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The Editor Speaks: Cayman Islands new Governor

His Excellency Governor Anwar Choudhury arrived here in the Cayman Islands on Monday 26th March. Accompanying him was his wife and family that included a very young baby.

Governor Choudhury is the Cayman Islands very first Muslim Governor that stirred some anger in the community including a petition against his appointment.

This, of course, was not accepted, and very likely would not have even been muted if the petitioners had actually met him first.

I had the great privilege of meeting him last night (Mon 26) at the reception given in his honour at Pedro St. James.

I have met every governor preceding him from Governor Tom Russell for the thirty five (almost 36) years I have lived here in the Cayman Islands. Governor Choudhury has made the best first impression on me.

The speech he made at Pedro St James echoed some of the things he said at the Legislative Assembly earlier in the day at his Swearing In.

What he didn’t say earlier was he now knows what these Islands “Cayman Kind’ means.

He said, with great emotion, in his voice that this was the warmest and most generous welcome he has ever had on visiting any country. He added he has visited many, many countries.

That he showed not an ounce of the normal British reserve that some interpret as ‘pompous’ was evident when he got up and joined the dancers, that included my wife Joan, to a rousing calypso number. He showed no annoyance when one of the dances (not Joan) actually grabbed and hugged him making him spin around with her during the dance.

I remarked to a Caymanian lady sitting at our table isn’t this a wonderful place where a Governor can move around up close to the community with no guards hovering close by.

This was echoed by the Premier, Alden McLaughlin, in his speech earlier when he lamented the fact that violent crime has now crept into our society and he was not going to allow it to continue. We have been long touted as the islands of peace and harmony where people can walk around free and without fear.

In Governor Choudhury’s speech to the LA which he referred to briefly at Pedro St James, he said his first focus was on security. He said:

“It is our responsibility to keep these islands safe so we can enjoy our quality of life and not lose it to crime. We see examples from around this region where a breakdown in law and order has led to serious consequences for the social and economic stability of other states. We must not let this happen here. Security needs professional staff and adequate resourcing and we need to work together with the UK and partners in the region to ensure that we are keeping pace with the criminal and external threats that seek to undermine our way of life. I know that there is already much work being undertaken in this area and I will continue to support and enhance this.

“I welcome the recent statement made to this Assembly by the Honourable Premier setting out some of the important initiatives we are engaged on to create a new Border Protection Service and Coastguard. I fully agree that we need to work closely together through the National Security Council as we take strategic security decisions whilst at the same time ensuring that operational decisions are left to professional law enforcement agencies. I hope we can hold my first NSC meeting as soon as possible.”

I look forward to the next three to four years under Governor Choudhury with confidence. I don’t believe he is going to “sun his buns” as one of our former premiers advised a previous governor to do.

I understand, Governor Choudhury, will be attending a Christian church this Sunday. Elmslie Memorial United Church, the oldest church on Grand Cayman, will be the venue. 10:30 am.

Come and worship with him there.


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