By Staff Writers
Cayman put on a grand display of colour, pomp and pageantry against a backdrop of marvellous bank holiday weather as the jurisdiction paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrating the monarch’s 95th birthday and her 69th year on the throne.
Members of Parliament, senior civil servants, community leaders, and members of the public came together at a new venue this past Monday June 14th to mark the occasion.
This year’s celebration at Government House on West Bay Road featured all the traditional highlights and regalia including the traditional parade by uniformed services, a Royal salute and three cheers for the Queen.
Past and new recipients of Queen’s and National Honours were also recognised in a ceremony which preceded a garden party reception.
The Queen’s Birthday Parade contingent, led by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), included detachments from the Cayman Islands Fire Service, HM Prison Service, Girls Brigade, Scouts, the Cadet Corps and Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders. Meanwhile taking part for the first time were the Cayman Islands Regiment and the Cayman Islands Coast Guard. The RCIPS Band provided music.
During the awards ceremony, His Excellency the Governor, Mr Martyn Roper, presented Director of Customs and Border Control Charles Clifford with a medal recognising him as a Member of the Most Excellent the British Empire (MBE). Mr Clifford received the award in the New Year’s Honours List in 2020 for services to customs and border control.
Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, who introduced Mr Clifford, ended by noting that the Queen had recognised Director of the Truman Bodden Law School, Mr Mitchell Davies, with the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The focus then shifted to National Awards as Premier, Hon. Wayne Panton, acting for the first time in his capacity as Chancellor of the Order of the Cayman Islands, presented Pastor Randall von Kanel with the Member of the Order of Cayman Islands award.
While Pastor von Kanel’s award for charitable works and service to the community was announced at the start of the year, he was unable to attend the National Heroes Day investiture explained Cabinet Secretary and Secretary to the Order Samuel Rose. Mr Rose emceed that portion of the ceremony.
The awards ceremony was immediately followed by a garden party reception on the grounds of Government House, that was open to the public, and hosted by Governor and Mrs Roper.
Describing the new venue for the Parade outside Government House as a great success, His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper noted: “Over 800 people attended the Garden Party afterwards in the grounds of Government House, the largest turn-out for a Queen’s Birthday event in recent memory. My huge thanks to all on the Parade, the teams at Protocol and Government House for outstanding work to make this such a special occasion”.
In a further social media post, Governor Roper observed that: “The Parade was outstanding and shows yet again how good we are at organising such events. Congratulations to the award recipients, Mr. Charles E. Clifford, MBE, JP who received the Member of the British Empire award (MBE) from me and Pastor Randall L. Von Kanel, MCI who received the Member of the Order the Cayman Islands (MCI) from the Hon. Premier in the newly relaunched Order of the Cayman Islands earlier this year.”
He said it was a pleasure to see the Cayman Islands Regiment and Cayman Islands Coast Guard join for the first time the other uniformed services and youth organisations on parade.
With Cayman still buzzing from the excitement of this year’s event, Governor Roper is already looking forward to an even grander celebration next year to mark the Queen’s 70th year of reign.
“I look forward to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year marking Her Majesty’s 70 years on the Throne, a remarkable achievement. I hope we will join the UK and ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. More details on that soon!” Governor Roper enthused.
Massive celebrations are already being spoken of in the UK including an extended four-day bank holiday.
This year marked the Queen’s 95th birthday, and being on the throne for the past 69 years, makes her the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She has seen 14 Presidents of the United States, and 14 Prime Ministers of the UK complete their terms, during her reign.