June 6, 2020

Cayman: Statement by Acting Governor on Passing of First Governor


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GRAND CAYMAN, (GIS) –  As I wish to express heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the first Governor of the Cayman Islands Mr Athelstan C. E. Long, CBE, who passed away last night (Wednesday, 31 July 2019)

As a sign of respect for the contributions of Mr Long, and his distinguished service to both United Kingdom (UK) and the Cayman Islands, the flags of both countries will be flown at half-mast on all Government buildings for the rest of the day.

A distinguished former military officer, who spent three years as a prisoner of war during World War II, Mr Long turned diplomat after hostilities ended. In this capacity he served as the last Administrator of the Cayman Islands from 1968. Shortly before his departure three years later the title changed to Governor.

With his passing the Cayman Islands has lost a friend and advocate of many decades. Mr Long’s abiding love for these Islands and their people led him to return to the Cayman Islands five years after his tenure ended. Here he has remained ever since taking an active role in the community, in particular in the Veterans Association.

During these years he also served as an invaluable resource for his successors in the position of Governor.  

To commemorate the life and achievements of Mr Long, the UK and Cayman flags will fly at half-mast again from two days before his funeral (the date of which is still to be confirmed).I have received the following message from the Governor who is currently overseas: “I was very sad to hear about the passing of former Governor Athelstan Long. I was fortunate to meet Mr Long twice, most recently at his 100th birthday party. As the first Governor of the Cayman Islands Mr Long’s passing is a historic moment in the Territory’s history. He made a valued contribution to these islands and the UK through his service. I would like to express my condolences to Governor Long’s family. He will be greatly missed.”

Editor’s Note: Most flags flown are usually five feet by seven feet.  Therefore, “half the mast of the flag” is one flag height from the top of the pole, or five feet from top of mast.  Lower than this would be a sign of disrespect.

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