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Cayman Islands Parliament held special meeting in honour of Queen Elizabeth II

The Cayman Islands Parliament held a special meeting to pay tribute to Her Late Majesty The Queen at the House of Parliament, on 12 September 2022.

Although the session is not a requirement of any Overseas Territories during the period of National Mourning, the meeting was called by the Speaker, Hon Dr. McKeeva Bush, JP who felt compelled to honour Her Late Majesty along with fellow Parliamentarians. The public was invited to attend as Queen Elizabeth II had been a symbol of constancy in the lives of Caymanians for the last seven decades.

The Speaker opened with a heartfelt address to the large somber crowd saying, “We have all seen over the past days that her passing has caused great gloom to many who have known or met her. The grief is unbelievable, unbearable at this time but her passing also brings extraordinary solidarity across nations and we feel collectively a sense of loss and deep sadness. It is at this juncture that we more fully value what she represented and stood for. She has left a remarkable spirit of reconciliation and harmony that at this time is felt with particular poignancy.” 

The touching tribute was then followed by a number of passionate and touching homages including (and respectively) His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper, and the Premier Hon G Wayne Panton, who also thoughtfully imparted words on behalf of the entire Cayman Islands; recorded for posterity. 

Tributes to the Late Queen and well wishes for His Majesty King Charles III continued on by the Leader of the Opposition Hon Roy McTaggart, Deputy Premier Hon Chris Saunders, Minister for Tourism and Transport Hon Kenneth Bryan, as well as the Opposition Member Sir Alden McLaughlin. 

The session was soon filled with more heartfelt condolences by the Minister for Youth Sports Culture and Heritage, Hon Bernie Bush, Minister for Planning Agriculture Housing and Infrastructure Hon Jay Ebanks, Minister for Education and District Administration Hon Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Parliamentary Secretary Isaac Rankine, Minister for Health and Wellness and Home Affairs, Hon Sabrina Turner, Opposition Member Barbara Conolly as well as Hon Katherine Ebanks Wilks, Deputy Speaker and Parliamentary Secretary. 

Concluding the special meeting were tributes by Parliamentary Secretary Heather Bodden, Minister for Financial Services and Commerce and Investment Innovation and Social Development Hon Andre Ebanks, Parliamentary Secretary Dwayne Seymour, as well as Deputy Governor Hon Franz Manderson and Attorney General Hon Samuel Bulgin.

The special meeting can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnnGnflqa40

In attendance were regional dignitaries including Hon. Haydn Hughes, Minister of Infrastructure, Communications, Utilities, Housing & Tourism – Anguilla, Hon. Charles “Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism & Investment – Antigua, Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism & International Transport – Barbados, Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations – Belize, Hon. Abner Perez, Minister of Blue Economy & Civil Aviation – Belize, Hon. Ruisandro Cijntje, Minister of Economic Development – Curacao, Hon. Denise Charles, Minister of Tourism, International Transport & Maritime Initiatives – Dominica, Hon. Lennox Andrews, Minister of Economic Development, Planning, Tourism, ICT, Creative Economy, Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries & Cooperatives – Grenada, Mr. Alexandre Ventadour Deputy Commissioner for the Martinique Tourism Authority – Martinique, Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture & Information – Saint Lucia, Councillor Tashia Burris, Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities & Transportation – Tobago and Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism – Turks & Caicos. Also there, Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon – President, Caribbean Development Bank.

Also in attendance were former Members of Parliament and a number of Chief Officers along with members of the Cayman Islands’ public.

There are a number of public events during the National Mourning Period which runs from Thursday, 8 September 2022 through Tuesday, 20 September. Through these various events, the community will join others around the world in remembering Her Late Majesty’s great legacy. 

Here are the highlights of what’s planned so far for the Cayman Islands’ National Mourning Period:

·         Flowers and Condolences 9 Sept – 19 Sept

·         Government Administration Building and Clock Tower Illuminated in Blue 9 Sept – 19 Sept

·         Royal Salute 9 Sept 

Watch highlights here: https://youtu.be/qNARN5282nw

·         Ship Blasts 10 Sept – 19 Sept

·         Reading of the Proclamation 11 Sept 

Watch highlights here: https://youtu.be/R2fT6QEFX0E

·         Two Minutes of Silence in Courts 12 Sept

·         Special Meeting of Parliament 12 Sept

·         Heroes Square Fountain Turns Off 13 Sept – 19 Sept

·         Church Bells Toll 14 Sept

·         National Day of Prayer 18 Sept

·         State Funeral Public Viewings 19 Sept 

·         Silence on the Airwaves 19 September

For more information on events and updates visit: https://www.gov.ky/queen-elizabeth-ii/events

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The people of the Cayman Islands join others around the world in mourning the loss of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Visit our page to get updates on how we are remembering her great legacy during this period of National Mourning: https://www.gov.ky/queen-elizabeth-ii/

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