Premier reveals first recipients of ‘people’s awards’

| 17/01/2011

(CNS): Following his announcement last year and the passage of the law, the premier has named the first people who will receive the country’s newest awards. The Order of the Cayman Islands, referred to as the “people’s awards” by the country’s leader when he introduce them, has three categories: the Medal of Honour, which may be awarded at the Commander, Officer, or Member levels; the Medal of Merit category is sub-divided into gold and silver; and the Long Service Award. In the first honour roll call McKeeva Bush has awarded the medals to twenty-four people from all walks of the community, including attorney Steve McField (left), Dr Steve Tomlinson and story teller Twyla Vargas. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

The first Medal of Honour (Commander) ever to be awarded have gone to Allan Steve McField, Carley Elton Ebanks, Thomas Evert Ebanks, Harris Draper Ebanks, William Harvey Ebanks, Ashton Smith Tatum, Charles Winton Sr, Layman Emmiel Scott Sr and Dr Stephen Anthony Tomlinson.

Medal of Honour (Officer) goes to Monica E. Bryan, Ivan Laurie Farrington and Byron Derrick Ebanks.

Medal of Honour (Member) goes to Twyla Mae Vargas, Elva Evans and Alma J. McKenzie.

Medal of Merit (Gold) goes to Elbert McLean, Ernie Edison “Gillie” Seymour, Roy “Huta” Ebanks, Merta Day and Andy Cecil Myles.

Medal of Merit (Silver) goes to Jean Astria Solomon and Frank Albert Ebanks.

The Long Service Award has gone to Darlene N. Owens-Elliott and Emily Wilson.

The recipients will receive their awards at the country’s National Heroes Day celebrations on Monday 24 January. That day will also see the five new Cayman Islands National Heroes, who were announced last year, formally recognised during the ceremony.

The new National Heroes, all of whom are deceased, are being lauded for significant contributions to nation-building and community service in a number of areas, including aviation, nursing, politics and culture. They include T. William Farrington, Desmond Watler, Ormond Panton, Joyce Hylton and Evelyn Wood.

The five join the two previously named Cayman Islands National Heroes: the late James (Jim) Manoah Bodden, whose statue now graces Heroes Square, and Sybil Ione McLaughlin.

Five of the eight people who were named in this New Year’s Honours list in the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour category will also receive their award. .

According to officials, this year’s Heroes Day theme revolves around the development of aviation in the CaymanIslands and the contributions of 50 pioneers in this field will be highlighted.

The public is invited to attend Monday’s Heroes Day event and should be seated by 9:30am. Post-ceremony festivities will include live entertainment, local foods and an opportunity to reminisce on the significance of earlier stalwarts who so selflessly served this country.

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  1. A. Colin Panton says:

    A number of the recipients of the Order of the Cayman Islands are men who served in the TRNVR (Trinidad Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) in WW11, with such distinction and who are yet alive.

    Would someone kindly supply the names of all of them, and the category of their award? Would someone also kindly enlighten me, and perhaps others, as to whether and if so how the award should be shown after the recipients name, e.g. Medal of Honour (Commander)

  2. Albert Jackson says:

    Jealousy is a powerful thing. Throw in a little ignorance we have an explosive mix. Can’t you see Mac is trying to bring the country together by any means? Hate begets hate. I wish the narrowly focused would leave it alone. You make me ill. The world can see what education has done for fools in this Colonial setting. God help us. 

  3. Anon says:

    Mr. Frank Mac did not graduate from any school!

    Anytime Mac gets a little unpopular he names buildings after people, or streets after some loved departed son or daughter of the soil. Mack knows how to crush the spirits of these poor bastards! Give something and make a big deal over it so that they feel important. When you object to his cronynism, you just play right into his hands by offending the friends and family of the recipients! 

    Who among uswill say Stevie do not deserve his award? Or Mita, Andy and Reds do not deserve their award, for doing what they love best? Or that the Devil should not be awarded for his innovative spirit and commitment to people and his community? If anyone objects then you run the risk of running a foul of your friends and you then get into the Dog House, no matter where you turn.

    I say Mac, crush them! Crush the Mac!

  4. Lexi C. O'Griffer says:

    Since when has the word "hero" been warped into "a generally solid bloke"?

  5. Anonymous says:

    A better term would be ‘the UDP awards.’  

  6. This Island has some of the most negative minded people in the world,not sure if they foreigners or caymanian,but the postings I see here are so down pressing,It’s make me wonder how this country survives with so much anti/negative/politics/back biting/dont want to see a next man with anything mentality. my god we need help,we are becoming a vexing society,nothing positive to say.

  7. Rabble Rouser says:

    I’m not saying that there is no merit in local awards, but my taste is more alingned with the Queens Certificate and Badge of Honour (call it Cayman Badge of Honour if you prefer) rather than Idi Amin style awards where the recipients have to wonder where they fell short in being named just a Member rather than an Officer or Commander.

    In my mind these awards will be cheapened by the fact that Heroe’s Square will be decked out in UDP green, without a sliver of red in sight, and also because McKeeva steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the massive debt of gratitude we owe to Dr. Roy McTaggart simply because he is pissed-off by the antics of the grandsons.

    When McKeeva’s statue is erected in Heroe’s Square, as undoubtedly it will since the passage of time erases the memory of politician’s pecadillos (and big pecados as well), I am sure that one day my offspring will gaze upon his head of stone and remark on the amazing similarity between that and the one that debated in the LA for 25+ years.

  8. MER says:

    I am surpised McKeeva didn’t award himself the "Country’s Best Leadership" Badge… oh yeah! He did! That’s why he takes these extravagant trips on private jets.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you people are posting these negative blogs for opposition sake like PPM, all I have to say, that’s really terrible!  It shows the party UDP/PPM politics have truly divided the country and blinded the eyes of many in being ungrateful. All like Dr. Steve Tomlinson should be awarded for the lives he saved and giving Caymanians another option other than Government Hospital.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed these are hardworking Caymanians being recognized for their contributions to our society. Reducing this event to party politics is showing the level that some of us have lowered ourselves to.

      It certainly appears to me by the list that not all of these are UDP supporters and that is a good thing. It shows that we can still respect our fellow countryman without having to class him as PPM/UDP.

      Let’s put aside the petty politics for one day and say "thank you" to these folks. It is their day to shine and feel proud for what the have accomplished. Let’s not take that away by allowing politics to be the order of the day.

      Congrats to all recipients!


      A Caymanian

      • Anonymous says:

         That’s an ignorant thing to say…many of the people mentioned here have gone above and beyond anything you could pay a man or a woman to do in an attempt to lay a solid foundation in this country.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Awesome, people being awarded for going to work and doing the jobs they get paid to do. I love the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      At the same time we have expats saying they have contributed to this country so much that they should be given status. I thought they were getting paid for those jobs.


      So which way do we want this?

      This country has a right to name individuals as heros if they want to.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is going here you left out Mr Rudolf Elmer’s Award for his contribution to banking in the Cayman Islands he is due the Wing Commander of Merit of the foreign nationals who are here for us with oak leaf clusters and a Vice Commodore medal of the Banking Secrecy award for his contribution to Cayman’s international image.

  12. Anonymous says:

    what a bunch of nonsesne…really smacks of small minded, self-serving back slapping….

    • My2Cents says:

      I can’t say I know much of these new "heros" or those given various honours, but what is striking is that the honours seem to ignore those people we DO know in the community who work so hard and tirelessly for the betterment of the Cayman Islands. Only very recently, Mrs. Nancy Esterbrook and her hard work with an eight year project to sink the Kittiwake did more positive things for the Cayman Islands than anyone else I know of. Yet no mention of her. There are plenty of others who work hard, tirelessly, selflessly, and without reward, who seem to have been completely ignored. I wonder why?

      • Anonymous says:

        You wonder why? Really? OK, let me help you out. Nancy does NOT have the right to vote. Should she receive the right to vote at some stage in the future, then an assesment of how she is likely to vote would be taken, and based on that she would be rewarded in some way or completely ignored.

        Check Rabble Rouser’s comments for further elucidation.

  13. Hallowe'en Jack says:

    Is it April 1st already?

  14. Anonymous says:

    wow Steve McField….that  says at all.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The fact that these awards actually exist is literally revolting to me.  Anyone who accepts one – I don’t care who you are – needs their head examined.

  16. pmilburn says:

    Regardless of what others may think or say ALL of the mentioned people on this new list are very worthy of reward in this manner.Congrats to you all.Well deserved.

  17. Anonymous says:

    All very good choices in my opinion. The only thing I would like to see in the future is that "National Heroes" should be honoured while they are living instead of recognizing them after they have passed/deceased. (eg. A Living National Hero namely Mrs. Sybil McLaughlin) 


    • Anonymous says:

      There is a very good reason for recognition such as "National Hero" to not be awarded until after a person has deceased.  Hon. Sybil McLaughlin is an exception and it is a good thing that she is such an exceptional person.  To be a National Hero whilst still alive and capable of coming into dishonour is a great risk that’s not often taken.

      • Pit Bull says:

        Don’t you have to be a Nation in the first place?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes. We are. Our Constitution recognises that we are when it uses terms like “National Security Council” and “national importance”. I think you are confusing “nation” with “state” or “independent country”. The Oxford Dictionary defines “nation” as “a large body of people united by common descent, culture or language, inhabiting a particular state OR TERRITORY”.

          Perhaps naively, I am hoping you will now give your favourite hobby horse a rest.