“I found myself conflicted about retaining an award that doesn't promote Caymanian Excellence but rather one that many people believe celebrated imperialism and perpetuated a system of class and privilege.”
(CMR) Embattled Member of Parliament McKeeva Bush said a request to surrender and return his Order of the British Empire award has been approved by King Charles III. Bush was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his work in the community and success in the Cayman Islands Government.
Last year, Bush's OBE award was placed under review after a request was made to the UK’s Honours Forfeiture Committee.
In a Facebook post on Friday, he stated that since he received the award in 1997, “we have seen much changes in our global community and an increased awakening of our national and cultural consciousness. As a strong advocate for the Cayman Islands to have its own Honours System and National Heroes(2 laws which I campaigned for and personally piloted in the House and was successful in putting the 2 systems in place)to celebrate our collective history, heritage, and values as a society and culture, I found myself conflicted about retaining an award that doesn't promote Caymanian Excellence but rather one that many people believe celebrated imperialism and perpetuated a system of class and privilege.”
The former premier, who is facing rape and sexual assault charges, said he wrote to the responsible bodies in the UK in January to surrender and to return the honor. Bush said he received confirmation last week that his request was approved by King Charles III.
He added, “While I was immensely proud at the time to receive my award, granted by the beloved late Queen Elizabeth II, one whom I had good contact with and certainly respected and appreciated, I want to use my remaining years as a representative of the people focused on celebrating our National Heroes and shaping the conversation on what makes a Hero. Some of you may remember my previous Heroes Day message, ‘What Makes a Hero'.”
“As I said earlier, the world is a different place than it was 26 years ago, and many of the challenges we faced today are imported to our shores. There are a lot of politics being pushed and played in our Islands combined with jealousy and hatred. I have never let politics get to a point where I seek to hurt anyone or their family. Sadly I recognize that there are people here in our islands, in the fco and past governors, who set out to hurt people any way they can. I have been and still Is a target for them,” he wrote.
“But thankfully, I know too “whom God Bless No Man Can curse”!!!! Let us use this time to build our own institutions to develop our own people to better position the Cayman Islands to face the challenges ahead,” he continued.