Local Pioneers and King James Bible stamps released

| 21/11/2011

xmas stamp 75c.JPG(CNS): The Cayman Islands Postal Service has released two new sets of stamps this month: one makes up this year’s Christmas stamp collection, which also celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, and the other honours the Cayman Islands ‘Pioneers of Our History’, and features Capt Royal Brazley Bodden Sr, Almeria Alberta McLaughlin Tomlinson, Miss Irksie Leila Yates and Major Joseph Rodriguez (Roddy) Watler. The five-set Christmas series features King James I, the monarch who was responsible for organising the most famous English translation of the Bible, which is one of the most published books of all time. A portrait of King James is featured on the 75¢ stamp.

The 25¢ stamp depicts the cover of the KJB and illustrates the apostles Peter and Paul seated above the central text, flanked by Moses and Aaron. In the four corners, sit Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, authors of the four gospels, with their symbolic animals.

The 80¢ stamp features William Tyndale, who in 1526 translated the first version of the New Testament into English. He is considered to be the ‘Father of the English Bible’, but rather than being a hero, he was imprisoned and later tried, defrocked and sentenced to death. The $1 stamp depicts the printing of the King James Bible and the $1.60 stamp is of the translators, a group of 48 scholars.

The ‘Pioneers of Our History’ series was released on Friday, 11 November and later on that day, the families of the four pioneers celebrated the launch at the Governor’s House along with Governor Duncan Taylor and his wife, Marie-Beatrice Taylor, Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence.

pioneer stamps.PNGCapt. Royal Brazley Bodden Sr, MBE (1885–1976) was a skilled architect and shipbuilder. His works included the vessels Lady Slater and the Cimboco. He designed and constructed the Elmslie Memorial Church, as well as the General Post Office, Public Library and Town Clock, andthe town halls in West Bay, Bodden Town and East End, among other landmark buildings.

Mrs Almeria Labertha McLaughlin Tomlinson (1882–1974) was a highly respected midwife on Cayman Brac, who delivered hundreds of babies from Spot Bay to West End and also in Little Cayman, to which she travelled by catboat, sometimes in very rough seas.

Miss Irksie Leila Yates (1899–1996) hailed from Grand Cayman and was drawn to nursing from childhood. After leaving school, she worked with Dr Overton, the island’s only doctor, receiving valuable training in handling both deliveries and infectious diseases, and by 1919 she was known as Nurse Leila. She delivered her first baby in 1923. In 1952 she began delivering babies at the Cayman Hospital.

Major Joseph Rodriguez (Roddy) Watler (1890–1965) served the Islands in the Police Force for over 30 years, principally as Inspector of Police but also as warehouse keeper, lighthouse keeper, bailiff, customs officer and aide-de-camp to the Commissioner of the Cayman Islands and visiting governors. Major Rodriguez was also honoured with a medal of bravery for actions during the 1932 hurricane, when he and another person traveled in a canoe from South Sound through Prospect and Red Bay, rescuing people who had been swept from their homes. He was given the title Major during World War II as head of the Home Guard.

Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said, “From the beginning, we planned that this series would be a living, breathing issue in which the public would be able to participate by nominating pioneers.” Each pioneer is celebrated in a booklet containing a brief biography as well as stamps.

The subcommittee for this stamp issue has already met to begin working on the second ‘Pioneers of Our History’ set of stamps. “What we are asking the public to do when making a nomination is to complete it with the person’s biographies and several pictures of that person,” Glasgow said.

The criteria set by the Stamp Advisory Committee are that the persons nominated should have been deceased for at least 10 years and that they made a significant contribution to the national development of these islands. Persons may be nominated in the following categories: maritime, architecture, science, environment, health care, politics, sports, arts, education and performance.

The ‘Pioneers’ and the Christmas stamps are currently on sale at all post offices. For more information, contact Philatelic Bureau 946-4757.xmas stamps set.JPG

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