As Leader of the Progressives it gives me great pride, on behalf of the Progressives, to congratulate our colleague and Party Chairman, The Hon Alden McLaughlin, on being appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
This honour is a proud moment for our former Premier and his family, as well as for every Caymanian. For us members of the Progressives it is also a special moment. As a founding member of the Peoples Progressive Movement Sir Alden, along with the Hon Kurt Tibbetts, played a significant role in starting and developing the Progressives. It was Kurt as Leader of the Party who led the Progressives into Government in 2005 and it was Sir Alden, as Kurt’s successor, who led the Progressives into Government in 2013 and again in 2017. All three Progressives Government’s made significant contributions to modernising our constitution, our politics, our physical infrastructure, as well as developing our economy.
I agree with his excellency the Governor when he noted that Sir Alden is “one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years”. Having worked first hand with Sir Alden I have a deep respect for his leadership and foresight. These Islands are better for the contribution of Sir Alden to our development. Sir Alden is also a statesman and very capably defended Cayman on the world stage. He has gained the respect of leaders from the region as well as the UK. He is one of a very few Caribbean Leaders who have been invited to speak at Chatham House in London and to have appeared on the BBC’s HARDtalk television programme. He made us all proud of his defence of Cayman then, and this he continued to do over both terms as Premier. Few people will leave a lucrative legal career to commit themselves to public service. That is the character of the man. In 2010 Sir Alden was recognised by Her Majesty with the award of an MBE. The awarding of the KCMG is further recognition of his unselfish work on behalf of these Islands and people over more than twenty years and is well deserved.
I also acknowledge the award of the MBE to Ms Lucille Seymour. Ms Seymour, a previous recipient of the British Empire Medal, is a distinguished former civil servant, parliamentarian and founding member of the Progressives. Alongside Sir Alden and Kurt (who was also awarded an OBE in 2010) she was also very instrumental in the growth of the party over the decades. This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Progressives and it is fitting that two of our founders have been recognised in this manner. Congratulations Sir Alden and Lucille!
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