“The event was all the more poignant after the Duke of Edinburgh sadly passed away earlier this year aged 99. He had given so much public service to the UK, OTs and Commonwealth for so long and incredible support to Her Majesty The Queen.”
Governor Maryn Roper
(CMR) The Duke of Edinburgh's (DoE) International Bronze and Silver Awards Ceremony was held Saturday evening at the Schooners Restaurant Cayman Turtle Conservation & Education Centre where 51 young people were recognized for their participation in the prestigious program.
The ceremony was attended by HE The Governor Martyn Roper, Premier Wayne Panton and Bernie Bush – Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage and acknowledged 65 years for the program named after its founder, HRH, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg.
Participants and parents were treated to an evening of video slides, stories and recognition of the hard work of the teen participants. They shared comical stories of surviving the mosquito-filled Mastic Trail expeditions and having to cook group meals whilst beating the Caribbean heat during these excursions.
Parents were particularly proud of their teens which included two pairs of twins.
Forty-one participants received the bronze award and pin with Premier Panton handing out the certificates. Eleven participants received their silver awards from His Excellency The Governor. Remarks were received from the governor, the minister and Youth Services Unit representative Victor Crumbley. Gold Award Holder, Daniel Lee gave the vote of thanks at the end of the evening's events.
The event organizers spoke of the challenges during COVID and the tenacity of Cayman's youth to follow through with their commitment to the program.
In the post-war era, His Royal Highness wanted to bridge the gap between leaving formal education at 15 and entering into National Service at 18, so that young men made the best use of their free time, found interests and acquired self-confidence and a sense of purpose that would support them into their future and help them to become well-rounded citizens.
According to the Duke of Edinburgh's website, Prince Philip was a “champion of the infinite potential of young people and a pioneer in non-formal education and learning.” The award was launched in February 1956 and was said to be an instant success encouraging skills such as confidence, resilience and teamwork. The program was quickly extended to involved both young boys and girls and eventually youngsters age 14 to 24.
The global youth program, created by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has requirements for community service, skills, physical activities and expeditions. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation supports operators in more than 140 countries and territories to deliver DoE and increase opportunities for young people. To date, nearly 8 million young people have challenged themselves by participating in The Award.
This year the Founder's 100 campaign was launched to raise at least £25 million over the next three years to help enable more than two million additional young people to start their Award journey, particularly those from at-risk and marginalized backgrounds.
Katherine D. Jackson Cert Hon., National Chairman of the Cayman Islands Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and the first-ever local gold recipient has been involved in the organizing committee since the 1980s. She acted as master of ceremony for the evening's event which was followed by a buffet.