Cayman Islands Red Cross staff, volunteers and supporters commemorated a poignant moment in the history of the Red Cross, as well as Red Cross Day itself in May this year. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino, (which took place in1859) was particularly earmarked for commemoration, the battle acting as the catalyst for the establishment of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.
Hosted at Government House by the Cayman Islands Red Cross Patron, The Governor, Mr Stuart Jack, the gathering allowed the CI Red Cross the opportunity to showcase its services to the residents of all three Cayman Islands, including disaster management, first aid/ CPR and water rescue, HIV and AIDS education and the thrift shop.
Governor Jack commended the organisation’s dedicated volunteers and staff for their invaluable service to Cayman, in particular during and after hurricanes. He also hailed the organisation as a major partner in the Islands’ national disaster preparedness, and urged the community to continue to support this “very worthwhile cause.”
Cayman Islands Red Cross Director Jondo Obi explained that Red Cross units worldwide observe Red Cross Day annually on 8 May, the birthday of Swiss businessman Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910), the founder of Red Cross.
This year, it takes on added importance, since it is close to the 150th anniversary of the 24 June, 1859 Battle of Solferino. After experiencing the horror of that fight, Dunant and the local women of Solferino were spurred to help those wounded in the battle. Returning home in Italy, Dunant wrote a book, In Memory of Solferino, in which his ideas led to the formation of Red Cross/Red Crescent societies worldwide, as well as pressing for the establishment and following rules of war. This led to the formation of the Geneva Convention, which today governs how wars are fought anywhere in the world.