Governor Long laid to rest in official funeral

| 15/08/2019
CNS Local Life
RCIPS officers carry Governor Long’s coffin out of the church

(CNS Local Life): Members of Cayman’s community, from government officials to friends and neighbours, came out to celebrate the life of Athel Charles Ethelwulf Long, the first governor of the Islands, Wednesday, 14 August, at a service held at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church in Savannah. The official funeral, reserved for current and former post-holders of the most senior public service positions, featured a guard of honour, police march and 21-gun salute.

During the service, Governor Martyn Roper, Premier Alden McLaughlin, longtime friend Amanda Roberts and Pastor Randy Von Kanel gave addresses in which they paid tribute to Long, who passed away 1 August.

As part of his address, Roper read a statement from Overseas Territories Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon in which he praised Long. “I was saddened to hear about the passing of the first Governor of the Cayman Islands, Mr Athelstan C E Long, CMG,” Lord Ahmad said in the statement. “It is testament to the fondness he had for the islands and the people that he returned there to live until his passing. He contributed greatly to the Islands’ community in the years that followed particularly through his work with the Veterans Association. I extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.”

CNS Local Life
Premier Alden McLaughlin speaks at Athel Long’s funeral

Long was the last administrator of the Cayman Islands from 1968, transitioning to a brief stint as the first governor in 1971. Five years after leaving the islands when his tenure ended, Long returned and settled in Cayman for the rest of his life. He was actively involved in the community, especially with the Veterans Association. Before joining the diplomatic service, he was a military officer and spent three years as a prisoner of war during World War II.

CNS Local Life
Governor Martyn Roper lays a wreath grave side

He was a respected member of the community, well known for his commitment to service and his humour. Long also proved to be a valuable resource for his successors as governor.

Following the church service, a guard of honour preceded the hearse carrying the governor to his interment at nearby Eden Cemetery.

After the funeral, Roper posted a message on his Facebook page in which he thanked everyone involved in organising the funeral, adding, “It was a fitting farewell for a remarkable man.”

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