As part of the opening ceremonies of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years as monarch, the government recognised the contributions of some of the people who helped develop the Cayman Islands during her reign.
Speaking at a ceremony at Pedro St. James on Saturday, 26 May, Premier McKeeva Bush said the Cayman Islands was happy to give honour to the Queen during the Diamond Jubilee celebration.
“Tonight, however, is just as much for looking inward to recognise where honour is due.”
He noted that the Queen’s reign had basically coincided with the era of rapid development in the Cayman Islands.
“We have come a long way,” Mr. Bush said. “To think that our eldest had few radios to go around, and now probably the only person who doesn’t walk with or work with a cell phone or some other personal computerised device, is a person who doesn’t really want one.”
Mr. Bush said the Caymanian people were the territory’s brand, long before there were ad campaigns.
“This represented Caymanian’s way of being,” he said. “Whether you were a carpenter or contractor; whether you were a nurse or cleaned the hospital floor; whether you were an elder of a church or ordinary member of the congregation; you did not separate yourself from the expectation of doing your best.”
Premier Bush also noted that people came to the Islands from other places who made important contributions to the territory, joining Caymanians in moving the islands forward.
“This is why we must celebrate them; this is why, while some of them still walk amongst us, we must shower them praise, and thank the good Lord for his guidance and watchfulness over their lives and ours.”
Saying that the Cayman Islands faced an number of challenges at the present time, including some difficulties with the United Kingdom, Mr. Bush called on the residents of the territory to unite.
“As we celebrate the great nation-building contributions of our good and strong Caymanian people, we do so keen to look towards, to work for an even better future,” he said. “We can look back, but this is no time to turn back. Let us pledge to work together, for the common good.”
In all 89 people received Order of Cayman awards including medals of honour under the classifications of commander, member and officer, and medals of merit under the classifications of gold, silver and long service.
For a full list of the recipients, turn to page 13.