Qualification for a ‘state’ funeral

| 02/01/2017

What are the criteria for someone in the Cayman Islands to be given a state funeral and who makes the decision? I have heard all sorts of frightening suggestions, such as all those ex-speakers and ministers with honourable before their name in perpetuity. Surely that can’t be so in such a small community?

Auntie’s answer: The explanation you seek comes from the Protocol Office, which is responsible for managing a host of official events. As you suggested, MLAs are indeed on the list for this potential recognition.

Cayman actually has a “funerals policy”, according to the office, which considers these ceremonies an “expression of the highest honour”. In Cayman, however, the occasion is “called an ‘official’ funeral instead of a ‘state’ funeral as we are not a state but a dependent country”, the protocol representative pointed out.

These funerals are normally reserved for those people who have contributed to the Cayman Islands “at the very apex of leadership”.

The funerals policy sets out three categories of people who would be considered for this honour:

  • The governor or any civil servant who has acted in the post
  • All serving and former members of the Legislative Assembly
  • Other important persons of national significance.

The last category is defined as people acknowledged for their contributions through such channels as the Queen’s birthday honours, National Hero award and other official recognition schemes and ceremonies.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (20)

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  1. Della says:

    Am I understanding this that a Member of the LA and someone that has been given a medal from the Queen? Would be entitled for a state funeral? Please let me know.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am so disgusted with the comment that there are no Caymanians. Every state, country or island in the world – there were people that settled there. In the Cayman Islands – the first settlers were from England or Scotland. These people settled here and had children. Their children were raised in the three islands – therefore, Caymanians were born.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have to say that I am sorry my question to Auntie about state funeral criteria has set off the unpleasant back and forth about sovereignty, dependency etc plus, as usual, the expat v Caymanian stuff. But thanks for the answer, Auntie.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a question I’ve wanted an answer to, so I appreciated you asking. A family member has had one, so if you would like more information, feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to tell you what one involves.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank God we have a Protocol Office to handle such vital aspects of our jurisdiction as a “funerals policy”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Territory. Not a country, not a state.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Auntie, surely they meant “dependent territory.” We are not a state, but neither are we a country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is neither a ” dependent territory ” or a “dependent country”. The Cayman Islands has not been the recipient of financial aid from the administering state (UK) for more than half a century. We are not dependent on anyone but ourselves. Constitutionally, we are a British Overseas Territory.

      • Anonymous says:

        International relations? Defense?

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous at 11;41 thank you for clearing that up. By the way, why wouldn’t any sitting/ past MLA/ government official not be given an official funeral. Some of you want to strip everything away from any Caymanian that you can but at the same time so many of you are clambering for PR and status. you make me sick. What have you done lately to merit it or what gives you the right to even put your poisonous beak into our business. You are nothing but a s…….t stirrer. Wasting the Protocol office time!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re not a sovereign country, if that’s what you meant. A country is simply a nation (large group of people with a common history and culture) that occupies territory and has its own government. Cayman fits that description, so if you are Caymanian, now you know, and if you aren’t, take your attitude about our status elsewhere. We know what we are.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, to be a country the generally accepted requirements are that you must satisfy all of the following.

        Have internationally recognized land and borders even if border disputes exist;
        Have permanent residents;
        Has sovereignty so that no other country has power over its territory;
        Has organized economic activity that regulates foreign and domestic trade and issues money;
        Has recognition from other independent states

        We do not, and so are not properly described as a country.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you strictly apply that “Has sovereignty so that no other country has power over its territory” rule a lot of countries would have to pack their bags and leave the United Nations.

          • Anonymous says:

            Really? Like where?

            • Anonymous says:

              The most recent world news might lead you to ask why Crimea is controlled by Russia instead of the Ukraine, or you could ask who really has sovereignty over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc.

              But if you really want to open a can of worms then ask why the UK exercises sovereignty over a large chunk of the northern part of Ireland, a small peninsula in Spain at the entrance to the Mediterranean, or even the tiny Malvinas Islands off the coast of Argentina.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, there are different definitions and I suppose the one you choose depends on whether you’d like to believe you’re living in a country or something less than one. I make the obvious choice. But thanks for trying to invalidate the commonly understood, easily searchable definition. And by the way, because as you’ve probably noticed by now I’m interested in these things, where did you get this most officious list from? I would much appreciate a link so that I can learn more.

      • Thin Lizzie says:

        We all know that you are a British Overseas Territories Citizen and that there is no such thing as a Caymanian, but so it go.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are currently 196 independent countries or States around the world. Territories of countries or individual parts of a country are not countries in their own right.
        Examples of entities that are not countries include: Hong Kong, Bermuda, Greenland, Puerto Rico, and most notably the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. (Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England are not countries.)

        Ignorance is not an excuse for stupidity but it helps.