Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson was honoured for his modern-day heroism at a Grand Old House luncheon recently.
Partly responsible for putting Cayman back on its feet after Hurricane Ivan; Mr. Manderson was honoured by members of the Cayman Contractors Association for his guts, willpower, strength and quick action during the aftermath of hurricane Ivan.
Gathered in the dining room, CCA President Steve Hawley commended Mr. Manderson by presenting him with a plaque from committee members.
Thanking CSSA members Mr. Manderson said there were challenges being faced but along with his department they were proud of the great working relationship they had developed with the CCA.
He also mentioned two initiatives the department is working on: the phone system at the Immigration Department, which in the past persons have voiced their opinions was not the best; and to ensure that board decisions were given to the public in a timely manner.
Another issue Mr. Manderson said was being addressed was ensuring that not only employers received a copy of work permits but also employees as well so they would know what were the requirements in their work permits.
He said they did not want it to be the normal procedure like one which had recently happened when 800 permits had to be dealt with in one week.
Honouring Mr. Manderson on CCA’s behalf Mr. Hawley said, ‘It was a unanimous agreement on the person to be honoured and, for the first time ever, the honouree was to come from outside of the construction industry.
‘In his role as CIO, Mr. Manderson has met often with this association, not to preach policy to us, but rather to learn of the special needs of the construction industry and to both offer and accept recommendations.
‘He sought to work together as a team toward a common goal. In so doing, he has earned the admiration, respect and trust of us all,’ said Mr. Hawley.
‘We view Mr. Manderson as a comrade in arms, one who acts fairly and continually inspires our membership to do our part, no matter how small, towards improving how our country makes use of essential imported labour in a delicate balance with our Caymanian workforce.’
On a more serious note CSA past president and director Chris Phillips voiced his discontentment at the rollover policy, his personal commitment to the islands and being called a paper Caymanian.