By Bina Mani
His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, OBE, received a warm send-off Tuesday, 28 March 2023 afternoon from the Cayman Islands Civil Service, headed by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, MBE.
The personnel gathered as a large group to pay, for the first time, their collective respects and regards through greetings, applause and cheers to the Governor, on his penultimate day as His Majesty’s representative to the Cayman Islands. “This was heartfelt. He will be missed,” was a common sentiment expressed at the event.
At GAB, Brac civil service personnel, led by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Mark Tibbetts, participated online to add their voices to the send-off. Governor took time interacting with them and with those at GAB.
Governor Roper, characterised by his approachability, congeniality and friendliness and ability to put everyone at ease, was a beloved occupant of the Government Administration Building for some four-and-a half years, interacting affably with the Civil Service personnel as he traversed the corridors of the building to and from his office.
He generally chose to use the staff entrance just like the bulk of the civil service, standing on little formality to enter and exit the building on a daily basis or in dealing with individuals.
Governor Roper had also made it a point to attend nearly all COVID-19 press briefings, adding substantially to the reassurance that the Government brought at a difficult time to the people of the Cayman Islands, which had globally one of the best responses to the pandemic crisis.
Reacting to the amiable send-off, the Governor said, “I was honoured to receive a wonderful final farewell from the Civil Servants as I left the Government Administration Building for the last time. It has been the honour of my life to serve as Governor of the Cayman Islands and work with so many talented Civil Servants striving hard to make the lives of everyone in our community better. Cayman’s rich history, culture, traditions and vibrant character have fascinated us and will always hold a very special place in our hearts. We leave with wonderful memories. Thank you to all.”
Deputy Governor Manderson commented, “It was wonderful to see the Civil Service personnel gather in large numbers to express their love and deep respect for Governor Roper. I had the privilege and pleasure to work with Governor Roper for four and half years and can attest to his love and care for the people of our beloved islands. I am delighted that we were able to give him a CaymanKind send off. ”
Portfolio of the Civil Service Chief Officer, Ms Gloria McField-Nixon said, “Governor Roper was highly supportive of the civil service and was generous in imparting his vast leadership experience. Earlier this month, he addressed over 300 senior leaders, sharing his own leadership insights. He was undeniably a highly visible leader throughout Cayman’s COVID lockdown, but he was equally vigilant in ensuring that others who toiled in service to the Cayman Islands public were duly recognised for their significant contributions. During his tenure, an unprecedented number of royal honours were bestowed locally, ranging from two Caymanians receiving knighthoods to dozens of public officers receiving the Certificate and Badge of Honour.”
Facilities Management Department’s Mr. Fisher Porter, who made a point to be on hand to greet Mr. Roper as he arrived and conduct him through the corridor, commented very simply, “I will miss the Governor,” which were sentiments all present echoed.
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