Order of the Cayman Islands award relaunched

The newly designed Order of the Cayman Islands medals.

Government has relaunched the Order of the Cayman Islands award, which will be bestowed upon a select few people at the National Heroes Day ceremony in January 2021.

The award was originally enacted in 2010, under the then National Honours and Awards Law. Shortly after, the Order of the Cayman Islands award was presented to several dozen people, before it was placed on an extended hiatus for several years. In 2018, the law was revised, which resulted in several changes to the award scheme.

Speaking at a press conference Monday to announce the relaunched award, Premier Alden McLaughlin said it was regrettable that the award “did not take root” when it was first launched, and now his government is reviving it “with a fresh approach”.

“Today it gives me great pleasure to announce that nominations of the Order of the Cayman Islands will be open as of tomorrow (Tuesday, 28 Oct.),” said McLaughlin.

The new award scheme will see 10 people recognised across three levels – five for ‘Members’, three for ‘Officers’ and two for ‘Companions’.

“The design of the original order was imaginatively contemporary,” said McLaughlin. “However, … it was pointed out to us that it would be better that the design of the insignia be compatible with the insignia of all British Overseas Territories.”

The nomination period runs through 27 Dec.

“We are looking for people with exemplary service, who have changed things, with an emphasis on practical experience,” said Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, who serves as the chairman of the awards selection council.

He said people who qualify would have to “have demonstrated innovation and entrepreneurship, [and] are examples of the best sustained and selfless voluntary service.”

To qualify for the award, the recipient must be a living Caymanian or permanent resident. UK citizens who live and work primarily in the UK or elsewhere are not eligible to be admitted to the order.

Smellie said although there is no age restriction, a nominee younger than 21 years old would have to be exceptional in his or her achievements or service to the people of Cayman.

The Order of the Cayman Islands Council members: From left, Secretary Samuel Rose, Celene Crantz, Norman Bodden, Chairman Anthony Smellie, Chancellor Alden McLaughlin, Malcolm Eden and James Ryan. – Photo: GIS.

Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose serves as secretary to the council. By virtue of his office, McLaughlin is also the chancellor and principal companion of the order. Other members are James Ryan, Norman Bodden, Malcolm Eden and Celene Crantz.

In his role, McLaughlin will be able to nominate one person per level, per year.

People who were recognised under the previous version of the award and wish to exchange their medals will be able to do so after the 2021 ceremony has taken place.

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