By Christopher Tobutt
The Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper and his wife hosted a reception for members of the public in honor of Her Majesty the Queen’s 93rd Birthday, on the lawns of Government House. It followed on directly from the official birthday celebrations outside the Legislative Assembly, but the atmosphere was much less formal and very friendly. It was as if everyone in Cayman were part of a great big family. Lots of different people were there, representing all the different facets of Cayman’s rich and varied culture and life. Everyone walked around the beautiful garden greeting one another and enjoying the refreshments. In the background, the UCCI’s steel pan band, the Pandemics, could be heard, sounding like the waters of a bright, bubbling brook.
Leading everyone in a toast to Her Majesty the Queen, and wishing her well for her 93rd birthday, the Governor spoke about her remarkable recent achievements: “Not only has she hosted a state visit for President Trump, who may not be the easiest head of state to receive on a state visit, she also attended the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landing, and today, she had her own Trooping the Colour.” He said. “She really is a remarkable lady, and I know we all want to recognize that very much,” he said.
“I still want to say that it’s still only two months since their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Dutchess of Cornwall but I was so pleased with that visit, it was a huge success. And I know that it really strengthened the bonds between the Cayman Islands and the UK. They enjoyed their stay at Government House very much and they both managed to swim in the sea.”
Next, Mr. Roper spoke about a group of people who have been working very hard behind the scenes:
“I also want to mention Celebrate Cayman. We have lots of Celebrate Cayman volunteers here, so a round of applause for them,” he said. Everyone gave a hearty round of applause in response. “Celebrate Cayman has had a fantastic year, and have done sixty acts of service, and have been doing incredible things throughout our community, whether faith, charity, the environment and the arts, and they’ve really been making a big impact,” but next, there was a rea treat in store. The Governor is clearly someone who doesn’t just want to be a spectator, but he wants to get involved:
“We did promise you a little surprise this morning, and the surprise is that I have been having lessons during the last three or four weeks with the wonderful Earl La Pierre on steel pan. I asked Cabinet, ‘How do I go about learning the steel pan?’ and they all said, in unison, ‘Earl La Pierre is a legend, you have to go and see Earl.”
So the Governor performed a steel pan duet with Mr. La Pierre, playing Yellow Bird and Chariots of Fire. Afterwards, Mr. La Pierre spoke about how keen the Governor was to learn, and said he was one of his most attentive students.