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Caymanian Proud: Memories of Her Majesty

Grand Cayman, 11 March 2022 – What might have prompted The Queen to visit the Cayman Islands not once but twice just over a decade? What are some of the most engaging conversations Caymanians had with the Monarch? What are the public’s lasting impressions about the Head of the Commonwealth following her visits? These questions and more were answered during ‘Caymanian Proud: Memories of Her Majesty’ at the Harquail Theatre on Wednesday, 9 March 2022. The multigenerational event attracted mainly seniors and John A. Cumber Primary and the Lighthouse School students.

Recollections by former government officials and by members of the public were shared at the Platinum Jubilee forum organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage.

Remarks from the Chairperson of the Platinum Jubilee Committee and Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Samuel Rose and by Acting Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Mr. Issac Rankine were also part of the half-day event, which was also attended by His Excellency, the Governor Martyn Roper.

As one of the Ministry’s biannual Caymanian Proud heritage series, the live-streamed morning session was divided into two parts.

The first session, ‘Official Memories of Her Majesty,’ was moderated by Pastor Alson Ebanks and featured a video of the second visit in -1994.

Panelists sharing their personal memories of the visit to the Cayman Islands by a reigning monarch were former Chief Secretary, Mr. James Ryan; past Director of the Cayman Islands National Museum, Ms L. Anita Ebanks; former News Bureau staffer, Mr. Lennon Christian; former Chief Secretary Mr. George McCarthy, and civil servant Ms Eziethamae “Zeta Mae” Bodden.

Memories shared of the 1983 visit included the Monarch formally opening the Queen’s Highway and the Pines Retirement Home on the same day. While in 1994, her Majesty wore a sling while graciously carrying out her duties and chatted with those present. The general consensus was that the Monarch and Prince Philip were amiable, attentive and quick to put people at ease.

Other topics connected to the visit included the donation by the Cayman Islands of half a million pounds towards the Falklands Conflict. Several panelists surmised that the Queen’s 1983 visit was made possible by that gesture of solidarity and by Cayman’s increasing stature as a leading offshore centre.

During the event’s second session, ‘The People’s Memories,’ the audience shared their personal observations and recollections of meeting The Queen or working to ensure that the visits went smoothly.

Moderated by author and former government minister, Mr. Roy Bodden, the session also mined the panelists’ recollections of The Queen’s 1994 visit, which included the investiture of Sir Vassel Johnson, Cayman Islands’ first knight. Other recollections spanned the state reception and banquet aboard the royal yacht Britannia and the overall demeanour of Queen Elizabeth II during the visit.

Ms Zeta Mae’s personal albums and memorabilia from both state visits were also on display in the Harquail’s foyer.

 To view the video of Caymanian Proud: Memories of Her Majesty, visit


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