Editor’s Note: The biographies of New Year’s honourees follows.
Mr. Darrel Rankine
Mr. Darrel Rankine is being recognized with the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour for decades of consistent, dedicated community involvement. More importantly, he is seen as a friend and mentor by scores of people, from the mentally-challenged people to top athletes, businesspersons and civic leaders.
The desire to share the values and skills he himself has learned, especially with youth, is what spurs Mr. Rankine’s all-encompassing community involvement.
He has been a Cub Scout and a leader of the Boy Scouts, the Christian Endeavour Group and the Progressive Youth Club. He also volunteered as president, advisor and member of the East End Primary School PTA, even when he had no children or siblings there. He has also been a member of the district’s Community and National Trust committees.
The number of youth organizations in which he has been involved demonstrates Mr. Rankine’s commitment. He has been a Junior Achievement Advisor (Cayman Brac); in the Mentoring Cayman Programme; on Cayman Against Substance Abuse’s executive; a founding member of Youth-to-Youth; a Big Brother/Big Sister chairman and executive committee member; the National Council of Voluntary Organisation’s youth and sports representative; and on the ‘Vision 2008’ Education Strategy task force.
Mr. Rankine’s involvement extends throughout the region, especially in Special Olympics.
As a founding member when the organization was started in the Cayman Islands in 1988 he has served on the local Board of Directors for many years in various administrative positions. In 2003 he was voted as a member of the Caribbean Leadership Council for Special Olympics; he was Football Games Director for the Inaugural Special Olympics Caribbean Games in 2004 and on the Caribbean Task Force to implement a Team Caribbean to compete at the International Summer/Winter Special Olympics Games.
In keeping with his nature, he also gives his best efforts in other areas of sports. He sacrificed time and effort to become qualified as a Level One Football Coach, an IAAF Level One Athletics Coach and a FIFA Football Referee. He also holds a diploma in sports management. During his tenure as Cayman Islands Football Association’s Vice President he chaired the local Youth Development Sports Plan for football and the Constitutional Review in 1996.
Mr. Rankine has also put his administrative and athletic skills to use as president, player and coach of the East End United Football Club. Two important annual events for him are organising the week long East End Football Camp, sponsored by the district’s elected representative and officiating at the Inter-Primary School Athletic Meet.
In athletics, Mr. Rankine briefly served as the Vice President of the Cayman Islands (Amateur) Athletic Association; Chaired the Organising Committee for the Caribbean, Central and North America Athletics Youth Championship; and was Meet Director for the 1995 CARIFTA Track and Field Games hosted by Cayman Islands. The CIAA Constitution was also revamped under his chairmanship.
His Government appointments have ranged from serving as a Special Constable and on the Drug Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Action Team, to membership on the Housing Development Corporation, the Labour Tribunal, the National Youth and Sports Policy Task Forces, and the Immigration Board.
His assistance – both in telecommunications and at the district level – were also evident in disaster planning and in the aftermath of hurricane Ivan. He has served on the National Hurricane Committee’s Essential Relief and Damage Assessment committees (Cayman Brac); and on East End’s Hurricane Ivan Relief and Restoration Committee.
In the true spirit of civic mindedness, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan he opened his home to the public to access the free internet services provided by his employer, Cable & Wireless. He has been employed with Cable & Wireless since 1980 and currently holds the position of Regulatory Manager.
In meeting all his community and work obligations, Mr. Rankine has maintained a special place for his family – especially his wife Dana and their two daughters Yelena and Zayda, and his friends.
Speaking of the New Year’s award, he said, ‘I am honoured and humbled by this recognition. The community and people of the Cayman Islands and in particular East End and Cayman Brac have been good to me. I am merely paying back my dues, while on a quest to make our home even more wholesome than I found it.’
He added, ‘This national recognition is not mine alone. I accept it on behalf of my family, friends, the people of the Cayman Islands and my employer – thank you all for your patience, tolerance and support throughout the years.’
Noting that recognition has never been the motive or intent of his involvement, he concluded, ‘I have made but a small contribution thus far and hope to continue for a long time to come.’