Chief justice, court staff honor departing security officer

Chief justice hopes Emelson Principe will return

Judiciary and Court staff, headed by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, gathered recently for a farewell ceremony in honor of departing court security officer Emelson Principe, who served at the Law Courts Building for four years. Returning to his native Philippines, Mr. Principe is departing in fulfilment of an immigration requirement. Speaking on behalf of the judges and court staff, the chief justice said Mr. Principe was the “embodiment of service.”  

The departing officer was honored for his dedication above and beyond the terms of his job, the Chief Justice said, noting that, as one staff had observed, they had never heard the word “no” from him.  

Court administrator Kevin McCormac said, “Emelson was the epitome of service. Both as a security officer and as an acting court marshal, he was efficient, dedicated and considerate. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and he consistently performed his duties to a standard over and above that which could reasonably have been expected. We will all miss him very much.” 

Coincidentally, on the eve of his departure, just hours before the ceremony, Mr. Principe jumped in to apprehend an offender who had tried to escape as he was being brought to court. 

Mr. Principe was appointed acting court marshal some 18 months ago, acting as and when required.  

As a mark of respect for his dedication, staff from all levels of the court, including judges and magistrates, joined in the widely attended ceremony.  

The chief justice presented an engraved clock and a monetary gift to which many people had contributed. He said how sorry he was about Mr. Principe’s mandatory departure; he hoped that Mr. Principe would return in a year’s time.  

Mr. Principe served as part of the court’s security detail provided by National Security Services Ltd. In December 2013, he also received an award for outstanding service to Judicial Administration. 


Chief Justice Anthony Smellie presents a gift of appreciation to court security officer Emelson Principe.

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  1. I am sure he was a great guy who was dedicated and served well in his job; however we must also accept that in Cayman, our immigration department has its rules and laws, which we must respect. Hopefully one day Mr Principe will come back, and all of this will be a plus to a new employment.

  2. Although I believe that some of Cayman’s Immigration laws are ridiculous and self defeating. I do agree that as Twyla says the immigration department has its rules and laws, which we must respect. He surely knew this was coming, however I give him props for doing his job up to the last minute because a lot of people in his position on his last day of work before getting kicked to the curb and off the island would have just looked the other way kept out of harms way.

    I for one just wish him the best in his future endeavors.

    For his sake I hope he sent a good deal of money home during his time here so that he has something to go back to. All expats need to pay attention to stories like this and realize that unless you are extremely wealthy this is only a temporary gig and it is highly more likely than not that you will eventually have to go HOME. So save for that day and don’t get caught up in the dream of calling Cayman home.

  3. I made my comments on the editorial re changing immigration regulations but on a personal note, I have worked with Mr. Principe and I agree he has shown us the type of worker we are extremely grateful for having as workers here in the Cayman Islands. He was ALWAYS very respectful, friendly and helpful to me and I observed the same genuine attitude to others with whom he interacted.

    My personal respect for him and thanks for his respectful, helpful manner with which he assisted me at the Courts Office does not mean my views on immigration should be changed or relaxed for his benefit or in any way undermines his contributions.

    We have to be able to stand firm when it comes to all our laws and regulations and maybe have more input on employers and foreign co-workers who consistently perpetuate a toxic work environment for so many, and result in constructive dismissal and bullying. Are we ready to publicise the misbehaviours by those employees to show a balanced view?

    So yes, personally I am not surprised that Mr. Principe received an award as an outstanding employee and persons like him could be welcomed back in the future, if there is a need for his services. My desire for fair practices and less changes to our laws for guest workers are based on objective assessment of seeking a sustainable and fair approach to employment opportunities for citizens today and the future.

    All the best Mr. Principe.