Volunteers are Cayman’s ‘social capital’, says premier

| 24/01/2023 | 28 Comments
Cayman Islands
Uniformed contingents line up in Heroes Square for the 2023 Heroes Day celebrations

(CNS): At the 20th National Heroes Day awards ceremony on Monday, Premier Wayne Panton said that the “selflessness, kindness, and love of country” of volunteers and charities had “created a roadmap for success that we can and should follow to preserve the most beautiful parts of our culture and people”. In his address on this year’s theme, which is Volunteerism and Charitable Services, he described these heroes as the Cayman Islands’ “social capital”, critical to its development and sustainability, filling the gaps left by the government and the private sector.

“They are the embodiment of Caymankind: caring, altruistic, helpful, and hospitable. Whether deliberately or on an unconscious level, our nominees have adopted the Caymanian values that our forefathers left behind for us, and we are better for it,” he said.

Over two hundred volunteers and ten charitable organisations were celebrated, and Susan Olde received the philanthropist award for making donations exceeding $1 million to charitable services in the Cayman Islands. Also honoured were 124 Pioneers for making exceptional contributions for over twenty years to voluntary services within these islands, and 70 Early Pioneers, categorised as any individual alive or deceased who founded or made an exceptional contribution to the development of voluntary service in the Cayman Islands prior to 1980.

The ten charitable organisations awarded for exceptional contributions to the development, enhancement, safety and well-being of the community in the Cayman Islands for more than twenty years were: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Branch of the Guide Association – Girl Guides Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels, Cayman Islands Red Cross, Rotary Central Cayman Islands, Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Special Olympics Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Cancer Society, Girls’ Brigade in the Cayman Islands Ltd and the Lions Club of Grand Cayman.

Panton said the country was immensely grateful for them and government would always support those who are actively and tirelessly working to improve the lives of others.

“If we trace the success of our island nation over the decades, we can see that much of it is tied to the kindness of our people. This warmth and hospitality draws thousands of tourists to our shores each year, many of them being repeat visitors who call Cayman their second home. This generosity of spirit is what compels Cayman residents to respond when our regional neighbours and countries abroad are in crisis and need support,” he said.

“However, even more important is the charity shown at home, right here in our three islands, through the work of our charities, non-profit organisations and volunteers, such as our nominees today.”

Panton said this “social capital”, defined by the World Bank as “the institutions, relationships and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions”, had been proven to be “critical for societies to prosper economically and for development to be sustainable”. He noted that neither the government nor the private sector is always able to meet all of society’s needs.

“Volunteers and charitable services can reach the community much more intimately as they labour in the trenches every day,” he said, adding that they are well positioned to identify the pressing issues in society and share that knowledge to help the government allocate funding and support where it is needed most.

“Our country was built by many good men and women who gave freely of their time, talents, expertise and possessions in service to God and country, laying a foundation upon which these good nominees today continue to build,” the premier told the audience. “No country can thrive without volunteers and charitable organisations. I also know that they need to receive the recognition and gratitude they deserve.”

All of those receiving awards were nominated by a member of the public but the recipients represented the tip of the iceberg of the extensive volunteer and charitable community in the Cayman Islands.

Thanking Culture Minister Bernie Bush, the nomination committee and others involved in the ceremony, the premier said the event was not only important for the nominees, but for everyone in Cayman, as he encouraged people to find opportunities to express gratitude to the volunteers they encounter each day and to get involved in volunteering.

Minister Bush said the government recognised the commitment that volunteers and not-for-profit organisations have shown in our community. “These individuals give of their time, energy and talents for free, all for the betterment of these three Islands home,” he added.

See the full event on CIGTV below:


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Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If our people fail to put deserving names forward as is requested then no good of complaining. You get what you sow.

  2. Anonimous says:

    We seem to have great softball, football, basketball, vollyball and cricket youth programs organized for our youth to be involved in constructive and productive activities, but we do not have senior citizen programs

    We do not have constructive and productive Art’s and Craft Programs for our kids or seniors who are not involved in sports to partiscipate in and maybe earn some kind of income

    An Intetnational School Program geared at helping stimulate the minds of students to become entreprenuers so that they can think about operating there own business when they leave school, has created after school and week-ends Lemonade Stands gaining enthusiasm and interest

    https://lemonadeday.org/

    Perhaps, or just maybe, vacant derilict buildings like the A. L Thompson Building located in Industrial Park could be utilized by students, retired senior citizens or unemployed seniors, for the government to form a public private partnership to make clocks in the shape of the Island, Dolphins, Sting Rays or wooden cups and beer mugs to be sold at the Waterfront Project

    https://caymannewsservice.com/2023/01/designers-wanted-for-tourism-waterfront-project/

    This would not only create jobs, but it could also bring in much needed foriegn income to the island

    https://youtu.be/hy8OPCmW1hY

    https://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/clock+kit.html

    https://youtu.be/Bbup29DTgzg

    The A. L Thompson derilict building could also be used and managed or operated by the Schools Parent Teachers Association to make Uniforms for School Kids, the Police, the Fire Department, Public Works Department, Customs & Border Control and the Health Services

    Income earned from the sale of these items could fund daily Senior Citizen Programs for Social and Leasure Activities which would allow our senior citizens to stay connected and be a part of there community

    https://elegantcarevilla.org/careblog/the-importance-of-leisure-and-recreational-activities-for-seniors

    Through leisure activities, seniors can build relationships with other seniors or caregivers and help them improve their social life which increases happiness and a piece of mind.

  3. Anonimous says:

    We seem to have great softball, football, basketball, vollyball and cricket youth programs organized for our youth to be involved in constructive and productive activities

    But we do not have constructive and productive Art’s and Craft Programs for our kids who are not involved in sports to partiscipate in

    An Intetnational School Program geared at helping stimulate the minds of students to become entreprenuers so that they can think about operating there own business when they leave school, has created after school and week-ends Lemonade Stands gaining enthusiasm and interest

    https://lemonadeday.org/

    Perhaps, or just maybe, vacant derilict buildings like the A. L Thompson Building located in Industrial Park could be utilized by students, retired senior citizens or unemployed seniors, for the government to form a public private partnership to make clocks in the shape of the Island, Dolphins, Sting Rays or wooden cups and beer mugs to be sold at the Waterfront Project

    https://caymannewsservice.com/2023/01/designers-wanted-for-tourism-waterfront-project/

    This would not only create jobs, but it could also bring in much needed foriegn income to the island

    https://youtu.be/hy8OPCmW1hY

    https://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/clock+kit.html

    https://youtu.be/Bbup29DTgzg

    The A. L Thompson derilict building could also be used and managed or operated by the Schools Parent Teachers Association to make Uniforms for School Kids, the Police, the Fire Department, Public Works Department, Customs & Border Control and the Health Services

    Income earned from the sale of these items could fund daily Senior Citizen Programs for Social and Leasure Activities which would allow our senior citizens to stay connected and be a part of there community

    https://elegantcarevilla.org/careblog/the-importance-of-leisure-and-recreational-activities-for-seniors

    Through leisure activities, seniors can build relationships with other seniors or caregivers and help them improve their social life which increases happiness and a piece of mind.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Still laughing 😂 at these dubious awards even bigger laugh 😆 at some of the recipients who makes this event a real Farce and huge joke sad 😔 part it takes away enormous credibility and honor from those who are most deserving of these awards

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  5. Anonymous says:

    While this Hero’s Day was an overkill, congratulations to those who really deserves their recognition. The “kiss” seen around the world on Bernie’s bald head by Ossie stole the show!

    11
  6. Anonymous says:

    Expats do the majority of volunteer work here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To get points for PR you mean! Then once they get PR stop volunteering.

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      • Pitiful plonkers... says:

        Whinging Caymanian: “We demand you do X, Y and Z to get PR”

        Expat: “Yessir!” Does X, Y and Z, as ordered.

        Whinging Caymanian: “You only did X, Y and Z to get PR!”

        You demand that people do something, and then you complain when they do as you demand.

        Are you really as stupid as you sound? Did you mother drop you onto your head [multiple times] as a child? What else explains the level of retardation and intellectual impotence implicit in your comment – and that of your ilk making similar comments in the past?

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    • Anonymous says:

      some that received rewards did NOT do anything to qualify them for it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      25@9:24 am – True. Like everything else, it never used to be that way. I was raised by parents who were, respectively, founding members of Rotary (only one club then), Inner Wheel and Pink Ladies, as well as their local community volunteerism.

      Me, not so much but I donate to many of the voluntary organizations. Perhaps there are many locals like me?

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    • Cayman Truth says:

      Correct the truth maybe offense but it no sin

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it’s such a dump and it’s embarrassing to live here

  7. London Blooming Again says:

    What happened to the so called Cayman royalty.who are always handing out political turkeys and hams and giving back to society for their own corrupt self serving interest and to enhance their financial and political influence and standing in Cayman today. So sad Aye !

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  8. Anonymous says:

    caymanians ..world’s greatest self-back-slappers….

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  9. Mumbichi says:

    On the Sister Islands, the folk that do the go works do so quietly, without fanfare or recognition. That’s the way things have been for decades — we only find out what people did after they pass on and people gather to talk about them.

    We have a few angels among us now; may God bless them and keep them safe … … and anonymous.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Disappointed to see no mention of Tara/Cayman ARK here. She would defo get my vote.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Then you should have nominated her. It isn’t for politicians to hand pick the recipients but for members of the community to put forward those wonderful people like Tara who epitomize the category being celebrated.

      • Anonymous says:

        If our people fail to put deserving names forward as is requested then no good of complaining. You get what you sow.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Would be nice to find a way to recognise the unsung heroes helping others in and around their communities each and every day without a second thought.

    15
  12. Anonymous says:

    Yet Mrs Olive Miller didn’t receive her due. She volunteered, established schools and charities for 74 years in Cayman and before that Jamaica’s Knox College. Yet was deemed not good enough for National Hero. What exactly is the criteria? Also the NCVO, Jasmine/Hospice, Rotary 7-mile and C.I. Olympic committee to name a few are some charites that were also not recognized. Doesn’t the non-profit Registrar have a record of these?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Olive Miller was also a prominent part of the Pink Ladies volunteer corps, who have for the past 50 years worked selflessly to raise funds for the Pines and many other good causes.
      A Shame they were not even mentioned.

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      1
    • Anonymous says:

      I dunno where you was Bobo, but I sat and watched her daughter and granddaughter accept the award on behalf yesterday morning

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      • Anonymous says:

        I think the reference was that the work of the Pink ladies was omitted.
        Agree Olive Miller was quite rightly recognized.

    • Anonymous says:

      24@5:40pm. Mrs. Olive Miller was indeed on this year’s list of awardees. Her daughter and granddaughter were at the ceremony.

      She has also received more than one Royal award for her services, including the Girl Guildry/Guides.

      Like you, I have long felt that she is deserving of National Hero status, more so than some so designated.

      18
    • Anonymous says:

      Many good people do their good works without glorifying themselves. This is not said in contrast to Miss Olive, who well deserves recognition.

      Still, of what value is recognition? The recipients of good works know, and that is enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      The criteria is “exceptional and outstanding service” to Cayman and the people of Cayman. A decision to create a new one is made by Cabinet.

      Rightly or wrongly, typically, a lifetime of humble service work of the kind Mrs. Miller and others do/have done is honoured at a lower level than a lifetime of battles in the public arena, fought and won to advance the entire nation. Most of our National Heroes had great vision, broke barriers, achieved firsts, etc. Anyone can give away their time and make a difference, but it matters what you’re doing and how great an impact you have.

      I am not sure, however good her works, that she belongs with the visionary political leaders and groundbreakers. But maybe I am wrong. What exactly did she do?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Greedy pigs take $50,000,000 a month in wages

    16
  14. Anonymous says:

    More paper plate awards. Back slapping capital of the world.

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