A mixture of surprise and welcoming remarks greeted the Cayman Islands’ new governor, Helen Kilpatrick, as she explored George Town in a walking and driving tour this week.
In the company of government officials, Ms Kilpatrick’s visited Scranton, Washington Boulevard, Watler’s Road, Windsor Park, the Catboat Club, Miss Lassie’s house and the Town Hall.
“I felt good about meeting the governor and I am glad to see her,” said 80-year-old Cristaval Viarta, who waited to see Ms Kilpatrick at the park in Washington Boulevard. “This is my first time to ever meet a governor of the Cayman Islands,” she said, shaking the governor’s hand and beaming.
Another resident in the area was less enthusiastic. After being introduced to the governor by Premier Alden McLaughlin, her response was: “I’m glad you’re enjoying Cayman right now, because I am definitely not.”
In Scranton, Ms Kilpatrick visited the homes of some elders in the company of Dale Ramoon, community chair, and George Town Heritage Queen Tyronnie Bodden.
At the home of Natalie Adolphus, the governor’s visit came as a shock to the senior citizen. “You all frightened me – didn’t know who you all were,” she exclaimed, shaking the governor’s hand. “I was just on the phone overseas and wondering why all these people were here.”
At the Catboat Club, Ms Kilpatrick heard about Cayman’s maritime history and seamanship stories from catboat experts Kem Jackson and Jervis Miller.
The governor met a group of dominoes players under the shade of almond trees.
A brief stop was also made at Windsor Park playground, where she met a few locals passing by and said hello.
On a tour of Miss Lassie’s home in South Sound, Ms Kilpatrick was intrigued by the artist’s works, as well as by the life of the late visionary who began painting at age 62. Cayman National Cultural Foundation managing director Marcia Muttoo presented the governor with a lead crystal infused with a scale drawing of Miss Lassie’s house – a gift coinciding with the governor’s birthday.
Following the tour, a reception was held at the Town Hall, where Ms Kilpatrick met more members of the George Town community.