Gov visits people’s house

Cayman Islands Governor Duncan
Taylor spent Wednesday morning watching proceedings in the Legislative Assembly
from the upstairs viewing gallery with the rest of the general public.  

Although UK-appointed governors
typically meet with local legislators at the LA building in downtown George Town before and
after scheduled legislative sittings, they rarely – if ever – sit in the
audience to watch.

Since the 1991 appointment of
Cayman Islands national hero Sybil McLaughlin as Speaker of the House,
governors have been required to perform a ceremonial “knock” on the door of the
Legislative Assembly before receiving permission to enter and give their annual
Throne Speech prior to government’s budget address.

Before Mrs. McLaughlin was
nominated as the first speaker, governors acted in the speaker’s role and sat
at the head of the assembly.

Current House Speaker Mary Lawrence
said she invited Mr. Taylor to come observe the proceedings on Wednesday as her
guest.

Mr. Taylor appeared quite
interested in the goings-on, constantly leaning over the second floor balcony
to look around at the audience and lawmakers down below.

After the meeting broke for lunch,
the governor was mobbed by students from Savannah Primary – many of whom wanted
his autograph. He signed every request.

”I was very interested to see how
the Legislative Assembly operates,” he said. “My first morning that I’ve been
here I would has been a little bit on the procedural side, we haven’t had much
in way of serious procedural debate – but that’s the nature of the business.”

The governor said he intended to
make several more appearances in the assembly as a spectator. As a rule, any
member of the public is able to watch LA meetings that are held in open
chambers, but typically few people – other than reporters and government staff
– attend.

“I’m certainly looking forward to
coming back to the Legislative Assembly, just to see how the house deals with
its business,” he said.  

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Governor Duncan Taylor poses for photographs with Savannah Primary School students and later signs a bevy of autographs.
Photo: Brent Fuller