With colour, pomp and affection for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Cayman Islands closed its extended Platinum Jubilee Weekend celebrations on Monday, 6 June 2022.
Her Majesty The Queen is the longest serving Monarch in British history, reigning over 70 years after acceding to the Throne on 6 February 1952. She is also the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee in service to the people of the United Kingdom (UK), the Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth.
The extended weekend of weather-edited celebrations on Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and Grand Cayman which commenced on Thursday, 2 June, closed Monday 6 June, on Grand Cayman with hearty community focused activities.
The activities of the day began with a parade comprising eight uniformed contingents who presented their respects to the Monarch with a Royal Salute received by His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, OBE, as they trooped past Government House.
The parade featured sharply ceremonial dressed contingents from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), the Cayman Islands Regiment, the Fire and Prison Services, the Cayman Islands Coast Guard, as well as the Girls Brigade, Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Cadet Corps and accompanied by a mass band. As the parade contingent formed up after an impressive entrance, the audience broke into a round of spontaneous and sustained applause in admiration of the precise and smartly attired participants.
Following next was the Queen’s honours and awards presentation to six awardees who had been honoured by the Queen in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Receiving the awards in person from the Governor and announced by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE, Cert. Hon. JP, were:
Ms Lucille Seymour, MBE, BEM, JP, (who received the MBE for services to sport, education and the people of the Cayman Islands);
Ms Sharon Smith, MBE, JP, (who was awarded the MBE for services to the former Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands);
Ms Angela Marie Tanzillo-Swarts (who received an Honorary MBE for services to the Islands’ COVID-19 response);
Ms Natalie Coleman-Urquhart, BEM (who received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to arts and culture in Cayman and wider region);
Mr. Frank Christopher Volinsky, (who received an Honorary BEM for services to the Islands through The Bridge Foundation);
Ms Kim Bullings, Cert. Hon., Ms Suzette Ebanks, Cert. Hon. and Ms Bianca Moore-Downey, Cert. Hon. (who all received the CI Certificate and Badge of Honour for meritorious services during the COVID-19 pandemic).
A hearty three cheers for Her Majesty led by the Governor and joined enthusiastically by all present, the booming of a 21 gun-salute and a prayer for Her Majesty, led by Pastor Felix Manzanares, were other high points of the celebrations. The programme also included a melodious rendition of the National Song by Mrs. Karen Edie-Turner.
The joyous celebrations continued as members of the public, along with Ministers of Cabinet, Members of Parliament and government officials, enjoyed the Queen’s Birthday Garden Party on the grounds of Government House, hosted by the Governor, Mr. Roper and his wife, Mrs. Lissie. The heart-warming occasion allowed community members to sample a fine spread prepared by Government House staff.
One special offering on the menu was the “Cayman Sunrise Cake” created by Anne Frawley which was the winning dessert from the Cayman Platinum Cake Competition, and prepared by Government House’s Chef Mark Lea for all guests to taste. The Governor, during brief remarks, lauded Ms Frawley for her delectable coconut and mango creation. (The Governor’s full remarks are attached to this release.)
Noting that to his knowledge, no other Overseas Territory had celebrated the Platinum Jubilee and the Birthday in quite such spectacular fashion as Cayman, the Governor said: “Her Majesty The Queen, and all Caymanians should be proud of the remarkable transformation that has occurred in Cayman over Her Majesty’s 70-year reign.”
The Governor added “This will be the last Queen’s Birthday parade and party that I will have the honour of presiding over, as Lissie and I will sadly be departing Cayman next March.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here, getting to know the three beautiful islands and the people that make these islands their homes…But we are not going yet. I still have much to do in my final 10 months.”
To close the celebration weekend, fireworks lit up the sky as they were set off in five locations beginning over the waters off the West Bay Public Beach at the northern end all the way to off Hog Sty Bay in George Town as the southern end. The remaining locations were across Seven Mile Public Beach, Governor’s Beach and Coral Beach.
Set against a musical soundtrack broadcast by Radio Cayman 89.9FM, the fireworks display punctuated the evening skies with jewel-like brilliance and splendour, much to the delight of the hundreds of spectators present at each location and provided a fitting finale to the Cayman Islands’ extended Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The visual treat was enhanced by the accompaniment of the music provided simultaneously using the services of five popular DJs Renato, Silver Fox, Neil Sam, Glenroy and Martino.
Earlier, the week’s celebrations began on Thursday, 2 June with the Proclamation of the Official Lighting of the Royal Beacon on Grand Cayman read by newly appointed Town Crier, Mr. Craig Merren, Cert. Hon., followed that night by the Official Lighting of the Beacons on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, through which the Cayman Islands joined the UK, other territories and Commonwealth Member States in a simultaneous tribute to the Monarch.
Also for the first time ever on Cayman Brac, on Saturday, 4 June morning, the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Honours Presentation proved a big hit with all at the Aston Rutty Centre.
Receiving their awards in person at the ceremony from the Governor and the Premier, who travelled to Cayman Brac for the events, were:
District Commissioner, Mr. Bentley “Mark” Tibbetts Jr., Cert. Hon. for services rendered to the CI Government; and
Mr. Ralston Dilbert, Cert. Hon., Ms Kedine Hyde, Cert. Hon. and Ms Suzette Young-Watson, Cert. Hon., all of whom received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour for meritorious services rendered during the COVID pandemic.
This was followed by His Excellency the Governor and the Premier planting 3 trees around the District Administration Building. Later that evening, a large audience gathered for celebrations and fireworks at the Spot Bay Community Cove.
Sunday, 5 June saw Services of Thanksgiving and heartfelt prayers for Her Majesty on all three islands: the Baptist Church on Little Cayman, the Aston Rutty Centre on Cayman Brac and Elmslie Memorial Church on Grand Cayman.
Other planned events by the Platinum Jubilee Committee such as concerts and an air show had to be postponed due to inclement weather conditions.
Commenting on the extended weekend’s celebrations, the Governor said: “Our Platinum Jubilee and Queen’s Birthday celebrations along West Bay Road and at Government House were a wonderful spectacle of colour, tradition and pomp. The Parade was outstanding. My thanks to all who came out to enjoy the various events despite the weather.
“So much incredibly hard work goes on behind the scenes to organise these events. Planning started last Autumn. I want to warmly thank all those involved from our excellent Platinum Jubilee Steering Committee, Protocol, Celebrate Cayman, RCIPS, all our uniformed services, GIS, Public Works, our musical performers, the team in my office and at Government House and many others too numerous to mention who made the events so special.
“The fireworks all along Seven Mile Beach were an excellent way to bring our events to a close. A very fitting tribute to our remarkable and inspiring Queen on 70 years on the Throne.”
Select proceedings that took place were live broadcast on the CI Government Facebook, CIG YouTube, CIGTV cable & Radio Cayman 89.9FM. The weekend’s celebration video coverage can be viewed as posted at the Cayman Islands YouTube page.