Business in brief

Walkers funds student art clubs 

Walkers will continue the sponsorship of six Walkers’ Art Clubs, which include a preschool drop-in group, a primary after-school club, a secondary after-school club, an exam prep club for teens, an after-school club in Cayman Brac and an art club for children with learning difficulties.  

“We are delighted to make this donation in our continued support of the Walkers’ Art Clubs in conjunction with the National Gallery,” said Andrew Miller, partner at Walkers. “Sponsoring art and educational opportunities for children represents a major part of our overall community efforts and it has been wonderful to see the kids from schools all over the Island interact with each other in such a creative manner.”  

Walkers has supported the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands for more than a decade through community initiatives such as [email protected] and Chalkfest. More recently it has shifted focus to arts education programs for students.  

The Children and the Arts Programme for primary and secondary students began in 2003 and grew into the Walkers’ Art Club in 2005. In 2012 the program expanded to include after-school classes in Cayman Brac and a teen club for exam-level art students to aid in their preparations for art and design examinations. In 2013 the program added the class for children with learning difficulties.  

The six programs run weekly at the National Gallery’s Susan A. Olde Art Studio and follow the school terms. The Walkers Charitable Foundation, a community-funding arm of Walkers, directly sponsors the programs.  

National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart said, “We believe that art is integral to the academic development of our children, and this program allows children of all ages, from pre-school through high school, the opportunity to participate in a free comprehensive art class led by professional instructors.”  

Financial services professional writes offshore textbook 

Local banker and consultant Paul Byles has written an introductory textbook on the offshore financial services industry with specific focus on the British Virgin Islands, on behalf of the BVI regulator, the Financial Services Commission. It is Mr. Byles’s second book, following “Inside Offshore,” a guide to offshore services and offshore finance issues, in 2006. 

“The project, which started over two years ago, seeks to provide an introductory reference point for students looking to learn more about offshore financial services and in particular the BVI financial services environment,” Mr. Byles said. “It’s a great opportunity to offer a course at the local community college level in the BVI and that was the impetus for the initial discussions I had the with the BVI authorities.” 

Mr. Byles said he had broached the subject both informally and formally with local authorities on a few occasions over the past 10 years before approaching the BVI. He still hopes that a similar initiative can be carried out in the Cayman Islands. 

Mr. Byles previously taught offshore financial services part-time at UCCI and founded the offshore financial services diploma program which ran for two years at the local college. 

Mr. Byles is a director and CEO of First Regents Bank and serves as an independent director of financial services companies.  

Line crews assist in Bermuda  

Five linemen from the Caribbean Utilities Company are in Bermuda providing assistance to the Bermuda Electric Light Company in the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo on Oct. 17.  

The Category 2 hurricane downed trees and power lines and damaged a number of buildings. Hurricane Gonzalo made landfall along the south-central coast of the island with maximum sustained winds reaching 110 mph.  

Last week, Superintendent Transmission & Distribution Operations Gary Whittaker along with linemen Damian Barboram, Chris Welcome, Smarnell Thomas and Rapheal Lin headed to Bermuda to assist with the restoration process as part of the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation contingent.  

CUC has been a full member of CARILEC since 1994 and contributes to its Hurricane Action Plan, which provides for the assembly, dispatch and coordination of emergency teams of linesmen on loan from member utilities to assist in the restoration of transmission and distribution systems after a hurricane strikes.  

CUC has previously assisted CARILEC with hurricane restoration efforts in Anguilla, the Bahamas, Belize and Bermuda.  

Gabriella-Watson

Gabriella Watson, a member of the Walkers’ Art Club, takes part in a painting exercise.

Line-Crew-Bermuda

A CUC line crew headed to Bermuda on Oct. 23 to assist with the restoration of utility infrastructure following Hurricane Gonzalo.