Official day of mourning set to bid farewell to Ms Sybil

| 18/05/2022 | 21 Comments
Hon Sybil McLaughlin

(CNS): The first female National Hero and first Speaker of the House, Sybil McLaughlin, who died last week aged 93, will be given an official funeral spanning two days, starting on Thursday when she will lie in state at the House of Parliament before her funeral, followed by an official day of national mourning on Friday. Ms Sybil was the first clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the first woman to hold that job in the entire Commonwealth, and the only living Cayman Islands National Hero until her passing.

Given her iconic status in the development of the country, Ms Sybil will be given a nationwide warm farewell. The official funeral service will take place at Elmslie Memorial Church from 1pm Friday before a Hero’s Farewell at Heroes Square, with a 21 Gun Salute by the RCIPS. The final funeral procession will move from Heroes Square through South Church Street, onto Walkers Road, past Ms Sybil’s home and onward to Bodden Funeral Home. However, there will be no public graveside service.

The official funeral proceedings over both days will be broadcast live on the Cayman Islands Government YouTube and the CIGTV channels, as well as on Radio Cayman’s Breeze FM stations on 105.3 FM on Grand Cayman and on 91.9 FM in the Sister Islands.

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Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Unhappy Caymanian – Seems like you don’t recognize ANY advancements/achievements women in our society have made – or even in the UK. What have YOU done to promote women’s rights and stature in Cayman society? You’re not interested in 1953 because it seems your world is still somewhere in the 1920s! Where did any of my comments suggest that I’m “content with (womens)…under-representation in influential roles”. Take off your blinders.

    BTW – Hon. Juliana is O’Connor-Connolly. NOT O’Connell. So much for your attention to reality.

    Seems like you’ll be unhappy until every single senior position in Cayman’s public and private sector is held by a woman, Xena.

    • Unhappy Caymanian says:

      You can’t get away from the fact that, O’Connell served as the only female premier for less than 7 months or so. That’s no achievement.

      The situation in the UK is far from satisfactory, as is in many country’s around the world for women, the LGBT community etc. in terms of their representation and influence.

      My world maybe in the 1920’s. My great-grandmother was a female pilot in 1926 and a delivery pilot of fighter aircraft and bombers in WW2,. She was the first woman to have a driving licence in her home town and the first woman to have a motorcycle licence.

      She also was a suffragette who got rid of her unless husband as he did not allow her to vote. My great-grandfather was an arse who wore blinders…

      If the world was full of the adequate representation and influence of women, it would be a better place.

      I don’t think we’d have Ukraine.

      You seem to be happy to defend second best for women.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Are we getting another public holiday?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, but as he insists on referring to himself, “honorable minister of tourism” walked out early I’m told. Long weekend for him anyway.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ms. Sybil or as I was taught to say from an early age, cousin Sybil ( she was married to a first cousin of mine) was a beautiful lady both in spirit and outward appearance. Well respected, smart, always well dressed, always professional. You’ have kept the faith and finished the course!

  4. Anonymous says:

    19 @ 3:23 am – The premise that women in Cayman have traditionally been civicly suppressed is a MYTH! Cayman is in fact a primarily matriarchal society for at least 2 reasons:

    1. During the formative years of Caymanian society, many women were the farmers, thatch cutters and weavers, home keepers, caregivers, on-site earners (for whatever scant opportunities existed, house cleaning, etc.), teachers and community leaders due to the fact that fathers were almost always away at sea. This lasted until the mid-1970s.

    2. Very much like many other societies, some men are sperm donors only and have little contribution towards raising their children, thus the role falls primarily on the woman. This is still evident.

    Cayman’s history shows quite a number of women holding significant public offices and private sector posts since the 1950s & 60s. A few examples of those in that era who come to my mind are :

    National Hero Evelyn Jackson – Public Representative
    National Hero Sybil McLaughlin – Parliamentary Official
    Hon. Annie Bodden – Lawyer and Public Representative
    Mrs. Una Bush – Government Savings Bank Manager
    Mrs. Hope Glidden-Borden – Postmaster General
    Mrs. Islay Conolly – Director of Education
    Ms. Gwen Bush – Shipping Agent
    Ms. Sunbeam Thompson – Taxi service and rental car operator
    Ms. Lorna Bodden – Gas Station Owner & Entrepreneur
    Mrs. Cook-Bodden – Shop-owner and Entrepreneur

    These are just a few who come to mind; I’m sure others may recall more.

    Meanwhile, since the 1970s, womens’ roles throughout our society have broadened and so have their opportunities. Any assessment of our public and private sector, as well as our news media, will confirm that.

    Generally, apart from the international suppression on women’s voting rights, which was successfully challenged by heroic women of Cayman in the late 1950s, women have never been suppressed in Cayman, as compared to many, many societies.

    • Unhappy Caymanian says:

      10 women- either past or present. Not impressive.

      I’m not commenting on the suppression of women in Cayman

      Where is their representation in the country in serious influencing roles?

      Women make up 50% of Caymanian population (not sure if correct)

      Where are they? In 2022? not 1953

      Or do we prefer the woman beating McCeeeva Bush?

      • Anonymous says:

        Unhappy Caymanian, perhaps you’re not only unhappy but under-educated? You clearly can’t understand what you read, if you did. I named a “few” women of a specific era which I identified, as examples. I further stated that ‘since then’ womens’ roles and opportunities in Cayman increased. I also referenced the evidence of that is everywhere in society and media coverage can confirm. Sheree Ebanks is one modern example, with her own numerous successes. Oh, sorry I shouldn’t have used her example because you’ll interpret that as only one successful woman. Pointless for me to list more.. Betty Baraud, Sophia Harris….oh nevermind.

        So what about that translates to your views that only “10 women either past or present” have exuded success in Cayman?

        ….and NO I don’t prefer McBeater Bush!

        You Sir, or Ma’am, are off the mark, clearly don’t know Cayman’s history!

        • Unhappy Caymanian says:

          Such sophistication in response for somebody so”educated”. One has to go to the personal, sorry the sewer to defend one’s comments.

          You are correct in regard to the history of women Cayman.

          Why if women have contributed so much in Caymanian Society, do you seem so content with their under representation in influencing roles?

          you accept 5 out of 18 MLA’s are women?

          Why is the appointment of as female to head CUC making such headlines?

          The UK has had 2 female prime ministers (too few).

          The Cayman Islands Juliana O’connell for less than 6 months in 2013?

          McBeater Bush sits as speaker for years?

          which reflects the last Govt. condoned woman beating as does the current Govt.

          Serious influencing women in Cayman in 2022. Give me a list then compare that to influencing men in 2022.

          I’m not interested in 1953.

    • Anonymous says:

      Women are well supported in Cayman unless they are a victim of domestic violence, sexaual abuse, or sexual harassment. Eveything else is great!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, women even get their names on a politicians placard in their yard saying “you are supported”. That is until the election is over, and you need the woman-beater in your PACT.

  5. Unhappy Caymanian says:

    Why are women still so unrepresented in this country?

    What is the legacy for this Caymanian Woman?

    The post is now held by a convicted criminal (common assault) who beat a woman.

    Does the new legislative assembly (pompously called a parliament) accurately reflect gender and ethnicity?

    So what is Cayman celebrating with this hero?

    Continued male dominance because women should be at home? Women of Cayman don’t get big ideas of equality or careers in politics.

    This hero was a one off, not to be repeated as it may offend the male ego?

    What should be being celebrated is progress for women in Cayman. I can’t see any in 2022.

    • Anonymous says:

      Citations needed

      • Unhappy Caymanian says:

        Am I wrong or do males make up most of the elected representation in Cayman?

        Despite being only 50% (assumption) of the population?

        Head of civil service?

        Chief of port authority?

        Chief of OFREG?

        Head of monetary authority?

        Chief Justice?

        Chief of Police?

        Chief of Customs?

        Chief of immigration?

        Where is the ethnic representation of women?

        Hispanic/British/Jamaican- of all ethnicity. Where?

        Sorry only “Caymanian” may apply and that had better be male for this first world country.

        • WhaYaSay says:

          Unhappy @128.
          Regarding elected representation; correct me if I’m wrong but I think Uncle Sam has the same issue (and they are the oldest democracy).
          Give us a little credit, we’re not doing that badly in comparison.

        • Anonymous says:

          Mrs. Cindy Scotland is at CIMA.

      • Unhappy says:

        of the 18 MLA’s only 5 are women.

        There is no ethnic representation. Sorry only “caymanians” can be elected.

        There is no LGBT representation.

        • Anonymous says:

          You sure?

        • Rick says:

          We don’t need non Caymankan representation and it is more important we have QUALIFIED representation regardless of their race. Competent representation is Far more important than diverse representation. Your ethnicity won’t matter so long as you’re competent.
          I would rather a qualified captain land my plane than one who was hired on the basis of diversity.

          • Unhappy Caymnanian says:

            I would say you definitely do need non-Caymanian representation…

            My country is a farce with what we have…


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