September 22, 2021

Cayman Islands JP’s congregate for Annual General Meeting

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At their annual general meeting, Cayman Islands Justices of the Peace (JP) underscored the ongoing success of a free programme started by their association for the people last year.

The programme is underway every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 12 noon at the Government Administration Building lobby. During that time, a JP is available to provide service free of cost to benefit those seeking certifying of their signatures on official forms and papers, authenticated true copies of true copies of documents such as immigration and land transfer papers.

Highlighting the usefulness of the programme, Association President Mr. Anthony Scott lauded the work done by outgoing President Mrs. Kerry Nixon and her team in this regard, notably programme organiser and Association Secretary Ms Christine Wright for running the programme with military precision.

Following the Association AGM held at the George Town Yacht Club recently, President Scott welcomed His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper and wife Mrs. Lissie Roper to the dinner event, explaining some of the important work that association members routinely perform.

These range from officiating at the destruction of narcotics and drugs by law enforcement officers to notarizing documents. Yet members through their association constantly seek avenues to better serve the community, particularly in various juvenile programmes run by the Department of Children and Family Services as well as assisting with judicial system through the association, Mr. Scott emphasised.

Among the goals for the association’s future are building on the new services at GAB as well as other services offered and to increase membership, he said. He also sought Judicial Administration to offer another training session for the association members at the earliest opportunity.

Mrs. Nixon, in her annual report, highlighted the “very valuable service” and offered her heartfelt thanks to the following JPs who provide the service at GAB regularly: Mr. Ian Boxall, Mr. Roy Charlton, Mr. Herbert Crawford, Mr. McCleary Frederick, Ms Deanna Lookloy, Ms Jenny Manderson, Mrs. Georgette Myrie (and Ms Nixon, who is also a regular service provider).

Also, she noted, JPs Mr. Peter Gough and Secretary Wright provide service on days on an “as needed” basis.

She particularly lauded Ms Wright for her dedication and commitment for the programme’s success. “Your thoughtfulness and perseverance in making sure that the desk (is) manned each week is truly commendable and deeply appreciated,” Ms Nixon added. She also applauded the work of Council Treasurer Mrs. Myrie during her year.

Guest speaker, DCFS Director Ms Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, recalled the strong connection that existed and continues to exist between the JPs Association and the department.

Tracing the venerated history of Justices of the Peace which began over 650 years ago in England, she highlighted the significant contributions of JPs in the Cayman Islands to the social development and care of children and families through the judiciary and the DCFS. Their services include addressing matters of child protection and juvenile criminal matters, she noted.

“Over the years, JPs have been instrumental in handing down judgements that prevented children from exposure to further abuse and neglect,” supporting recommendations from DCFS, she said. Under the Juvenile Law, DCFS seeks the assistance of JPs to sign warrants for matters the require removal of children in need of care and protection, she added.

She lauded JPs for making themselves available 24 hours and 365 days to ensure the Islands’ children are protected. The JPs Association has consistently advocated for resources to ensure our children’s rights are preserved and respected. “JPs have fought for our children to be educated, to have access to family, access to health care, to be safe and cared for, as well as advocating for secure facilities and suitable places of safety for those juveniles who require residential placements,” she elaborated.

The Director sought continued JPs’ support for DCFS services such as the Youth Diversion Programme which is geared to divert young people from the formal process of the youth justice system. The programme is aimed to reduce the number of first-time entrants to the Youth Justice System as well as to provide programmes through promoting positive and pro-social behaviour to tackle the underlying causes of their offending behaviour.

Another initiative being discussed is the department partnering with JPs to assist with supervised access visits of children whose parents are engaged in contentious child custody battles. The DCFS-developed Elderly Service Team that focuses on the needs of Cayman’s elderly is yet another initiative where partnering is being considered through JPs giving their time and funding, if possible, she revealed.

The association honoured veteran Cayman Compass journalist Ms Carol Winker for her dedicated reporting about the JPs’ work and the association over decades.

Receiving floral and other presentations on the occasion were Mrs. Lissie Roper, Judicial Administrator Ms Suzanne Bothwell, guest speaker Ms Mendoza-Williams, Ms Wright, Mrs. Georgette Myrie and Ms Nixon. Trivia quiz winners were Ms Lucille Seymour and Mr. Andrew Eden. Mrs. Debra Humphreys presented the vote of thanks.

The new JPs Association executive is: President: Mr. Anthony Scott; Vice President: Mrs. Paulette Conolly-Bailey; Immediate Past President: Ms Kerry Nixon; Secretary: Ms Christine Wright; Treasurer: Mrs. Georgette Myrie; Councillors: Ms Jenny Manderson, Mrs. Debra Humphreys, Mr. Albert Anderson and Mr. McCleary Frederick.

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