London rep lays Cayman wreath at UK service

| 16/11/2021 | 14 Comments
Representatives from the UKOTs lay wreaths at the cenotaph in London

(CNS) The Cayman Islands representative to the UK and Europe, Tasha Ebanks-Garcia, laid a wreath at the National Service of Remembrance in London on Sunday in remembrance of Caymanians who lost their lives fighting in the two World Wars and later conflicts. This year was only the second time in the history of the ceremony that British Overseas Territories representatives have been invited to lay wreaths for citizens of their respective territories, according to Cayman’s London office, which described this as a “very significant step” in recognising the BOTs’ efforts and sacrifices for the United Kingdom.  

This followed a successful campaign led the British territories to lay wreaths in their own right, replacing the tradition where the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs laid a wreath on behalf of all the BOTs.

Here in Cayman, the local ceremony was scaled back as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Officials said the Remembrance Sunday observance on 14 November took the form of private wreath-laying ceremonies without the usual contingents on parade. A total of 49 wreaths were laid at memorial sites on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac in honour of those who have died in military action.

“Unfortunately due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the risks posed to elderly and vulnerable veterans, we were unable to have our traditional annual parade,” Chief of Protocol Meloney Syms noted. “Instead, we invite members of the public to visit both memorial locations to lay wreaths privately while observing COVID-19 safety protocols.”

Simultaneous ceremonies on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac began at 10:50am and included a two-minute moment of silence at 11:00am in remembrance of the fallen. The programme continued with the sounding of the Last Post and the laying of wreaths, at the Cenotaph at Elmslie Memorial United Church and the Seamen’s Memorial nearby.

This was led by Acting Governor Franz Manderson, followed by Premier Wayne Panton, as well as representatives of Parliament, the uniformed services and other organisations.

“Today we honour the many heroes who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, with special mention to our local heroes who rose to the task and joined in bravely on behalf of our Islands,” Manderson said.

Veterans and Seafarers Association members in attendance included those who served in World War II. There was also representation from contingent heads for the uniformed services, including Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Cayman Islands Regiment, Cayman Islands Coast Guard, Cayman Islands Fire Service and Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service. 

Other participants were Girls Brigade, the Boy Scouts, the Cadet Corps, the Pathfinders and the Lions Clubs of Grand Cayman and Tropical Gardens.

On Cayman Brac District Commissioner Mark Tibbetts led a brief private wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph outside the District Administration Building in Stake Bay. Henry Scott laid wreaths on behalf of both the Veterans and Seaman’s Society of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association. Ceremonial wreaths were also laid by other unformed services, organisations, and community groups.


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Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “On Cayman Brac District Commissioner Mark Tibbetts” – when was this job advertised ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    WTH ? She gets paid to lay wreaths ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The next time I hear Franz Manderson refer to his Civil Service as “World Class” I am going to 3-way call him with WORC so he can sit on the phone with me for 45 mins listening to the background music waiting on someone to pick up the DAMN phone! How can I run a successful business if the Government support services won’t even take my call? ridiculous man absolutely ridiculous.

  4. Cracker Jack Eric says:

    What a friggin joke this little place has become posing for photos in 1950 stewardess suits like it is some fashion event really Cayman really ?? This is soooo disrespectful and has put us at a new low !

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good lord almighty! We have a Chief of Protocol? Does she have staff? How many and are they cast offs from other departments? This sounds like a civil service office ripe for closure to save funds.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What an embarrassment.

    • Anonymous says:

      The grinning fashion show photo on other media in particular. Totally tone deaf. What next, ice cream sundaes in the cemetery above Omaha Beach in the first week of June?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Franz, those that fought proudly did so for the Crown (including these Islands). Not just these Islands. They were and considered themselves to be British. I know there is an attempt to re-write the script by many relative newcomers who have less long term connection to either these Islands or the UK, but we should not bow down to any pressure to rewrite history because it may not accord with a present popular narrative. Those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in some foreign field or sea deserve better. This is not a time to get woke.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not what behalf means. Not sure what “woke” has to do with anything in this article or your comment even. Some people just need to find something to complain about I guess. Carry on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there any record of those Caymanians that did give their lives in either war? I haven’t seen any – just general references to the proportion of the population that participated, and without distinguishing between those that served in the home guard, the Trinidad naval reserve, the merchant navy or overseas service. It would be nice to pay special acknowledgement to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is but you have to search to find it. Tens of Bodden’s, Ebanks’, Watler’s etc. died in torpedo attacks on vessels they were serving on in WW2 but they are logged as British (because that is what they were). There is also a memorial in Elmslie to a Caymanian who died in the trenches in WW1.

      • Anonymous says:

        17 @11:18am – Please tell us you’re under the age of 13, meaning you likely have no degree of independence, mentally of physically, so as to do research for yourself. Otherwise, the info is easily available at the Cayman Islands National Archives, including Caymanians in military service and those in the merchant navies, who were lost during wars. But for now, a short visit inside Elmslie Memorial Church in GT will show you a few.

        Anyway, let’s start with these names;

        Austin Burns Conolly of East End, Grand Cayman. My uncle. Lost at sea to a German U-boat torpedo on the m/v Allister off the coast of Grand Cayman, May 29, 1942 (Google). At least another Caymanian colleague (from Cayman Brac) was also lost. I also had a cousin Charles (Bodden) Borden Jr. killed in Vietnam, but he would probably be listed as an American (of Caymanian parents). I also remember a young West Bayer, Allie Ebanks Jr., being killed in Vietnam.

        There were dozens more from WW1 & WW2,

        But please, take the time and visit the Archives.

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