Just a few months ago I was
privileged to witness, together with you, the people, the introduction of the
Cayman Islands Constitutional Order 2009.
During the preceding years, I was
similarly blessed to have had the opportunity to lead and participate in, its
But this message is about today and
concerns the here and now.
During both Constitution Day and
Constitution Week 2010, I implore you to remember that regardless of how – or
if – you voted in the constitutional referendum, this constitution is
Whether you are a resident, an
immigrant worker, visitor, a young person or child, it is about you.
The concepts that are enshrined
have become the ‘house rules’ of the Cayman Islands. They have been
exhaustively debated, negotiated, sanctioned and agreed to by the majority.
Any democracy’s Constitution is the
cornerstone of its society, worthy of honour and preservation. It is a living,
continuously evolving document, one that needs to keep pace with the times, for
it sets the stage for civil society.
While there are many types of
government, the concept of God, country and family is the mantra of so many
across the globe. But like justice, a constitution is impartial for it does not
acknowledge any specific voices; instead it applies equally to all.
But any new Constitution inevitably
sets the framework for real and significant changes, some of which are as
highly visible as they are novel. For example, the roles of both the Premier
and the Leader of the Opposition are clearly defined, and we now have direct
input into matters of national security and into the selection of senior
These include the constitutional
commissioners – and I congratulate them for stepping forward during this
historic and innovative era.
Similarly, we all have the
opportunity to examine and activate areas that are of concern to us individually
– as well as those for the collective good.
So, looking forward, I implore you
the people to not give way to our traditionally conservative approach, nor to
only react to major issues. Instead, I
ask you to regard the Constitution like a major muscle that must be worked and
exercised to reach its full potential.
And this is important for while we
have achieved – and endured – much over recent decades, now is the time to heed
the call for unity, to convert the frustrations of today into solutions for
tomorrow, to substitute positive action for dialogue.
For having now decided our
collective course, taking action and implementing the agreed changes will
demand even greater commitment in energy and effort.
Finally, I wish all involved a
memorable Constitution Week and I pray for God’s continued grace, blessings and
guidance of our people, and of our country.