National Trust elects new council

9 members chosen from 11 nominees

A new Trust Council was voted in at
the recent annual general meeting of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.

The meeting, which took place on
Wednesday, 22 September, had a very good turnout, with in excess of 80 members
attending, including members from Cayman Brac.

With the vice president and
treasurer still serving part of their multi-year terms and the positions of
president and secretary being uncontested, members were left to pick nine
council members from 11 nominees.

The new council is composed of
Carla Reid as president, Tessa Bodden as vice president, Gary Redfern as
treasurer, Lois Blumenthal as secretary and council members Simon Barwick,
Tommie Bodden, Andrea Bothwell, Patricia Bradley, Darvin Ebanks, Clarence
‘King’ Flowers, Jennifer Hunter, Peter Milburn, and Janet Walker. Other members
are the chairs of the respective district committees, Estelle Stilling (Cayman
Brac), Debbi Truchan (Little Cayman), Suzan Merren (George Town), Alice Mae Coe
(West Bay) and Debra Naused (Bodden Town).

Turnout ‘encouraging’

According to Frank Balderamos, the
general manager of the National Trust, the turnout at the meeting was very
encouraging to everyone involved with the trust.

“The turnout was fantastic and
everyone came with an enthusiastic attitude. Our new council members will have
a lot of on their plates, but they all have proven track records as hard
workers and great community leaders. Both Council and staff are energised after
experiencing the remarkable support from members,” he said.

The newly elected president, Ms
Reid, expressed her delight at being back at the Trust and said that she looked
forward to working with the council.

“I would like to thank our
returning members of council for continuing to serve and welcome two new
members, Mr. Tommy Bodden and Mrs. Patricia Bradley, both of whom bring a
wealth of knowledge and experience in their fields.”

She went on to thank the departing
members of the council for their work over the last couple of years. Ms Gina
Ebanks-Petrie, director of the Department of Environment and a key member of
council, stepped down this year due to time constraints.

“Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie is a founding
member of the National Trust and has served on council since its inception.
This is a great loss, and although she will continue to be involved to a lesser
extent, her guidance and expertise will be missed,” said Ms Reid.

She also thanked outgoing council
members Alex Wood and Simon Garnett for their time and commitment to the

Challenging term

Ms Reid said that although she was
looking forward to her work with the council, she was aware that it would be a
challenging term.

“Unfortunately, this organisation
has not escaped the economic downturn unscathed, and we must now do more with
less. Our work at the Trust grows more urgent every day as historic buildings
are fast disappearing and development continues unchecked,” she said.

However, she expressed her
confidence that the mission of the National Trust, “To preserve natural
environments and places of historic significance for present and future generations
of the Cayman Islands” will continue to garner support from the public and the
members of the Trust.