Cayman and the U.K. marked the 60th birthday of the territory’s coat of arms on Monday.
Banners were hung outside several government buildings and a ceremonial display presented in the U.K. to mark the day, May 14, 1958, when her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, commanded that it become the territorial symbol.
“Sixty years is quite a milestone,” said Alfonso Wright, chairman of the Celebrate Cayman committee, which is helping to organize events here and in the U.K. over the next two years as Cayman passes the “diamond anniversaries” of both its coat of arms and its first constitution as a U.K. territory.
The coat of arms symbolizes Cayman’s close historical connections with both the U.K. and Jamaica, as well as its seafaring and religious heritage.
The original document that displayed the coat of arms was lost in a 1970s-era fire that destroyed the former government administration building.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said the Cayman Islands London Office arranged for two facsimiles of the coat of arms to be produced.
“One will be displayed in the London office and the other here in Cayman,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
A number of local leaders, including Mr. McLaughlin, Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush and Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller flew to London for festivities held in honor of the 60-year anniversary to be held on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Mr. Wright said the committee would host additional activities throughout the year and next year to mark the 60th anniversary of Cayman’s first constitution.
“When the year is over, I don’t think there will have been anyone who lives in the Cayman Islands, or who visited the Cayman Islands, who has not heard anything about the coat of arms and what it means to its people,” he said.