My fellow Caymanians, and all
residents in these Islands…
It is my pleasure to bring you
greetings on this Constitution Day holiday. I am sure you will all make good
use of the holiday… but I urge you, to let’s also remember the significance of
why we have this holiday.
A constitution is the highest law
of any country. It enshrines the rights of a people and sets the parameters of
government. This is why countries seeking to ensure a democratic governance
will show so much respect for their constitution, will hold a constitution in
such high esteem, as to commemorate it with a holiday, as we are doing today.
Constitutional development in any country is generally associated with a
people’s ability to determine their own destiny.
Modern constitutional development
in Cayman began on the 4th of July, 1959, with a Royal Order-in-Council. This
was the direct result of Caymanian Assemblymen petitioning the United Kingdom.
Events of the day made it clear that we could, and should, take formal control
of our own political destiny. That document was revised in 1972.
Just over a year ago, the people of
the Cayman Islands voted in our first Referendum, to adopt a new constitution.
This document will have a major impact on the shape of Government and the nature
of governance in the Cayman Islands for generations to come.
The Caymanian people had the
opportunity to give input, examine and approve this new constitution; several
changes in the structure of government – through a series of ministerial
councils, commissions and district councils – will greatly broaden public participation
in our government.
But it does come with a monetary
cost to the country.
Nevertheless, Caymanians have
believed in democracy, in government of and by the people. It is central to our
political heritage. It is not a perfect document, but it is what you voted for;
it is what we have.
So, take time today to tell your
children why we have a holiday. Pass on our love of democracy to the next
generation. Our freedom that is guaranteed by the constitution and the United
Kingdom should not be taken for granted.
Cherish it… and protect it.
May God bless you and your
And, may God bless these, our
Premier McKeeva Bush