New governor Martyn Roper and his wife Elisabeth spent their first weekend in the Cayman Islands exploring Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
They touched down in Little Cayman on Friday morning, accompanied by a small group of officials, including Chief Officer for the Ministry of District Administration Stran Bodden, Head of the Governor’s Office Matthew Forbes, and Policy Adviser Simone Eade.
The group toured the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, before heading to the National Trust Visitors Centre, the police station, the Little Cayman Museum and the Education Services Centre.
A public welcome reception, featuring a musical presentation by students of the Little Cayman School, was held at the Little Cayman Command Centre.
They then flew to Cayman Brac, where they attended a welcome reception at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, which featured musical performances from the Layman E. Scott school choir and the school’s steel pan band
During the reception, Mrs. Roper was presented with a bouquet of flowers in a thatched bag.
The governor was joined by Premier Alden McLaughlin and other guests for dinner that evening.
On Saturday, the governor and his party took part in the Cayman Islands Cancer Society’s annual 5K Stride/Walk before addressing a health fair at the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. They then toured the Water Authority plant, Walton’s Mango Manor, Faith Hospital, the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre, Heritage House, Le Soleil Farm, the Sports Field and the new emergency shelter. The group’s last stop was the Bluff, where the governor and premier took time to take a selfie on the cliff’s edge.
“Lissie and I have been bowled over by the generosity of our welcome in both Little Cayman and Cayman Brac,” said Governor Roper in a press statement. “We now appreciate that the Islands have three distinct identities. What unites them is a shared history. We are both eager to learn more about the history and the future needs of these communities when we return later this year.”
The governor went on another tour, a less scenic one, on Monday, when he visited Northward prison with Minister for Home Affairs Tara Rivers to review the facility and discuss operational items with the prison’s interim director, Steven Barrett, and his team.
During the tour, they discussed the formation of the new Independent Monitoring Board, which was trained by experts from the U.K. last week, a government press release noted.
Governor Roper also dropped into a training session to meet members of the board and the trainers. The training was led by Sue Bird and Deborah White, who have more than 20 years’ experience working with the U.K. Independent Monitoring Board.
The board will monitor the conditions and treatment of prison inmates in Cayman.
Next day, Governor Roper attended his first Cabinet meeting, at the Government Administration Building, where he joined Premier McLaughlin, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and other Cabinet members. Later in the afternoon, he continued his individual meetings with government officials and held discussions with Attorney General Sam Bulgin.