An MBE for Franz at end of royal visit

| 31/03/2019 | 12 Comments
CNS Local Life
Prince Charles speaks at Pedro Castle event (click to enlarge)

(CNS Local Life): At the end of a long day touring the Sister Islands and Grand Cayman, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended their final event Thursday, 28 March, a reception at Pedro St James, where Prince Charles presented medals to three Caymanians. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson received an MBE, and Felicia McLean and Andrew Smilley were awarded Certificates and Badges of Honour.

Before the prince handed out the honours, he addressed the audience, saying, “It is a great joy for my wife and I to join all of you this evening, in this rather beautiful setting and to be here in the Cayman Islands. I can only say how greatly touched we have both been by the welcome we have received over these past two days, and how much we have enjoyed meeting so many people here, as well as on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.”

Noting the “remarkable” progress Cayman has undergone since he first visited in 1973 as a Royal Lieutenant on the HMS Minerva, supported by a “strong legal system, civil service and police force”, he added, “I hope you are all justifiably proud of what has been achieved on these islands.”

He also spoke on the need to preserve the environment, recounting his visits to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute and its efforts in protecting the coral reefs, and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme.

He closed by thanking everyone for the reception the couple had received during the whirlwind visit. “We are deeply grateful to have been given such a special welcome on all three islands and to have met so many people from such a diverse range of backgrounds who now call these islands home,” he said.

“As we leave you this evening, we will take with us the fondest memories of these beautiful islands and of the warmth of the Caymanian people.”

The emcee for the evening, Gloria McField-Nixon, chief officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service, and sister of awardee McLean, then asked Prince Charles to present the medals.

In announcing Manderson’s MBE for services to the Cayman Islands community, she said he was a “dedicated civil servant of almost 40 years” who had made “huge strides to create a world-class civil service”. McField-Nixon also noted his commitment to giving back to his community, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has raised since he launched the Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge in 2014.

The prince briefly chatted with Manderson and then McLean was called to the stage to receive her award for services to palliative care.

McLean is the director of operations and nursing at Jasmine, formerly Cayman HospiceCare. Recalling her past honour as a recipient of the National Heroes’ Day emerging pioneer award in health services, McField-Nixon said McLean “is passionate about improving the quality of life for everyone affected by both chronic and terminal illness”, adding that during her career, “she has supported countless patients and their families”.

McLean told CNS after receiving her award that she was “still in shock” and that making a “difference in my patients and their family’s lives, is a reward in itself”.

She added that having the prince present the award surrounded by her family and community “made it that much more special”.

McLean also told CNS that when presenting the medal, the prince “jokingly apologised for interrupting our islands for the past two days”. He told her what a great cause palliative and hospice care is and congratulated her for working in this field. “He encouraged me to keep doing the great work that I do,” McLean said.

Smilley was honoured for services to sports in the Cayman Islands. He has represented the Cayman Islands in five World Summer Games, winning medals in swimming and basketball, McField-Nixon said, and after completing the Special Olympics Athletes Leadership Programme, he has joined the board of directors of Special Olympics, where he represents fellow athletes.

Ahead of the medals ceremony, Governor Martyn Roper and Premier Alden McLaughlin both spoke. “As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coat of Arms and the Constitution, it is fitting that we receive the most senior royal visit to the islands since Her Majesty the Queen in 1994,” Roper said.

In recalling all the places the prince and duchess toured during their short stay, he added he was “delighted that so many of our young people have been able to take part in the royal visit”.

McLaughlin told those gathered that he recalled the prince’s first visit to Cayman when he was a “young lad” of 12. “You have seen that things have changed a lot in Grand Cayman,” the premier said, addressing the prince, and added that despite the changes, “the great Caymanian spirit and hospitality” still exist, which have “allowed us to build an economy that encourages development and brings jobs to our people… While we have embraced modernity, we remain very proud of our rich heritage.”

After the conferring of the medals, the royals left the stage to walk separately through the audience, meeting and chatting with many of the hundreds who had turned out for the ceremony.

See photos of Pedro St James reception below (click to enlarge).

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Category: Community, Events, Local News

Comments (12)

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  1. Anon says:

    I can only say, if we have a “world class” civil service it must be the third world.I only ever hear this fanciful description from our civil servants, the private sector have a completely opposite opinion.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    My admiration goes to those who refuse to accept such awards. True altruism seeks no reward or recognition. When you die, remember these silly tokens remain behind. There is nothing left of the British Empire anyway and think what it represented, slavery, stealing of land and wealth. Nothing to be proud of at all!

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    • Union Jack says:

      5.57pm So who has refused such awards?. Talking about altruism, did you attend the Pedro reception?. If there is nothing left of the British Empire how come English is the lingua franca of the world?.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are at least 277 who have according to BBC archives. There is no link between attending the Pedro event to altruism. Using Latin by the way, does not make it more convincing. The English language is not an invention of the Empire either, I fail to see how you make that connection. The English language is evolved from centuries of invasions and settlement and hence the very many different dialects.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Pity these have become such a farce.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    They should give a proved to the people that work 2 jobs at 6$ an hour, dealing with shit health insurance and a horrible public school system for their children.
    THEY are the real hero’s of this island, not somebody that is stuck in a job for 40 years.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats DG for your 37 years of service. Your service has had a tremendous positive impact on so many people.

    I was pleased but not surprised that you decided not to go to the Palace to receive your award but decided to receive the award in the presence of your people.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Take that you jealous ones. Franz got an MBE and it’s not an April Fools joke😂

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    • Johnny Rotten says:

      Not an April Fool’s joke but Franz is…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go ahead with the negative and jealous comments and see what good that does you.

      It was a magnificent night at Pedro. 3 deserving Caymanians were awarded. How can that be a bad thing?

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      • Johnny Rotten says:

        Brilliant, just give awards for just showing up or lining your own and your family’s pockets. The real heros are forever unsung, would rather refrain from public spotlight and shun pomp and ceremony.

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