Official funeral for Governor Long

Eziethamae Bodden signs the condolence book for the late Governor Athelstan Charles Long at the Government Administration Building on Monday. - Photo: Stephen Clarke

Members of the public, civil servants and officials have been signing a condolence book at the Government Administration Building for the late Governor Athelstan Charles Long, for whom an official funeral will be held on Wednesday, 14 Aug.

Long, who was Cayman’s first governor, passed away on 1 Aug.

The funeral, which is open to the public, will be held at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church on Pedro Castle Road in Savannah. The interment follows at nearby Eden Cemetery, across from Pedro St. James.

A government press release stated that the commemorative funeral service will feature a guard of honour, flags at half-staff and a 21-gun salute by the graveside. The hearse carrying Long will precede a processional police march and attendees from the church to Eden Cemetery.

Flags at government buildings in Grand Cayman were flown at half-mast on Monday and Tuesday to mark the official period of mourning, the release stated.

The Protocol Office is working with Long’s family and the special Ceremonials Committee to coordinate the funeral.

The condolence book will remain open until close of business on Wednesday.

According to officials, only current and former post-holders of the most senior public service positions, including governor, premier and former Leaders of Government Business, the chief justice, Speaker of the House and deputy governor, are entitled to receive an official funeral.

Governor Martyn Roper signs the condolence book for the late Governor Athelstan Charles Long at the Government Administration Building. The book will remain open until close of business on Wednesday.

Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose said in the release, “Mr. Long was well known and deeply respected throughout this community for his humility, authenticity and commitment to service. He accomplished much during his tenure as the first Governor and last Administrator of our islands. The Cayman Islands was truly his home, therefore it is fitting that the country should mark his passing in this way and I invite members of the public to join us on Wednesday afternoon as we honour a life well lived.”

Long came to the Cayman Islands in 1968 as the islands’ administrator, the last man to hold that title. He was sworn in as governor on 3 Nov. 1971 and left the island on 12 Nov.

The official funeral will be rebroadcast on CIGTV20 at a date to be announced.

The Cayman Islands Seafarers Association is providing a shuttle service for seniors who wish to attend the funeral. Buses will pick up passengers at noon at the following locations: West Bay Town Hall, the Central Post Office in George Town, the Breadfruit Tree Cafe in Bodden Town, Chisholm’s Store in North Side and East End Primary School. The shuttle buses will make return journeys at 4pm, immediately after the funeral.

The Union Flag and the Cayman Islands flag fly at half-staff outside the Government Administration Building in memory of Governor Long. – Photo: Stephen Clarke