Constitution anniversary celebrations kick off

| 26/06/2019
CNS Local Life

(CNS Local Life): This weekend begins a yearlong celebration of the 60th anniversary of the first written Cayman Islands Constitution. Once again, Celebrate Cayman, which was established last year to direct the commemoration of the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms, which also turned 60, is coordinating this new series of events, which include a charity football match, special church service and dedicated radio shows.

The celebrations begin with events set for the upcoming long weekend, which includes the public holiday on Monday, 1 July to mark Constitution Day. The first activity on the schedule is a “cultural breakfast” at the Kimpton Seafire Resort on 29 June, organisers said in a press release, to celebrate Cayman’s “special relationship” with Jamaica and the UK. Invited guests include heads of government from British Overseas Territories, representatives from Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora in the Cayman Islands, members of the clergy, and the Constitutional Commission. The 1959 Legislative Assembly of justices and vestry, which enacted the first Constitution, will be represented by family members. The proceedings will be broadcast live on Radio Cayman 89.9FM.

Later that evening, a charity exhibition football match will be played at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex featuring football legends from the UK and the Caribbean. Among those set to participate in the match are former stars Gianfranco Zola from Italy, Shaka Hislop (Trinidad & Tobago), Ricardo Gardener (Jamaica), Darren Moore (Jamaica), Sean Davis (England), and Pascal Chimbonda (France) along with Jamaica Reggae Boyz Walter Boyd, Onandi Lowe, and former Cayman Islands National Team players Lee Ramoon, Gillie Seymour, Antonio Smith and Richard Hew.

Two teams of 30 players each will be taking part, for a total of 60 players representing the 60 years of the Constitution, organisers explained. Admission is free for the match, with gates opening at 3pm and everyone asked to be seated by 5:30pm when the gates will close ahead of the 6pm start. Large bags and glass bottles will not be permitted.

At halftime, in addition to entertainment, donations will be collected for the non-profit Hope for Today Foundation, which helps and supports individuals finding their way back from substance abuse through transition from prison or treatment to community life.

On Sunday, a church service is planned at Elmslie Memorial United Church, starting at 10:30am to “offer attendees a time to reflect on and give thanks for the journey the Cayman Islands has made over the past 60 years”, organisers said. Attendees are asked to arrive by 10am and the service will be carried live on Radio Cayman 89.9FM

The festivities move to the George Town Town Hall on Monday, 1 July, with an event from 9am-11am to celebrate the significance of this historic building in the nation’s capital, followed by a traditional Caymanian breakfast.

On Thursday, 4 July, Radio Cayman’s For the Record and Talk Today shows will feature an in-depth look at the first Constitution’s provisions and subsequent evolution to today’s document. Guests will include attorney Steve McField, former Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence, chairman of the Constitutional Commission Vaughan Carter, and policy analyst Jason Webster. Both shows will be hosted by Orrett Connor.

Marzeta Bodden, deputy chair of Celebrate Cayman, said of the planned activities, “The line-up of events happening in the Cayman Islands in late June and early July present the opportunity to further strengthen our relationships with the United Kingdom and Jamaica with more business, educational, and cultural links being highlighted, established, and embedded.

“Celebrate Cayman is focused on engaging, educating, and inspiring youth; celebrating our diversity and encouraging connection; establishing a spirit of cultural community; discovering the Cayman Islands’ colourful history; and engendering national pride. It is our hope that the Constitution celebrations kick-off will achieve all this and more.”

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Category: Community, Local News

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  1. Diogenes says:

    I can’t be the only one who sees the irony in the government celebrating the first constitution when successive governments have refused to even attempt to implement the current constitution
    The District advisory councils are nowhere near implemented in almost 10 years
    Same with the Standards in Public Life Law proscribed by the document

    Also ironic to see the government all but spitting on the People Initiated Referendum and equal rights under the law/ non-discrimination sections of the constitution