December 6, 2021

Sybil really is a true hero

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Sybil received a bouquet of flowers earlier this month in recognition of her work

Cayman’s own National Hero Mrs. Sybil McLaughlin is the only woman in the world who can claim to be the first female speaker of the house in the Caribbean.

The veteran public servant is revered as being one of the Island’s most astute, seasoned, dynamic and accomplished parliamentarians.

The dynamism and precedence of her contribution to the development and effective functioning of the Cayman Island’s Parliament have helped opened the doors of opportunity for other women to hold similar positions.

The Cayman Islands now has another female speaker of the house, Mrs. Mary Lawrence.

The National Hero applauds the country’s social and economic progress, but conceded that the Island’s journey into the technological age has been less encouraging to other areas of social and intellectual value.

“In our days it was just magazines and radios.

“Some of the things that the very young people are seeing on TV today, they really should not be seeing.

“Televisions project things in a visual way, which makes it unnecessary to sometimes “read between the lines” or imagine.

“People are growing more dependent on computers and are not exercising their brain power as much as they should.

“Not many people are reading books these days, they mainly read e-mails and text messages.

“People don’t send much birthday and Christmas cards anymore.

“Technology and cell phones are very important, but you must know how to use it.

“Sometimes in the churches Ministers have to request that people turn off their cell phones.

“Some people even have between two to three cell phones these days.” said Mrs. McLaughlin.

The former house speaker was born on 28th August 1928 to Captain Charles Christopher Bush, originally from Mobile Alabama, and Mrs. Lottie Verona Bush, from Cayman Brac. Mrs. McLaughlin has successfully helped redefine the meaning independent woman.

By being the first ever-Caribbean female Speaker of the House the National Hero has not only raised the bar for ambitious Caymanian aspirants, but has helped to advance the image and respect of women generally.

In an interview with iNews, the hero expressed delight at the advancement of women today, pointing to the fact that more women are now appointed, speaker of the House, as an example.

“I am the first woman in the Caribbean to be appointed Speaker of the House.

“But now more women have being assigned that position.” said Mrs. McLaughlin.

She said the Islands have grown significantly, and should still concentrate on its rich heritage and tradition of unity and morality.

She said: “I have been associated with the church from I was a baby.

“As a very young child I would stand on the benches, but I was never allowed to stare at other people.

“We were brought up properly.

“These days there are more parents working to make ends meet, so they have less time to commit to raising their kids.”

An avid fan of music, Mrs. McLaughlin can be seen doing one of the things that she says she loves to do best, play the church organ.

When the Cayman Islands received its first ever written constitution in 1959, Sybil McLaughlin was appointed as the committee’s first clerk.

Mrs. McLaughlin was also appointed clerk of the executive body, which is now referred to as the cabinet.

Mrs. McLaughlin was appointed the Caribbean’s first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on the 15th February 1991, and served in that capacity until her resignation in 1996.

The Cayman Island’s greatest Honor, the title of National Hero, was conferred upon Mrs. McLaughlin in 1996 for her contribution to the development of the Cayman Island’s Parliament.

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