are in no position to say what Moses would do.

      In my opinion, the people of Cayman Brac, especially Miss Julie’s constituents, are not so small minded as to feel slighted if her official duties made it impossible for her to attend an event do to conflict of official duties. In this I think she sold her people short. (Or perhaps she showed her true nature?)

      Sending someone in her place to read a speech that included apologies and explanation regarding her not attending would have been just fine.  Moses had a "stand-in" deliver such a speech at an important event some while back. Rather than feeling slighted, I am confident that Brackers would have accepted her apology and felt proud that a fellow Bracker had risen to such responsibilities. Brackers would have understood.

      Sorry, but no matter how you may try to deflect, justify and rationalise, changing the time simply so Miss Julie could have some face time at the event was wrong. Such a decision sounds more like megalomania than statesmanship and concern to me. Judging by the comments I see that I am not alone in this sentiment.



  13. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of crock Julie. Since when does/has the Premier and/or Acting Premier/Leader of Government Business ever come to Cayman Brac for the remembrance day celebrations. It does not happen. YOU wanted to be in Cayman Brac for your own personal agenda to make YOURSELF seem important. It has never been that the Premier or Leader of Government business comes to the Brac for this occasion. There was no reason why our first elected member for the Brac could not have filled in for you in the Brac or someone else of your choosing. You are just too ‘pig headed’ to admit that you were wrong, apologise and make the necessary changes. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you insinuating that Ms. Julie isn’t important? come on now.  Don’t let your anger seem like stupidity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me but the issue here is not about Julie and how important SHE obviously thinks she is. It is about the men and women who served faithfully for OUR FREEDOM and lost their lives. There is no logical reason why the remembrance day services here in Cayman Brac had to be changed to accommodate HER if she had good intentions and cared she would have done the right thing and nominated someone to attend on her behalf if she could not be here and leave the ceremonies where they belong and have been for the past 100 years – much longer and much bigger than her.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How many Brackers died in the Great War and World War Two? I don’t mean how many served or how many were on ships at sea, I mean how many actually died in action? Can anyone help?

    CNS: Here is the list of names on the cenotaph:

    • Anonymous says:


      Many thanks for answering my request above. That’s an impressive list for such a small place. Their memories deserve to be honoured and not trivialised by the personal vanities of mediocre politicians.

  15. Anonymous says:

     I was there and it was a very dignified and beautiful service that truly gave honor to those that sacificed so much. It was wonderful to feel the "soft, fresh breezes" as we sung the National Song. Much nicer than sitting in stuffy airconditioning listening to so many spout hot air! Miss Julie’s excuse for changing the time is a poor one and she offered no excuse for the change of venue. Those that attended have shown that we can and will do it without her. The people can do without politicians, politicians cannot do without the people! I do not support any party and my next vote will go the person that I believe will represent me best and do the best for my island. One thing I am sure about, it won’t go to you, Miss Julie!

    • Anonymous says:

      Who does this dictaor Julie Chavez think she is? Does Ms. Chavez not realise that she works for the people & is a servant of the people? Does she not understand history & tradition, or is she trying to rewrite history for herself? Shame on her & I hope the Cayman Brac people will not forget her disgraceful, dictatorial & self serving ways come next election. She is getting nearly as ridiculous & demanding as the premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just do not get it. The deputy premier says that she had to be in Grand Cayman for the ceremony at the traditional 11am time because the premier is off island (again). She had to stand in for the premier because he is off island. Get it? Therefore does it not make sence that she should get someone like her colleague Moses Kirkconnell to stand in for her on the Brac because she had to be off island? Is her ego so massively inflated that she feels that the ceremony would not be relevant if she was not there? I am thrilled that Mr. Tatum & other Brackers showed respect & honoured our heroes by sticking to the almost century old time of 11am despite the selfish acts of the deputy premier. It is amazing what a title can do to a persons ego. She is getting almost as bad as the premier. I wonder where in the constitution she can justify these actions.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        When you said "She is getting almost as bad as the premier", you make a good point. Why do you think Mr. Bush chose her over all his Grand Cayman mates? You know what they say about birds of a feather? In Julie he found his soulmate.

        Her being chosen to be D. P. should have been a matter of some concern for Brackers considering who did the choosing. No?

  16. Da Bracster says:

      I cannot believe they still went forward with this foolishness. When it was abundantly clear Cayman Brackers that your wishes and those of the veterans mean nothing to this disrespectful politician.To those who showed up we now see who the real Cayman Brackers are, but  like many in Grand Cayman who will babble their mouth off and when call upon to do their duty and stand up will gladly and cowardly fall in with the 5th columnist and all mouth rabble.This is a small glimpse and example of why Caymanians are in the position they are in today. Heres to you Mr ARLIN TATUM and all those who supported you.  You are  Men & Women  amongst serfs and someone please inform sister julie Our Freedom is more important than her good idea.. Absolutely disgraceful

    • Anonymous says:

      Please remember that many of the objectors are Civil Servants and whilst they can voice their opinion anonymously in this forum they dare not come out publicly against the politcal powers that be otherwise they will be victimised.

  17. Anonymous says:

     Proud of you Brackers. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am from West Bay and I applaud the actions of Mr. Arlin Tatum and others. It is high time us Caymanians stand up for what is right and not what the Politicians wants.  They think its all about them, but no!  There are more important things, events and people than them.  Our Veterans and elders are very important to us and respect was earned by them.  Thank you Mr. Tatum for honouring the veterans with respect.  Julie you will have to answer to God.

    • Anonymous says:

      More people would have turned up in support of Mr Arlin , but they are afraid that they could loose their little monthly check that they are so much in need of. Thank you Mr Arlin,long time we no see men like you around, hope you groom your son for the next coming election since you are not in the best of health to run yourself.