Bust of latest hero unveiled at pared-down event

| 25/01/2022 | 36 Comments
Premier Wayne Panton and the family of Leila Ross-Shier, Cayman’s newest National Hero, unveil her bust

(CNS): National Heroes’ families and members of the Cayman Islands Government celebrated National Heroes, uniformed services and nation builders at a National Heroes Day ceremony in Heroes Square Monday, although the celebration was curtailed as a result of the current rampant spread of the COVID-19 virus through the community.

While many people were not able to receive their awards, officials did unveil the newly installed bust of the latest official national hero, Leila Ross-Shier (nee McTaggart), the author of “Beloved Isle Cayman”, the national song, in 1930. Her granddaughter, Lisa Scott, sang the song during the event.

Culture Minister Bernie Bush said the community was proud of Cayman’s National Heroes and the islands’ nation builders and that they owe a great debt of gratitude to the uniformed services, past and present.

“The giving of your time, talents and potentially your lives is remarkable, and we appreciate and acknowledge such a tremendous sacrifice,” the minister told those who serve.

In his keynote address, Premier Wayne Panton said the national heroes selflessly gave their all to the Cayman Islands.

“They were all ordinary people who made extraordinary contributions to our people and our country and it is fitting that we remember them on this 2022 National Heroes Day,” he said. “To all who helped build this wonderful place we are blessed to call home, we say thank you. Through our National Heroes Day we celebrate our proud past and look to a future filled with nothing but hope.”

The premier announced that next year’s National Heroes Day events will honour volunteers and charitable service.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings, the invitation-only ceremony did not include award presentations to those nominated under the theme of ‘Uniformed Services’. But the event included the recognition and awarding of a bravery citation to teenager Trevor Carmola Jr for exceptional courage. The cadet corps member risked his life to save an older Bodden Town man whose house was on fire in April 2021.

People can watch the proceedings on CIGTV’s YouTube channel below:


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Comments (36)

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  1. Timothy Adam says:

    CNS, please check and correct your article in its wording of the title of our National Song, written by National Hero Mrs. Leila Ross Shier (nee McTaggart) in 1930.

    Isn’t the Song correctly titled
    “Beloved Isle Cayman”?

    Furthermore, doesn’t the National Song’s chorus also use the singular rather than the plural form? It speaks of “… verdant island … beauteous isle … fair Cayman Isle …”

    This Song is at heart a very personal anthem, written explicitly in the first person singular about the Caymanian individual’s own beloved “homeland” isle. For any Caymanian, this Song is therefore equally valid to you and your island whether your “homeland fair Cayman isle” happens to be Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, or Grand Cayman.

    This Song is one of our nation’s six National Symbols. Please, let’s get this right. Let’s each be proud of our beloved isle Cayman AND the three of our beloved Cayman Islands together!

    CNS: You’re right. I missed that.

  2. Blahblahblah says:

    We can all be heroes. Really, on this definition we really can be.

  3. Peggy Sue says:

    Next year’s statue in statue square, as it should be known, will be a statue to recognise the statue makers of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oooooooh yeah can u dig it Cayman all whilst the people who built this place from dirt and Mosquitoes are dying off now at and alarming rate leaving our heritage to rot and pilfered by immigrant rabble now incharge . Sad times Cayman Sad Times !

  4. Orrie Merren says:

    Congratulations to the family of Leila Ross-Shier as well as all others (and their families) for all those recognized as national builders and significant contributors to the Cayman Islands, especially also to Trevor Carmola Jr (a teenager) for citation of bravery. I salute our Caymanian Patriots.

    God bless the Cayman Islands and, most importantly, our precious Caymanian people.

    God bless,
    Orrie Merren 🙏🏻🇰🇾

  5. Anonymous says:

    There should be a set standard to perform Cayman’s National Song – it is a beautiful melody. I heard a horribly slow and mournful version on a local radio station yesterday. Shameful!
    My dog started howling!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Define “hero”.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not sure any of the persons represented by a “bust” or statue in the square qualifies for the hero title. Most were just doing their job and some not that well I would argue.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Many public Servant risk there lives during Covid19 pandemic in cayman also not only those in uniform…

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Oh land of back slaps and handouts, of construction everywhere, with our developers glory, heating up everywhere. O sea of Fin construction materials, merging to trash filled beaches, I’m coming coming very soon (after a certified lateral flow test) oh once beauteous isle to thee…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic, the pigeons will love those. How is this even a priority right now? Roll out free community-wide LFT testing Wayne. We are number one in the world for covidiocy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @8:47 pm. Why Sir John Cumber?

    • Anonymous says:

      26 @ 10:33 – Sir John Cumber was an Administrator (read Governor) here in the mid-late 1960s. Under his guidance, vision and initiatives these are some of the following which were implemented:

      Formation of a Civil Service with assigned Departments and associated responsibilities respectively (prior all Government services were centralized) – implemented under the direction of Desmond Watler (National Hero) and Harry McCoy;

      Directed the establishment of Cayman’s financial industry – this was done in conjunction with legal and financial professionals and implemented under the responsibility of Sir Vassel Johnson;

      Formation of the Mosquito Research & Control Unit (without which Cayman may not have grown – mosquitoes were furious) – implemented under Dr. Marco Giglioli;

      Implementation of the Cadastral Survey – this established the present block & parcel land identification process and paved the way for real estate development – can’t recall the Civil Servant primarily responsible but Brian Lauer comes to mind;

      Established measures to prevent wanton harvesting of beach sand (previously used the be the primary component in construction), so as to protect the beach (laws are now in place to prevent this);

      Directed to formation of the Department of Tourism – implemented under the responsibility of Warren Conolly (National Hero) and Eric Bergstrom;

      Directed the formation of the Chamber of Commerce – implemented under the direction of Harry McCoy;

      Arranged for lengthening and resurfacing of ORIA runway 1966-67 – resulted in commercial jet aircraft to Cayman;

      Proposed dual carriageway between WB and GT in the late 60s’. Sir John Cumber’s vision saw this carriageway actually replacing the SMB road, thus providing for a much deeper development buffer on the beach side of SMB – finally achieved in the 2000s as the Esterley Tibbets Highway, after the beach was all built up with little setbacks..

      Formulated the first Development Plan for the Cayman Islands, which foresaw the effects of the financial industry and the real estate booms to follow (as all groundwork had simultaneously been laid) but stipulated paced development to allow for controlled growth. Jim Bodden (real estate developer and political leader threw out that plan in 1976 and introduced the ‘Boom’ and all it’s over-development ills – unpaced growth, imported labour, etc.)

      Funny that Civil Servants and politicians who carried out their duties under Sir John’s vision are now National Heroes and he’s not! Worse still is that the Pirate who destroyed this vision is our first “National Hero” – not mine!!

      Simply put, the positive track Cayman was on in the early 1970s was all owed to Sir John’s vision.

      Sir John Cumber for National Hero!

      • Anonymous says:

        So another guy just doing his job for which he was (well) compensated then.

      • Anonymous says:

        But not a Caymanian. Which is one of the criteria. Better case for Sir Vassal- but of course he isn’t considered because he wasn’t born here. Even though one of the principal architects of the modern financial services industry which pays for 70% of our economy. Far more important to enshrine the lady that wrote the national song.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I thought the national song was the droning of leaf blowers? It is played everyday in most districts. There is one loyal player who thinks that blowing leaves at 5am at the Truman Bodden complex is what everyone wants to hear at that time of the morning, the grandstands act as amplifiers to ensure residents are woken up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Listen mate. How the hell would we keep the imported poverty that are working half a dozen jobs happy so they can send it all back to Jamrock and other 3rd world hell holes?

      Lovely people the lot of them, but exploited they most certainly are.

      Amazing considering it’s against the immigration laws. But, waddya know.

    • Anonymous says:

      I pass this guy most mornings on my run, this guy is hard at work blowing dust. utter madness!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I find Barefoot’s song writing to be much better. Let’s see his bust.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We just need to know the way home.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Should change from calling ‘bust’.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Another “National Hero”? Ho Hum. On our way to a Trumpian “most national heroes anywhere!” boast? Aren’t we there by now? No? Ok, who’s next Ms. Lassie?

    Nominating people, please consider Sir John Cumber, a real hero!

    • Anonymous says:

      Au contraire my friend, you must be mistaking it with the other side, the progressives who give out ribbons and medals to those able to tie their shoelaces in less than ten minutes.

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