The Cayman Islands National Museum participated in the 44th annual International Museum Day Celebration on 18 May 2021. The objective of the International Council of Museums was to raise awareness about Museums and the important role they play in cultural exchange enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation, and peace among peoples. This year’s International Museum Day theme was the Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine, and the Cayman Islands National Museum took part with the unveiling of a new exhibition and a day filled with other activities.

The National Museum welcomed over 150 guests to the museum – from students of the Clifton Hunter High School, International College of the Cayman Islands and homeschoolers to older persons and other members of the community.

Mr. Jeralow Rankine, keeping our maritime heritage alive, taught students and visitors how to make a traditional fishing net, while Ms. Caroline Carter and a few other ladies demonstrated various styles of plaiting to eager learners. Mr. Wray Banker played traditional games with excited students. The unveiling of the Miss Annie Huldah Bodden: A Woman of Many Hats exhibition was a highlight of the festivities.

The iconic Annie Huldah Bodden carved new paths and shattered ceilings to achieve an impressive array of Cayman Islands “firsts”, the pinnacle of which was perhaps her appointment in 1961 as the first female Nominated Member of the Legislative Assembly.  Other notable trail-blazing achievements include her appointments as the first female auditor and chief auditor of the Cayman Islands Government and the first female attorney-at-law.  Visitors can learn Miss Annie’s story and view a wide range of artefacts that help to bring the story to life. Complimenting the exhibition was the screening of the 1960s Upon the Seas Documentary, written and directed by Doren Miller, which was shown throughout the day in the Museum’s Audiovisual theatre.

The National Museum will unveil an animatronic figure of Miss Annie in Summer 2021, in conjunction with the anticipated re-opening of the Cayman Islands borders. Commemorating Ms. Annie’s remarkable contribution to Cayman’s development, the animatronic figure will enhance the Courtroom diorama in the Cultural History Gallery at the Museum. The technological feat has been in development since late 2019, a joint project of the Sponsoring Water Authority of the Cayman Islands and the National Museum.

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Over a lifetime of personal and professional achievements, the influence of Ms. Annie’s vision and commitment remains a prominent feature of Caymanian lore. Visit the Cayman Islands National Museum on the Waterfront to see the exhibition which will be on through November 2021.

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