September 23, 2020

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Services held in the Cayman Islands


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There were many services held last Sunday (3) on all three Cayman Islands that celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I was privileged to have been able to attend to two of them.

The first was a morning one at St. George’s Anglican Church on Courts Road, George Town. In attendance were the George Town Primary School Brownies and athletes and officials of the Special Olympics Cayman islands.

They took part in the service by reading lessons and with four members of the Brownies acting as flag bearers. Both the Union Jack and the Cayman Islands flags were processed and placed on either side of the altar.

Gabrielle Myers, a beautiful young lady, gave a delightful dance and there was a stirring sermon from Rev. Mary Graham, who was also a recipient of a Medal of Honour from premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush the day before.

Rev. Mary was not alone because two other St George’s members also received medals. These were the Church’s Hon. Secretary, Eileen Nervik , and Frances (Fran) McConvey, who is the organist and choir master and played at this service.

The church was packed and the hymns were both beautiful and inspirational. The one that moved me the most was “In Your Hands” sung to the tune of “Eres tu”. I, like many others there, had tears in our eyes.

St George’s choir sang well and other hymns included “Enter into Jerusalem”, “I Vow to thee my Country” and “To God be the Glory.”

Lemuel Hurlston, who was on the official Jubilee Organising Committee and Hon. Representative of the Royal Commonwealth Society gave a message of greetings.

There was a fine brunch served afterwards.

Next, at 4pm, I was at Elmslie Memorial United Church for the Official Service of Thanksgiving in Celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The theme was “Connecting Cultures” and Elmslie was full of attendees that flowed into the church hall and tents with closed circuit television screens.

For some reason the church bell did not ring but otherwise all proceeded as planned. Rudy Myles led the singing of the National Anthem and there was a procession of miniatures of all the flags of the Commonwealth Nations. Then the full length flags of the Union Jack and the Cayman Islands were brought up.

H.E. Governor Duncan Taylor gave a message and Hon Mike Adams read the premier’s message as Hon McKeeva Bush was off Island as he was attending the slightly larger one in London.

Rudy Myles gave a gorgeous rendition of “This Is My Song, O God of All the Nations” to the tune of ‘Finlandia’.

Hon. Anthony Smellie, QC and Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands read a scripture lesson (Romans 12:9-18) and Rev. Mary Graham gave the sermon. (She was having a busy day!).

Other officiating ministers were: Rev. Dave Hazle, Pastors Kathy Ebanks, Randall Von Kanel, Alson Ebanks, James Arch and Shian O’Connor.

The Cayman National Song “Beloved Isle Cayman” was led by the George Town Primary School Choir and the congregation sung hymns that included “Praise to the Lord”, “In Christ, there is no East or West”, “Land of our Birth”, “God of our Fathers”, “Now Thank we all Our God” and “The Right hand of God.”

I must not forget that at both the morning service and this one, the official “Prayer for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” was read in unison by the congregations. This especially written prayer was read at churches in all the Commonwealth Nations

Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Mr. Denver Bloomfield were the organists and Mr. Noel Wallace was the pianist.

Another fine service that made this Jubilee holiday weekend so memorable.

My only complaint and it is a big one. Parking. Why on earth was George Town centre that provides the parking for Elmslie closed off? All streets and car parks were empty and closed in readiness for an event that would not take place until the next day! Consequently no one could park near the church.

It was ridiculous and inconvenient especially regarding the age of a lot of the attendees. It was thoughtless by the RCIPS and I saw a number of people drive away because they could not find a parking space nearby. It is shameful that with all the planning and time that is put into an historic event is to be nearly ruined by some official not directly connected with it.

Joan Wilson also contributed to this article.




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