(CMR) The nomination process is now open for National Heroes Day 2021. The theme is ‘Celebrating our Seafaring Heritage’ and the Nomination period for awards is now open through 31st October 2020. National Heroes Day is one of the Cayman Island’s most notable and patriotic annual events.
Seafaring is an integral part of the Cayman Islands' history, identity, society, economy, and development. For decades, thousands of Caymanians depended on the sea for their livelihood. Through their heroic efforts in boat building, shipbuilding, shipping administration, turtling, and seafaring, these resilient and courageous Caymanians built the foundation of this society.
Our national motto, “He hath founded it upon the seas” serves as a reminder of our rich heritage and unique identity. From building sailing vessels at home to fishing out on the high seas hundreds of miles away, from piloting catboats while turtle ranging to sailing the world on merchant ships of all sizes and classes, local seafaring people became renowned worldwide for their skills with attributes of resilience, perseverance, an aptitude for hard work, independence, and a spirit of entrepreneurship that has made Caymanians who they are today.
The role of women will also be highlighted with a special category to recognize outstanding contributions by women in seafaring.
“Seafarers are navigators, merchants and soldiers. It is their courage that has built the lives we enjoy today. It takes brave men and women to take up such a noble and often dangerous calling. Our heritage is written by seafarers and though we aim to celebrate them next year we ought to be doing it every day,”
said Minister of Culture Hon Dwayne Seymour, JP, MLA.
The nominations process is overseen by the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing in conjunction with the Protocol Office, Celebrate Cayman, Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association.
“It is my privilege to help lead this Nominations committee. Seafaring is synonymous with the culture of the Cayman Islands. While the heroism of every person who participated in one of the many aspects of seafaring should be acknowledged, we are inviting the public to nominate those very special men and women whose contributions went above and beyond,” said Acting Chief Officer, Ms. Nellie Pouchie – Ministry Health, Environment, Culture and Housing.
The public is invited to nominate persons that have made outstanding contributions to our seafaring heritage in the following Categories:
- Early Pioneer
An individual, alive or deceased, who made an exceptional contribution prior to the 1940s in the areas of shipbuilding, boat building, shipping administration, turtling or seafaring. A commemorative insignia and certificate will be awarded.
An individual, alive or deceased, who made an exceptional contribution from the 1940s-1980s in the areas of shipbuilding, boat building, shipping administration, turtling or seafaring. A commemorative insignia and certificate will be awarded.
- Excelled at Sea
An individual alive or deceased, who during their seafaring career advanced in rank to the highest level of their profession, or performed a lifetime (at least 40 years) of service regardless of final rank. A commemorative insignia and certificate will be awarded.
- Women in Seafaring
A woman, alive or deceased, who bravely went to sea or made exceptional contributions to our Islands’ Seafaring Heritage. A commemorative insignia and certificate will be awarded.
- Memorial Scroll
A deceased person who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their life as a result of going to sea or serving as a seafarer.
This individual will be recognized with a certificate.
- Friends of Seafarers
An individual, alive or deceased, or a company that was instrumental in facilitating and supporting Caymanian seafarers or providing assistance to Caymanians while they were at sea. They may have been based in the Cayman Islands or internationally. They will be recognized with a certificate.
Hard copies of Nomination Forms may also be picked up and dropped off in Grand Cayman at the Government Administration Building, as well as at the Seafarers Association Hall where assistance in filling out nomination will be offered upon request.
In Cayman Brac Nomination Forms are available at the District Administration Building.
Completed forms can be submitted to: [email protected]. Only completed nominations received by the deadline will be considered.