By Christopher Tobutt
Additional photos by Bina Mani, GIS
It was a day when Caymanians showed their honor and respect, but not only for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating her 93rd birthday, but for each other, too. Dignitaries and government officials, including His Excellency the Governor, Martyn Roper, took their place under a marquee positioned on the steps of the Legislative Assembly, all ready for the march past of parade contingents, looking as smart as can be in their uniforms, with their polished brass buttons, gleaming brightly in the early morning sun. There were uniformed detachments from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Fire Service, and Her Majesty’s Prison Service, as well as the Cayman Islands Scouts, Girls Brigade, and the Cadet Corps. They turned, and marched past again, before taking their place facing the Legislative Assembly, for a royal salute. Escorted by senior police officers carrying brilliantly shining swords, the Governor inspected all the uniformed detachments, smiling as he went.
A 21-gun salute for Her Majesty sent birds, watching from the nearby trees, flying high into the air. There were three cheers for Her Majesty, as all of the uniformed detachments lifted their caps in her honor.
Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE, Cert. Hon., JP announced that Queen’s Birthday Honours this year went to Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour recipient Mrs. Restmin “Nellie” Elaine McCoy. The former civil servant, now retired after 51 years’ service, was recognized for her outstanding contributions as a laboratory technician at the government Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU).Mrs. McCoy received her Certificate and Badge of Honour (Cert. Hon) from the Governor.
The Governor also presented the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards to Miss Shanice Kelly, Miss Chauntae Martinez and Miss Syrena Powell, all from the CI Cadet Corps. The awardees were announced by Duke of Edinburgh programme head, Ms. Katherine Jackson, Cert. Hon. Each awardee has to complete five different stages of the program successfully, before receiving their award.
Shanice Kelly received her Gold Award for Service to the Community, by volunteering at the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and also for the “Kicks for Kids” Foundation in Kingston, Jamaica. Her chosen skill was Modelling and her Physical Recreation was Bodybuilding. Her Adventurous Journey was a five day expedition in the mountains of Trinidad & Tobago. Her Residential Project was the maintenance and beautification of an adult training center there.
Chauntae Martinez’s Community Service was Cadet Corps, and Skill was drilling with the Cadets. Physical Recreation was running circuit workouts, while the Adventurous Journey was fulfilled with a journey by boat from Nassau to Cat Island in the Bahamas, and the Residential Project was at the Harold & Wilson Ponds Park in the Bahamas.
Gold Awardee Syrena Powell volunteered at Miss Nadine’s Preschool for her Community Service, and her skill was learning to play the violin, while her Physical Recreation was volleyball, and her Adventurous Journey was a five day exploration of the North Rupununi Savannah, Guyana, and her Residential Project was concerned with sustaining enhancing the natural environment.
Dr. Steve Brady led the gathering in prayer and Mr. Arek Nicholson in the National Song.