An important symbol of the Cayman Islands and the people who live here, the Coat of Arms celebrated 60 years since first being established on 14 May and a gathering of government officials were in the UK on that special day to commemorate this important symbol’s diamond jubilee.
Alfonso Wright is the Executive Chairman of the Celebrate Cayman team tasked with ensuring that everybody (whether in the Cayman Islands or in the UK) is able to appreciate the importance of the Coat of Arms and was in the UK, along with Premier Alden McLaughlin, Governor Anwar Choudhury and other government officials, to celebrate the day.
Mr Wright said in addition to participating in celebrations held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office organised by the Cayman Islands government’s London office, he had used his time in the UK to research archives to find out more about the history of the Coat of Arms, which was ordered by the Queen Elizabeth on 14 May 1958.
He felt that now was a good time to properly show the UK what the Coat of Arms stood for, in terms of understanding Cayman’s identity.
“We are more than just a financial district of a tourist destination,” he explained. “We are a country with a lot of heart and soul and we are proud of our heritage and the things we have accomplished over the years.”
In order to reinforce an understanding of Caymanian heritage, Mr Wright said that the London office had brought up a display that had been in the National Museum that would take viewers back in time to 1958 when the Coat of Arms was first established.
Back home, Mr Wright said that the Celebrate Cayman team would be leading a year-long celebration, during which time they would be visiting all of Grand Cayman’s districts and also the sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to help engage and educate everyone about the importance of the Coat of Arms, which went on to become Cayman’s first national symbol.
The anniversary day was marked locally with the draping of the Government Admin building on Elgin Avenue followed by other government buildings across all three islands. The dressing features the Coat of Arms as well as the Celebrate Cayman logo.
“When the year is over I don’t think there will be anyone who would have lived or visited the Cayman Islands who would have not have heard something about the Coat of Arms and what it means to its people,” Mr Wright confirmed.
Celebrations in Cayman will officially begin on Monday 28 May. The launch event, which is open to the public, will take place on the Glass House green and will feature local food and musical performances.
To learn more about the Celebrate Cayman festivities and subscribe to the mailing list, visit the dedicated website www.celebratecayman.ky and follow on social media. The public is also encouraged to join in the celebrations by sharing their own photos on social media using the hashtag #CelebrateCayman.