On 21 May the community got together at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands for a special tea party to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s incredible 70 years of reign, and which featured a series of activities especially designed to get the creative juices flowing.
School bunting art project
A project running from Tuesday, 1 March, all the way to Saturday, 28 May, has given youngsters the chance to showcase their inner artist, as they have designed Jubilee bunting, that most traditional of party decorations. The bunting was on display at the National Gallery’s tea party and showed off the artistic talents of students from Village Montessori, Edna Moyle Primary School in North Side, Red Bay Primary, East End Primary and First Baptist Christian School.
First Baptist Christian School was a particularly strong supporter of the project. Mrs Janine Nyyssonen said her grade 3A students really enjoyed learning about the parts of the Cayman Islands crest and what each one represented.
“They then had fun creating their own flags and explaining why they chose what they did. They were also amazed at how long Her Majesty the Queen has been on the throne!” she said.
Ms Tessa Suckoo’s Grade 4 was very intrigued to realise how long Her Majesty the Queen has been on the throne.
“They loved learning more about the symbols and crest of the Cayman Islands. Grade 4 especially enjoyed applying this knowledge to create their own, special flags,” she confirmed.
Mrs Ines Britton said Kindergarten enjoyed creating their individual flags as well.
Maia Muttoo, Education Manager at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, said:
“The National Gallery expresses our sincere thanks to all students who participated in the Jubilee school bunting project. We were thrilled to receive such a wide variety of flag designs, some that explicitly referenced official Caymanian National Symbols, some that re-envisioned these existing motifs in new ways and others that embraced entirely new visuals as part of that student’s personal understanding of their environment. Through this educational exercise, students learned about the concept of visual symbols while exploring the history and heritage expressed through our National Flag and Coat of Arms, all while allowing their creative expression to shine.”
In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, students aged 10 to 18 were invited to participate by writing and performing a poem on the theme ‘Majesty’ for the annual Youth Services Unit Youth Poetry Competition. First place went to Kylah Murphy, age 14, of Cayman International School and she won a prize of CI$500. Second place went to Aiden Miller, age 13, of Clifton Hunter High School, who went away with CI$400 and third place went to Danielle Player, age 13, of Cayman Prep & High School. Danielle claimed her prize of CI$300
Kylah said her poem was inspired by many different things that extend out beyond the theme of ‘Majesty’.
“It is very biblical in the sense that the true master described in the poem can be interpreted to represent God, and the animals are the people in His kingdom. I was also inspired by the French Revolution, where the rich were sitting comfortably amidst the cruelty the French civilians were facing. The jaguar, in this instance, was the people who were treated like slaves and learned to live with the consequences of their actions but were never offered the help they needed to move up in society,” she said.
“Of course, the true master described towards the end can represent many different people or things. The Queen, of course, was in mind whilst that stanza was being written, but history has many great masters that fit the description given. However, I would say that there is only one true master, and He was in mind also when I was brainstorming ideas for the ending of the poem. When we look to other gods or idols for stability, we lose sight of what is really important. It can be easy for a person who has so much power to be overcome by the position they hold; one might forget why they were appointed in the first place. The ending illustrates how important this ideology is.”
Krista Finch, Enrichment Teacher at CIS, said:
“Words are powerful and I am so proud she has chosen to use her words to make the world a better place! This poem is an example of that.”
Antoinette Welch, English Teacher with Goldfield Academy at Clifton Hunter High School, said they were very proud of Aiden.
“He was presented with the information about the competition in his English class and was very excited to participate. Not only did he put great effort into crafting his poem, but he also diligently rehearsed his delivery even after he won the competition at our school. Aiden strives for excellence in everything he does,” she confirmed. “Aiden expressed that he was honoured to have been a part of the competition and that it was a good experience for him. He has an admirable passion for reading and creative writing.”
Cayman Prep and High School’s Head of English, Amber Bothwell, said:
“Cayman Prep and Hight School held a competition in school, and Danielle Player of Year 8 was deemed to be our top scoring poet, which gave her a spot in the inter-school competition on Saturday, 21st May. Having come third in that competition (a very close one), Danielle won $300 and performed her poem at the ‘Queen’s Jubilee: Family Afternoon Tea Party’ at the National Gallery later that day.”
Governor Martyn Roper said: “Well done to the winners of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee poetry competition announced at the National Gallery Family Tea Party. Thanks to National Gallery, a national gem, for hosting the event.”
The National Gallery tea party event was organised in association with the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation and the Youth Services Unit.