Cayman licence plates a hit with collectors

Display wins second prize at international convention in US

Licence plate collector John Ferguson stands with his collection of Cayman Islands plates, which won second place at an international convention last month. - Photo: Katie O’Neill

Grand Cayman resident John Ferguson has returned to the island with a second place award for his display of Cayman Islands vehicle licence plates at the annual Automobile License Plate Collectors Association international convention.

Ferguson’s was among international displays of licence plates at the 65th annual convention in Knoxville, Tennessee, on 26-29 June.

The convention was attended by some 450 members, family and guests, who shared a 60,000-square-foot venue to buy, trade and sell licence plates, including everything from common current issue plates to exotics such as the original plate from Pope Pius XII’s vehicle.

As an avid collector himself, Ferguson’s goal was not only to see what rare plates he might add to his own collection but also to share Cayman’s new system with collectors from all over the world.

The Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure granted his request to provide him with a display of the new plates to showcase at the convention.

With the ministry’s help, Ferguson assembled a current display of the licence plates available in the Cayman Islands, along with a Cayman maritime flag, a conch shell and numerous photos of life in Cayman, showing stingrays, blue iguanas, sunsets and Seven Mile Beach. He sweetened the look at his Cayman exhibit with a variety of rum cake samples for everyone to enjoy.

For winning second place, Ferguson received another licence plate to add to his extensive collection.

“I was so pleased and honoured that Mr. Joey Hew and his ministry were able to grant me permission to acquire sample licence plates of those now available to all registered motor vehicles in the Cayman Islands,” said Ferguson. “It is with great pride that I, along with all the help from the ministry, was able to represent these Cayman Islands and promote our Caymankind.”

Cayman’s Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing began replacing the old orange-coloured metal plates on registered vehicles with new tamper-proof white plates and electronic tags in 2017, a process which is still ongoing.

Out of the 30 international displays that were reviewed during the four-hour judging time frame, Ferguson was awarded second place for his Cayman Islands sample exhibition.

First place went to Jerald Griffin with his 1940 to 1945 New Hampshire governor plates.

The Cayman collection now will move to the Cayman Islands Motor Museum in West Bay.

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