Biography looks at national hero's life

Cayman Islands hero, Hon. Sybil McLaughlin, will be celebrated on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at a special free book signing event for her biography ‘From Island Girl to National Hero,’ hosted by Books & Books in Camana Bay.  

Among numerous other notable attributes, Ms. Sybil was the first female clerk of the Legislative Assembly in the Commonwealth and the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. She was recognized as a National Hero in 1996 due to her community and parliamentary endeavors and continues to be an active member of the community and an inspiration to younger generations. 

It was Ms. Sybil’s son Gordon and daughter-in-law Heather V. McLaughlin who decided that her life story should be recorded in order to honor her; to inspire young Caymanians; and to show that despite humble starts in life, it is possible to make your mark. The considerable task of recording such a full and varied life was bestowed on local author Heather R. McLaughlin, who was honored to write her story. 

“One of the many things I admire about her is that she was able to make a success of her family life as well as being successful in her career, at a time when few women had a career, in addition to being active in her church and in community service, whilst finding time to play tennis, go fishing, etc.,” said Heather R. McLaughlin. 

The author gathered information for the biography through many conversations and interviews with Ms. Sybil and her friends and family. 

“She was a delight to work with, and I’ve tried to tell her story in such a way that readers will get to know the ‘real’ Ms. Sybil,” explained Heather R. McLaughlin. “She has had many challenges in her life and difficulties to overcome, but she met them all with courage and grace and kept her sense of humor, and how she did this made a fascinating story.” 

‘An Evening with Hon. Sybil McLaughlin, MBE, JP’ begins at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Books & Books in Camana Bay. Local dignitaries are expected to attend and everyone is welcome. The event will include a book presentation by Ms. Sybil, a Q&A session, and book signing opportunities. 

The biography covers Hon. Sybil McLaughlin’s varied life.


McLaughlin was the first speaker of the Legislative Assembly.


McLaughlin was the first speaker of the Legislative Assembly.