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FRC Announces Fathers First Programme

The Family Resource Centre (FRC) begins its initial Fathers First programme of the year on Monday, 1 February 2021.

The 10-week group sessions, running each Monday, are designed to enhance and support the skills and behaviours of fathers living apart from their children. Started in 2012, the course was set up to support men’s parenting in the household or following divorce and separation.  

“The goal of this course is to enhance and support positive parenting by providing participants with the skills and tools for maintaining long-term relationships with their child or children,” explains FRC’s Programme Coordinator Mrs. Charmaine Miller.

 “Our interactive sessions encourage input from participants and are specifically designed to benefit the participants and the women and children in their lives,” she adds.

Subjects discussed during the sessions include parenting responsibly, managing children’s behaviours, building a strong support network and overcoming barriers to fathering.

Fathers First is FRC’s response to helping redress the increasing number of children living apart from their biological fathers and the need to strengthen the role of fatherhood in nuclear families.

“Children need their fathers, fathers need their children but parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual,” says Programme Facilitator Mr. Andrae Bailey.

“The course offers evidence-based strategies to parent effectively. Each session will actively involve fathers in identifying ways for improving their parenting skills and how to address challenges to effective parenting. This is not a course where the facilitator has all the answers, participants are also encouraged to share and come up with practical solutions,” he added.

Research overwhelmingly supports the benefits of father involvement for children, families and the community.  Studies also strongly point to the wider benefits men themselves gain from active fathering. Nurturing/present fathering not only enhances the well-being of men it is shown to improve the economic and social welfare of children and mothers. In fact, in some cases the absence of a father is shown to be a major factor in the increase of delinquency and violence.

The FRC confirms that it will offer its Fathers First programme as often as demand dictates. In order to limit barriers to access, free childcare, meals and other inducements will also be available.

For more details and to reserve a place, please contact 949-0006 or email

HSA appoints Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Ronnie Dunn has been appointed the new role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) effective 4 January, 2021. 

His responsibilities include oversight of Finance, Information Technology, Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations, as well as, Infrastructure and Support Services within the Authority.

“On behalf of the board, I am absolutely confident that Mr Dunn is the right person to help lead the organization as we navigate through this challenging and unique period in the health care sector,” said Jonathan Tibbetts, Chairman of the HSA Board. “He is a highly respected and proven leader and his experience in management and finance brings valuable insight to enhancing and achieving our strategic goals, in addition to improving our patient experience.”

Mr Dunn previously worked with the HSA as a Consultant and Acting Chief Financial Officer and comes with a wealth of experience having worked with the Cayman Islands Government for over 10 years in the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Director of Budget and Management, and acted as Accountant General.  He also previously worked as Manager and Chief Financial Officer for a manufacturing and construction company and chaired the Government’s Central Tenders Committee (now Public Procurement Committee).

“Mr Dunn is no stranger to our facilities and the community we serve,” remarked CEO Lizzette Yearwood. “He has played critical roles in our organisation and significantly contributed to the HSA’s major milestone having received our first clean audit opinion from the Auditor General. I look forward to working with Mr Dunn in his new role of Deputy CEO.”

“I appreciate the confidence of the board and management of HSA, and the opportunity to work with a fantastic team of caring professionals in service to our people,” said Mr Dunn. “In this new role, I will rely heavily on their collective knowledge, skills and commitment to safe, quality service as we advance our vision of providing the best possible care to our patients and our community.”

Mr Dunn is an MBA graduate and Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years post-qualification experience working in the public and private sectors.

National Heroes Day: Order of the Cayman Islands Admissions

Eight outstanding persons have accepted admission to membership in the Order of the Cayman Islands and will receive their awards on National Heroes Day 2021.

“Admission to the Order is one of the highest national honours and awards in the Cayman Islands, and I congratulate each of these outstanding individuals.” Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin advised.

Nominations were sought from the public and 39 were considered by the Council for the Order of the Cayman Islands, which is chaired by the Hon. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie.

The award of “Officer of the Order of the Cayman Islands” will be conferred on the following four persons, who will be able to use the designation OCI after their names:

Ms Heather Bodden, OCI, Cert. Hon., JP – •    Ms Heather Bodden, OCI, Cert. Hon., JP – For devotion to sustained and selfless voluntary service within the community. Her many areas of service include being elected MLA for Bodden Town District from 1995 – 2000, a Justice of the Peace for 13 years, chairperson of the Cayman Islands Beautification Committee for 20 years, Young Caymanian Leadership Award (YCLA) Honorary Member for more than 20 years, chairperson of the Savannah/Newlands Community Group for most of her adult life and among many other activities for her people and her community. 

Dr. Gerald Smith, OCI – For longstanding contribution to the medical field in which he has practiced for more than 35 years and especially through his work in anesthesiology and instrumental leadership in the creation of the Anesthetic and Intensive Care Service at the Health Services Authority. Dr Smith also held the position of Chief Medical Officer for the Cayman Islands Government for many years. He served as chairperson of the Cayman Islands Medical and Dental Council and as a member of the Health Practice Commission.

Mr. John Edward Ebanks, OCI, Cert. Hon. – For contribution to improvement of the lives of others in the community. Mr. Ebanks’ voluntary and charitable work is widely appreciated on all three Islands. For more than 35 years as a member of the Lions Club, in all capacities, including as President from 1995-1996, he has exemplified what it means to go the extra mile in service to others, always showing optimism and good-will. As long ago as 1986 he was the recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellows Award, the most prestigious award in Lionism. He was voted Lion of the Month 17 times and Lion of the Year 6 times. Due to his service here in the Cayman Islands, Mr. Ebanks was appointed to various tasks at district level. He went on to serve as Zone Chairman, District Geriatric Chairman, Region Chairman Vice District Governor and District Governor and as Council Chairman of the Multiple District, the only Caymanian thus far to rise to such a high level of international service with the Lions organisation. In his official life he served, among other capacities, as Director of the National Roads Authority for several years and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Nurse Shirline Henriques, OCI, Cert. Hon. – For significant contributions in nursing practice, leadership, education, research, hospital administration, as well as charitable works. Nurse Henriques’ tremendous work as a nurse is similarly reflected in her devotion to the community. The first Caymanian to attain a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing, she also obtained a Masters in Hospital Administration. She is known for her pioneering role in nursing education and in the care of AIDS patients. She served as Hospital Administrator from 2004 – 2008.

The following four persons, in accepting admission will be conferred as a “Member of the Order of the Cayman Islands” and able to use the designation MCI after their names:

Suzy Soto, MCI, Cert. Hon. – For enduring commitment to the preservation of Caymanian culture, her contributions towards the development of the tourism industry and health services. Mrs. Soto is a respected member of the Cayman Islands community who is known for her philanthropy and service.  She is responsible for the establishment of the not-for-profit organisation, the Cayman Heart Fund – the Islands’ first heart health advocacy group. She has been an advocate and fundraiser for the Cayman Seamen and the Islands’ Maritime Heritage..

Ms Reba Dilbert, MCI, Cert. Hon. – For outstanding work in the area of arts and culture. Ms Reba is an artist of international acclaim and renown, a popular and talented costume designer and seamstress dedicated to preserving traditional wear and costumes which celebrate and promote the local heritage. Her costumes have been showcased around the world and have garnered herself and the Cayman Islands international recognition. She has also contributed to the development of the tourism industry. She was the recipient of the Gold Heritage Cross at the 23rd Annual National Arts and Culture Awards ceremony, the Best National Costume award – at both the Miss Bikini World in Malta 2002 and the Miss Tourism World held in Turkey, also in 2002. In 2003 her costumes won her the Golden Apple award in Moscow, Russia.

Pastor Randall von Kanel, MCI – For outstanding charitable works and Christian leadership within the community. Pastor von Kanel can count among his achievements, starting the first school band at Triple C School and establishing the YMCA Chapter in the Cayman Islands where he served also as President for four years. He was the first Youth Director at the first Baptist Church from 1978 – 1980 and served as Pastor at the First Baptist and Cayman Islands Baptist Churches respectively from 1992 – 1998 and 2009 – 2020. Pastor von Kanel is well respected in the community as a leader  and youth advocate.

Delroy Jefferson, MCI – For outstanding and dedicated service to the people of the Cayman Islands, including throughout the COVID-19 response and for continued leadership in the medical field. Dr. Jefferson has been serving at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority for 21 years. He currently serves as Medical Director and has played a critical role in coordinating care for suspected COVID-19 patients while ensuring continuity of services to non-COVID patients through innovations such as telemedicine.  His coordination with other doctors, oversight of the Forensic Laboratory’s handling of COVID-19 samples, and support in procuring critical supplies were essential for ensuring Cayman’s success story.  Known for his compassionate care and philanthropy he has participated in overseas mission trips and voluntary medical work in Haiti and Africa. 

Nomination Committee releases slate for 2021 Council

President Woody Foster and the 2020 Chamber Council cordially invite members in good standing (paid up dues) to attend the Annual General Meeting and Membership Appreciation reception on Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 3 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.
The Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin Jr., MBE, JP, MLA and Minister for Employment, Border Control, Community Affairs, International Trade, Investment, Aviation & Maritime Affairs will be the special guest speaker at the event.
President Foster will deliver the Chamber’s annual report and will announce the Chamber Champions for 2020. 
Treasurer Colin Robinson will present highlights of the 2020 financial year and will table the 2019 financial statements which have been prepared by honourary auditors EisnerAmper Cayman Ltd.
Incoming President, Mike Gibbs, will deliver his first address as President and will outline some of the key areas of focus and activities for 2021.
The Nomination Committee has submitted a list of candidates for the election to fill available vacancies on the 2021 Council (Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and three Councillors). Members who wish to submit additional nominees for consideration for any of the available positions should email Chamber Secretary Steve McIntosh at by Friday, 22nd January.  
THIS IS A MEMBER ONLY event and registration is MANDATORY. Each corporate member must identify in writing who will be designated as the main representative who will vote in the election. Associate members are not eligible to vote but are welcome to attend the meeting and reception.
The Council looks forward to seeing you on Thursday, 28th January at 3 p.m. To register, please click here

Vaccination success is crucial to reopening borders safely

Chamber President Woody Foster is urging members and their employees to be vaccinated to protect them from the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible. 

“Government, the Health Services Authority (HSA) and the Governor’s office should be commended for obtaining the Pfizer vaccine and administering it so quickly,” said Foster. “Being the first Overseas Territory to receive and administer the vaccine is an amazing accomplishment. It is encouraging that more than 1,000 persons have been vaccinated by the Public Health last week.”

The Chamber Council is prepared to be vaccinated as soon the vaccine becomes available. He urged member businesses that interact with the public to do likewise.

“Vaccination is one of the main ways to protect our residents and businesses to reduce the possibility of community spread once our borders are reopened,” he said. “The Chamber supports Government’s cautious approach to date, but it is now time to implement a plan and firm up a timeline to reopen to stayover visitors since many member businesses associated with the tourism sector are struggling to survive.”

“Vaccination is not mandated and is being administered voluntarily. We have been informed that unless a significant number of the local population receives the vaccine, it will be difficult to reopen our borders safely. The Chamber urges all residents who have no underlying medical conditions to take the vaccine so we can get our economy back on track,” he added.

A recent Chamber survey showed that 69% of respondents supported reopening the borders to overnight visitors under strict protocols including testing and quarantine and administering a vaccine when it was approved by Public Health agencies for distribution.

The vaccine is being administered at the Flu Clinic to the priority group for persons over 70 years of age and healthcare providers from both the public and private sectors. The vaccine will be available for this group this week (11-15th January) at each of the district health centres as well as at the Flu Clinic. The vaccine will be administered in the Brac from 9th January and in Little Cayman on 13th January.

Residential homes and other institutions have already been contacted and the vaccination schedule sent to them. Public health nurses will also visit Health City and Doctors Hospital to vaccinate staff and clients as necessary. Larger health care facilities will also be visited, and they are welcomed to visit the HSA to receive the vaccine.

Members are urged to review the public health schedule to know when the vaccine will be available for the general public once the high-risk groups are vaccinated.

PCR Testing Required to Enter the Cayman Islands

From 14 January 2021, travellers arriving in the Cayman Islands will need to show evidence of a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure, in order to board their flight.

Cabinet approved the measure on Tuesday, 5 January 2021, which requires all travellers aged 10 and older to provide negative test results from an upper airways swab. An amendment to the current Regulations under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision) that outlines the new requirements and penalties for any breach is expected to be published on by Monday, 11 January.

 “Given the new, highly transmissible strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus reported in 45 countries to date, the added testing requirement aims to reduce the potential for any surge of cases in the Cayman Islands”, remarks Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee notes that countries around the world and the region are increasingly mandating similar requirements.

The Cayman Islands Government requires that the test results are provided from laboratories as follows:

  • in the UK, from a UKAS accredited laboratory, or the National Health Service.
  • in the USA/Americas/worldwide from:
    • JC (Joint Commission) or JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited laboratories, or
    • ISO or COLA (Commission on Office/Laboratory Accreditation) accredited laboratories, or
    • National Public Health Laboratories or other government approved providers.

            A paper copy of test results is recommended but an electronic copy is acceptable. Airlines will check passengers prior to departure to confirm that an appropriate negative PCR test has been provided, and will deny departure to anyone without proof of a negative test.  Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control officers will also require the same proof.

“We strongly believed that it was important to act promptly to protect our local community given the worsening health situation we are seeing in so many countries. At the same time to minimise the impact on Caymanians and residents, who may be currently travelling for urgent reasons, we have taken steps to support these persons,” comments Minister of Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour.

Outlining the infrastructure that has been set up to support persons who are affected Travel Cayman Director, Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia says guidance has been developed for stakeholders, including Cayman Airways, British Airways, the Cayman Islands Government Office in the United Kingdom, inbound travellers and members of the public.

The Travel Cayman Director urged anyone planning to travel to the Cayman Islands to visit for more details about the new requirements.

In addition to the new pre-arrival test, all other current public health requirements for arriving travellers remain in place. Travellers must take a PCR test on arrival in the Cayman Islands and quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. A Day 15 PCR test will continue to be required and travellers must have a negative test result in order to be released from quarantine. 

Persons with questions should contact the Travel Cayman team directly by email at or tel. 1-345-945-0556/1-345-946-7858. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday 8.30a.m. to 5p.m.

Sister Islands launch of COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

The Sister Islands will be conducting COVID-19 vaccines starting Sunday 10th January 2021 as part of the Public Health Department’s National Vaccination Campaign.

The vaccinations are free and available to persons in Stage 1 of the National Vaccination Plan.  

Location: Aston Rutty Centre Medical Wing Flu Clinic

Date: Sunday 10th January – Tuesday 12th January 2021

Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm.

Vaccinations will be available at the Little Cayman Clinic on Wednesday 13th January from 10am – 1pm.

Persons receiving the vaccine must wear a facemask, present a Government photo ID and sign the COVID-19 vaccine consent form. The form is available at or No appointment necessary.

Residents of the Sister Islands with questions please contact 925-1190. Public Health have organised on-site vaccinations for residents and staff of institutional facilities.

National ID Programme to Commence in 2021

The Cayman Islands is getting ready to take an important next step in its move towards a digital economy in 2021.

The E-Government team in the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure is currently finalising preparations to develop and roll-out a National Identity programme for the Islands.

A Request for Proposal was issued by the Cayman Islands Government last week for the suite of services and technology required to implement the National ID card, which is anticipated to be issued starting in 2021.

The National ID, will be a Government-issued, photo-identification card which will have current Cayman immigration status. Residents of the Cayman Islands will be able to use the wallet-sized card for daily activities that require proof of identity and immigration status.

It will also include digital identity and digital signature features that will allow National ID card holders to confirm their identity online or sign documents digitally.

The National Identity Programme is a key enabler in Government’s move to provide more services online.

Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Hon. Joey Hew, stated the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of online options for individuals as well as businesses and commerce across our Islands. “Getting information and vital services to Caymanians and residents digitally has never been more important,” Minster Hew said.

He further noted, “By implementing modern solutions that are customer-focused, and which allow customer data to be securely exchanged across government entities, we aim to improve access to government services for Caymanians, residents and businesses in a way that enables the growth of our local digital economy”.

Emphasising that a joined-up government is necessary for fast and easy access of public services, Director of the E-Government Unit in the Ministry, Ian Tibbetts stated, “We are enthusiastic about what is to come this year and look forward to introducing to the residents of the Cayman Islands our new suite of services that have been designed with them in mind”.

“The National ID card will be an easy, durable and convenient way to present personal information without the need to carry multiple documents”, Mr. Tibbetts explained.

The E-Government Unit was setup in 2014, and since that time has worked to deliver a suite of products designed to enable the provision of government services online.

These services include an online system that was launched in late last year for persons to apply online for naturalisation or registration as a British Overseas Territories Citizen and another to facilitate various regulatory and compliance interactions between the Department of Commerce and Investment and Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions.  

The Ministry’s E-Government Unit has also supported the Department of Commerce and Investment’s trade and business application portal which allows business owners to apply or new their license online and the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing unregistered renewal service.

Cayman Gateway adds additional banks to eCommerce list

Cayman Gateway Limited is proud to announce that we have added Royal Bank of Canada, along with Butterfield Bank and Scotiabank, to our list of e-Commerce banks in the Cayman Islands.

“We want to give our customers choices and the opportunity to shop around for the best e-commerce banking solution for them” said Cayman Gateway’s Chief Executive Officer, Derik Feher.

Cayman Gateway Ltd. is a locally owned Cayman Islands based company that will secure, local and international online credit card payments, build and host your websites and provide guidance with the transition from “brick and mortar” to e-Commerce business solutions.

Premier to address members on 28th January

2020 was an unprecedented and unpredictable year with our individual and collective resilience being tested like never before. Cayman businesses have made enormous sacrifices to keep our community safe and unfortunately this has come at great cost with many working hard to stay open and keep staff employed.

During this time of uncertainty, the Chamber provided accurate information, relevant guidance, and increased support, not just for our member businesses but also for the wider community. We will review our COVID-19 response work with you at the upcoming AGM and membership appreciation event on Thursday, 28th January at 3 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.

We are proud to have supported our members as you adjusted your operations to remain resilient during the crisis and provided continuity where possible for your employees and customers. Businesses and organisation had to learn to quickly adapt to frequently changing regulations and alert levels, had to embrace remote and flexible working, and had to find ways to revise business models and come up with different strategies to remain relevant and sustainable.

Despite the pandemic challenges, some tremendous work has been achieved. The Economic Forum , in partnership with the Ministry of Finance was held as a fully online event in August with record attendance.  The launch of our Member Perks programme provided members with a range of promotional opportunities. Leadership Cayman completed the 2020 programme after the lockdown and a record number of applicants applied for the 2021 class. Earth Day clean up was rescheduled and featured the new Cayman CLEAN initiative with the distribution of trash receptacles in public locations. The annual Chamber Golf Classic attracted more than 100 golfers who helped to raise funds for the Chamber and various causes in our community.

2021 is going to be another challenging year for many businesses. We will continue to assist in any way we can, to ensure your success and survival as we plan to reopen our borders and welcome visitors safely and securely.

Members are urged to fully utilise our programmes and services whether that’s professional development through the Chamber Training Centre, affordable promotional tools exclusive to our members through Member Perks, or getting involved in our advocacy plan and agenda.

The Chamber Council meets regularly with Government and elected leaders and we share your concerns and issues. We can only do this when we receive your feedback. Send us regular updates about any matter that concerns your business.

We look forward to seeing you at the Member Appreciation and annual meeting to elect new leaders to the Council on Thursday, 28th January at 3 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.  This is  member only event and registration is mandatory. Premier the Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP will be our guest speaker.  President Foster will deliver the Chamber’s annual report and will announce the Chamber Champions for 2020.  Treasurer Colin Robinson will present highlights of the 2020 financial year and will table the 2019 financial statements.  Incoming President, Mike Gibbs, will deliver his first address as President and will outline some of the key areas of focus and activities for 2021.

Thank you for your support. Let’s work together to support, promote and collaborate so that we can continue to build a better Cayman for us all that we can all be proud of.