Court staff bids colleagues farewell

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie praises their years of service 

Three members of the Law Courts staff said good-bye this month after a combined 25 years at the courts and nearly 75 years with the Cayman Islands Government. 

Former police officer Eric Greenidge, former prison officer Lambert (Wellington) Dilbert and former Hansard officer Kerri Francella were saluted by their colleagues at a farewell function, with Chief Justice Anthony Smellie thanking them for their service. 

“We will miss all three of our retirees, but we share their sense of hope and prospects for the future,” Chief Justice Smellie said. “Warmest congratulations on jobs well done, and, in the case of Mr. Dilbert and Mr. Greenidge, on your hard-earned retirements.” 

Ms Francella has returned to her native Canada, where she will pursue studies at the master’s degree level with a view to becoming a social welfare officer in that country. Her seven years’ service to the Cayman Islands Government included two years at the Legislative Assembly, where she transcribed the official records of proceedings, known as Hansards, before serving the Judicial Branch as a court reporter.  

“Like the other members of the court reporting team, she is a true professional and very accomplished at what she does,” the chief justice said. “Real time court reporting is a very demanding job and a skill that takes many years of honing to acquire.” 

“I have loved it here in Cayman,” Ms Francella said. However, she explained, her original career goal had been social welfare. “I am still young and want to learn,” she said, adding, “It’s a hard decision – I have been treated very well at Judicial and being a part of the judicial process has been very rewarding.” 

Mr. Dilbert retires as chief marshal, having served the courts for nearly 15 years. Prior to that, he served 10 years as a prison officer at Northward Prison. 

“It was a mark of the trust and respect that Wellington has earned that he was appointed chief marshal three years ago, despite other candidates vying for that position,” the chief justice said. “He appreciates the important duties that the marshals have in assisting with the orderly and efficient administration of the courts and took his responsibilities very seriously.” 

Mr. Dilbert said that he has had no regrets. “My service at the courts has allowed me an opportunity to grow in my role of dealing with the public and life in general.” 

Prior to coming to Cayman, Mr. Dilbert worked as an artist, producing sculptures. “I did that for 12 years before coming here, so the art field holds some possibilities for me,” he said. The proud author of a collection of some 70 poems, he hopes to continue his hobby of writing poetry. 

Mr. Greenidge, who was off island at the time of the farewell gathering, also retired from service as a court marshal. He came to the courts from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, where he rose to the position of inspector. He received the Colonial Police Long Service Medal in 1988. He joined the courts in 2003 following his retirement from the RCIPS, where he was, the chief justice said, a stalwart member of the police cricket team. 

In his second career, his performance was equally impressive. “During his years at the courts, Mr. Greenidge also earned the trust and respect of all of us, judges and court staff alike,” Chief Justice Smellie said. “The dignified way in which he carries himself and the disciplined and courteous manner in which he goes about his duties can serve as a good example to all who follow him in the position as marshal.  

“We thank him for his more than 40 years’ service to the people of these islands.” 

In fact, that service continues, with Mr. Greenidge already busy as a security officer at Owen Roberts International Airport. 

Chief Justice Recognises Contribution of Court Staff

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, second left, joins in recognizing the contribution of departing court staff. Flanking the chief justice are, left, departing officers Lambert Dilbert and Kerri Francella. On far right is Court Administrator Kevin McCormac.

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