When Hurricane Ivan struck these islands, the immediate disarray could easily have caused widespread pandemonium – certainly not panic.
Caymanians don’t panic – but the total loss of all of the services, the lack of food and water and the huge devastation was a challenge that could have brought even the sturdiest population to their knees.
It’s in times like these that natural leaders emerge; men and women who take the helm and create a steadying influence – tame the conditions and soothe emotions and pressures and make things feel better than they are.
Such a leader is Detective Chief Superintendent Derek Haines. Despite losing his own home and office, he remained on duty before, during and after the Hurricane with little relief.
He, with other officers, ventured out whilst the storm was still raging to assist stricken citizens. He ran the operational and tactical command of the RCIP during that time and re-located policing operations when the Central Police Station was devastated by the storm.
DCS Haines chased and apprehended looters when that despicable element emerged in George Town. He personally led the teams that quelled two separate disturbances at HMP Northward.
Throughout the period of the emergency and thereafter he presented very popular and informative morning briefings on Radio Cayman.
In the community he personally led the cleaning and rehabilitation of the Cayman Rugby Football Union’s pitch and clubhouse and also travelled to Dublin at his own expense to lobby the IRB for emergency rebuilding funds for the Union.
Notwithstanding his 30-plus years of service as a police officer (during which he has served with high distinction) his dedication to duty before, during and after the passage of Hurricane Ivan is worthy of recognition.
Rotary International has a special Centennial Service award for professional excellence. Very few are ever awarded – this year only 10 and those after extreme scrutiny to insure that they are truly deserved.
Rotary Sunrise nominated DCS Haines for the Rotary award and the club was delighted when it was granted.
‘Derek Haines is a remarkable individual. He does a very difficult job with courtesy and respect – a very good man to have around when things get difficult,’ said a Rotary spokesman.
The presentation was made at the Rotary Sunrise breakfast meeting at Grand Old House. Rotary Sunrise is the newest Rotary club in Grand Cayman, with 62 members from Cayman and 14 other countries – mostly young professionals having fun, and helping others.