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Hearty Celebration for Parliament Building 50th Anniversary

Government 13 Jul, 2022 Follow News

In this file photo, Speaker Hon. McKeeva Bush unveils the renaming of the former Legislative Assembly building as the House of Parliament, when it became an autonomous body, on 4 December 2020.

The Cayman Islands Parliament building will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next week. An exciting programme of entertainment will help mark the 50th “birthday” from 6-8 pm on Thursday, 21 July 2022.

The then Legislative Assembly building was officially opened on 31 July 1972.

Open to the public on Parliament’s steps and in Fort Street, the 21 July celebration features an abundance of music, song and dance.

Speaker, Hon. McKeeva Bush outlined that the full two-hour programme will have performances and a dozen acts as well as a “live” painting of the event, created by a local artist and fireworks to round off the event. 

Additionally, there will also be food and beverages available for participants of the festivities, with local caterers providing fare including conch stew as well as fruit juices and sodas. A cash bar accepting card payment only will also be available to guests wanting to buy alcoholic beverages.

The Speaker also recalled the colourful history associated with the iconic building, which is now a fixture at the heart of Central George Town.

“This is a celebration of a precious segment of the evolving history of our beloved islands, which evokes many fond memories for a large number of people,” Mr. Bush commented.

Prior to the outdoor celebration, Members of Parliament and invited guests will attend a special lecture in the Chamber of the House. The presentation by eminent constitutional attorney, Dr. the Hon. Lloyd Barnett will focus on the “Separation of Powers” of the legislature, executive and judiciary.

Both the celebrations and the lecture will be broadcast live on the Cayman Islands Government YouTube and Facebook channels and on CIGTV channels.

Brief History of the Building

The Cayman Islands Parliament building was officially opened on 31st July 1972 by then-Governor Kenneth Roy Crook.

Dame Hilda Bynoe of Grenada was the distinguished guest at the event and gifted the new Parliament building with a painting on behalf of her island.

An international competition was held in 1970 to choose the architects to design both the Legislative Assembly building and the Court House. The winner was architectural firm Rutkowski Bradford and Partners of Jamaica, who designed both buildings. The firm became Rutkowski Baxter and Houghton on their relocation to Cayman.

The buildings were constructed by McAlpine (Cayman) Ltd., and Arch Construction. The Legislative Assembly was the first “poured-concrete” building in Cayman and it was also McAlpine’s first project in Cayman.

The chosen site of the building was what was once Princess Royal Park, so named for the first British royal to visit Cayman (Mary, Princess Royal), who planted a tree in the park. Two years later His Royal Highness Prince Philip also visited the park.

The building underwent renovations in 2003, adding a Members’ Dining room, as well as refitting the carpeting and furniture in the Chamber.

On 4 December 2020 the Legislative Assembly became an autonomous Parliament and the building was named the House of Parliament.

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