Governor pinned with first poppy

Members of the Cayman Islands Veterans Association presented Governor Martyn Roper with the first Remembrance Day poppy of the year at the Government Administration building on Friday.

The pinning, attended by UK Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster, Premier Alden McLaughlin, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and veterans, launched this year’s poppy fundraising campaign.

Veterans Andrew McLaughlin, who is the association’s president, Loxley Banks, Graham Walker, Shadden McLaughlin and Paul Ebanks met Lancaster and discussed this year’s fundraising project with him.

Shadden McLaughlin pinned the first poppy on the governor.

“Ten years ago, Governor Alan Scott received the first poppy; that was a long time ago,” said Walker.

In Flanders Fields In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

“The pinning signifies the beginning of our fundraising events,” said Andrew McLaughlin. “Two are held each year – the veterans’ annual dance and the poppy appeal.”

On his first trip to the Cayman Islands, Lancaster said it was a pleasure to be at the event, and, as minister of the Armed Forces, to be able to open the poppy selling period.

“It’s really important that we continue to remember these sacrifices that so many Cayman Islands men have made in conflicts over many years and continue to do so today,” he said.

Roper said he was delighted to be a part of the pinning ceremony, describing the run-up to Remembrance Day as an important time during which people should remember all the sacrifices that individuals had made. Shadden McLaughlin urged members of the public to collect and wear a poppy pin to support the veterans.

Government officials and other dignitaries join the congregation at the Wesleyan Holiness Church in West Bay on Sunday, 6 Oct., to mark the beginning of Older Persons Month.

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