September 28, 2020

Lifetime Honorific for political leaders and Legislative Chairs

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National Hero Sybil McLauglin MBE, JP

Persons who have held the top political position in the Cayman Islands or presided over the legislature will retain the title of “Honourable” in perpetuity.

Cabinet recently decided that such recognition would be given to past Premiers, Leaders of Government Business (LOGBs) and Speakers of the Legislative Assembly as a result of the burden of responsibility borne by those posts.

A soon-to-be revised Order of Precedence will include an explanatory note to this effect, although the former post-holders will not otherwise appear in the list that outlines the ceremonial order for government officials.

Former LOGBs Hon. Thomas Jefferson, OBE, JP (1992-1994) (posthumous); Hon. Truman Bodden, OBE, JP (1994-2000); and Hon Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP (2005-2009) are entitled to resume use of the honorific.

Hon. Truman Bodden, OBE, JP

Meanwhile past Speakers Hon. Mabry Kirkconnell OBE, JP (1996-2001) (posthumous); Hon. Linford Pierson OBE, JP (2003-2005); and Hon. Edna Moyle OBE, JP (2005-2009) may also begin using the designation. Current Deputy Premier Hon. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, JP, served in the position from 2001-2003, and as such may retain the honorific should she leave Cabinet. National Hero Sybil McLauglin MBE, JP who was the first Speaker of the House (1991-1996), is already styled Honourable.

Officials have noted that there will be no cost to the public purse and that the small numbers of posts involved limits the potential for proliferation of holders.

The position of Leader of Government Business became defunct following the enactment of the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009, which introduced the new title of Premier, a position presently held by Hon. W. McKeeva Bush. Mr Bush had previously served as LOGB from 2001-2005. It was informally introduced in 1992 and formalised by constitutional amendment in 2003.

Hon Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP

Meanwhile the position of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a political appointee chosen to preside over the legislature, came into being in 1991. The current post-holder is Hon. Mary Lawrence.

 

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