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Donations to OPAAC will Increase Functionality and Appeal

The preparedness of the Older Persons Active Ageing Centre’s (OPAAC) opening on Monday, 19 April 2021 was enhanced by the donation of additional furnishings and fixtures for the spacious facility. 

 Lions Club of Grand Cayman’s Current Outgoing President, Ms Carmin Godfrey, gave a $2,500 cheque from the service club for extra items at the multi-purpose centre on Monday, 12 April 2021.

“The sum we’ve donated will go towards purchasing a keyboard, comfortable seating for OPAAC’s library area and a few other items,” said she following the handover to the Ministry’s Chief Officer, Ms Teresa Echenique.

“Giving back to older persons, who are part of our living history, is a good way of giving back to our country,” added Ms Godfrey, whose service club is a longtime supporter of the Ministry’s Older Persons Month activities.

The Cayman Islands Seafarers Association (CISA) has also provided a donation of additional furniture to OPAAC. The non-profit’s gift was similarly acknowledged as a practical gesture which would deepen the association’s ongoing partnership with the Ministry. 

“All of our members are older persons, so we are always supporting older persons initiatives,” remarked CISA’s President Mr. Denniston Tibbetts.

In speaking to the specific need for OPAAC alongside more established/specialised entities which cater to the same age demographic, he said: “It’s important because it serves a bigger purpose.”

Accepting the donations, Ms Echenique hopes that such generosity spurs others to ask how they too, can contribute to OPAAC’s free programmes and resources in the months and years ahead.

“The Ministry is extremely grateful for these donations. We encourage the public, community groups, service clubs and the private sector to visit our centre or call us to find out how they can be part of this process. There will be many ways that groups and individuals can be involved. Donations do not always have to be in monetary form but can be in the form of time. We would invite our local musicians, artist, yoga instructors and various other persons to contribute to the activities which are free of cost,” she concluded.

Staff from the Needs Assessment Unit and Department of Children and Family Services will provide on-site social service advice and support – weekdays from 9 am.  The centre’s leisure and social activities will be introduced gradually in the weeks ahead. At its centralised location on MacLendon Drive, behind Priced Right, OPAAC is a short walk from the George Town Shuttle’s (Line 1) Foster’s Airport Centre stop.

For more details, call 244-2424 and visit opaac@gov.ky.


Election Day Reminders Issued

The Elections Office has issued reminders to the voting public to ensure voting is a smooth exercise for all electors.

Supervisor of Elections Mr. Wesley Howell reiterates that his office is continuing to work diligently to ensure that the voting process is smooth for every single voter.

He urges electors to exercise their democratic right and cast their ballots, on Wednesday, 14 April 2021- Election Day.  “Remember – your vote counts,” he added.

“Polls will open sharply at 7 am across the three islands and close at 6 pm. If there are voters still in line after 6 pm, they will all be able to vote – no one in line will be turned away,” Mr. Howell emphasised. “The Elections Office is fully geared, ready and looking forward to providing efficient service to all voters,” he noted.

The prime reminders to electors from the Elections Office now are as under:

Where to vote:

  1. Check your polling location on elections.ky or call 949-8047 or 949-6555 (Election day only) for directions to your polling location.
  2. The polls open at 7am and close at 6pm. Anyone in line at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
  3. When you come to out to vote, remember to bring your ID and leave your phones
  4. All postal ballots must be received by the Returning Officer by 6pm on 14 April to be counted.
  5. The wearing of face masks or coverings is encouraged; however, you will be able to vote if you choose to not wear a mask.

How to vote:

  1. You can only vote for one candidate in your electoral district.
  2. If you need assistance in marking your ballot, an Elections Presiding Officer will help. A friend can be present to observe only.
  3. Wheelchairs will be available at every electoral district. Elderly and special needs voters will be given priority.
  4. If you were approved for mobile voting and did not vote, you can still vote in person at the polls on Election Day.

No campaigning or adverts on Election day:

  1. It is unlawful to campaign on Election Day.
  2. No candidate or party t-shirts are allowed at the polling stations.
  3. Candidates, agents and canvassers are not allowed to loiter within 300 feet of any polling stations.
  4. No political announcements, banners, car logos, flyers, bill boards, radio or online media adverts are allowed on General Election Day.
  5. All political banners and signs must be removed by 12:01 am on Wednesday, 14 April.

Only voters and elections personnel are allowed within the 300-foot exclusion zone at each polling station.

Locations of Polling Stations:

Electoral District Polling Location
West Bay North First Assembly of God Church Hall – 100 Finch Drive, West Bay
West Bay West Sir John A Cumber Primary School – 36 Fountain Rd, West Bay
West Bay Central The Church of God at West Bay – Church Hall – 108 Capt. Reginald Parsons Drive, West Bay
West Bay South John Gray Memorial United Church Hall – 26 West Church Street, West Bay
George Town North George Town Primary School – 179 School Rd, George Town
George Town Central Constitution Hall (George Town – Town Hall) – 43 Fort St, George Town
George Town West Cayman Prep School – 242 Smith Road, George Town
George Town South John Gray High School (Formerly GHHS) – 73 Academy Way, George Town
George Town East First Baptist Church Hall – 920A Crewe Rd, George Town
Red Bay Red Bay Primary School – 271 Shamrock Rd, George Town
Prospect Prospect Primary School – 169 Poindexter Rd, George Town
Savannah Joanna Clarke (Savannah) Primary School – 1659 Shamrock Rd, Bodden Town
Newlands International College of the Cayman Islands – 595 Hirst Rd, Bodden Town
Bodden Town West Agricultural Grounds Pavilion – 199 Lottery Rd, Bodden Town
Bodden Town East Theoline McCoy (Bodden Town) Primary School – 64 Condor Rd, Bodden Town
North Side Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre – 923 North Side Rd
East End William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre – 80 John McLean Drive
Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman West End Primary School – 10 Cotton Tree Bay Rd, Cayman Brac
Cayman Brac East Creek Primary School – 28 Student Drive, Cayman Brac

 

 


Over 100 Vaccinated at Youth Event

Public health officials report that 123 persons received the COVID-19 vaccine at a special vaccination drive for those aged 16 to 24 years old on Friday 9 April 2021. 

The Public Health Department hosted the event at Camana Bay, where the Doctors Hospital provided use of their clinic from 3-7p.m.

D.J. Dave Kelly provided music from 5-7p.m., courtesy of sponsor DMS Broadcasting. Meanwhile Foster’s Supermarket donated gift card prizes and discounted food.

Thanking all those young people who had come out on Friday evening, CMO Dr John Lee, urged other young people still considering taking the vaccine to speak to their peers about the experience.

“At the end of the day, being vaccinated against COVID-19 is perhaps the most important step that we can take to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from this disease and the risks that it poses to the future of the Cayman Islands”, Dr Lee remarked. 

The Public Health Department expressed its gratitude to all event sponsors including: the Health Services Authority, Camana Bay, DMS Broadcasting, Doctors Hospital, and Foster’s Supermarket.    

         


Multi Agency Law Enforcement Resolution of Migrant Situation

Approximately four days of monitoring and intense negotiations the situation with the migrants onboard the MV Bulk Freedom has ended. The operation concluded without any serious injury to any of the migrants or the ship’s crew. It is also worthy to communicate that there were no reports of damage to property.

In consideration of the risk to the health and well-being of a migrant infant on board the vessel authorities obtained a court issued emergency protection order and warrant under the Children Act on the evening of 8th April. This court order authorized the immediate removal of the infant child from the MV Bulk Freedom to a place of safety.  Following a brief tactical intervention, the infant was removed from the ship and immediately upon arrival at the George Town Seaport, the infant was taken to and treated at the George Town Hospital and is currently in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

In the process of enforcing the court issued authority the infants’ father was obstructive and sustained minor head injuries. He was subsequently arrested, removed from the vessel and taken to GTH for medical treatment.  Shortly afterwards he was released from GTH and taken to the RCIPS Detention Centre where he was held overnight.  It is expected that he will be released later today and transferred to an approved quarantine facility.

The remaining migrants’ voluntarily left the vessel and have been placed in quarantine at a government mandated facility. They will be processed in accordance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.

While this situation may become a factor in the processing of the other migrants asylum applications, any claims that their applications have already been denied is incorrect.

It should be mentioned that CBC along with partner agencies, RCIPS and CIGC maintained close contact with the Captain of the MV Bulk Freedom and thanked him and his crew for their support in bringing this situation to positive closure. Likewise, the welfare and safety of the crew were kept in mind at all times. CBC also established and maintained communication with the vessel’s management team.

Upon disembarkation of all migrants from the vessel, inquiries were made of the captain on assistance that may have been required before departure. With no assistance being required or other formalities to be addressed, CBC advised the captain that vessel was free to depart which was put in motion shortly after the migrants were removed.


Cayman Islands Crisis Centre Announces 6th Annual “A Walk In Her Shoes” event.

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (CICC) is has opened registration for the 6th Annual ‘A Walk In Her Shoes’ which will take place from 5:00pm on Thursday 22 April 2021 on Market Street at Camana Bay. This event aims to raise funds and awareness for the Crisis Centre and our mission to end the cycle of domestic violence.

Gentlemen are encouraged to participate to help raise funds for the shelter by wearing heels to ‘walk in her shoes’. Individuals and local companies come together at this event to help raise awareness of the CICC and our continued efforts to provide support for local victims, as domestic violence does not discriminate against age, gender, race, ethnicity, economic status or sexual orientation.

OLEA is our generous sponsor of this event.  Quinnessential Movement will be performing as the opening act to the event, with contestants from Miss World Cayman Islands assisting the gentlemen with balancing in their heels.  Align is kindly offering donation-based foot rubs for the contestants and there will be drink specials courtesy of Abacus, West Indies Wine Company and Caybrew.  There will also be the perfect soundtrack for all gentlemen graciously provided by OneWorld Music.

Michelle Lockwood, CICC Chair of the Fundraising Committee, stated “COVID exponentially affected our fundraising endeavors in 2020 and we are excited to be back (a little later than usual) and we are hoping that donations exceed CI$50,000 which will be used to help operate the ongoing shelter costs. Many fundraising plans had been put on hold last year, however we are still hoping to stay on track for building our purpose built shelter in the next 5 years.”

“Each year we see the participants get more and more creative and use this platform to help raise funds for our shelter”, said Lockwood. “This is a fun and entertaining event for all of the spectators as well.” 

How does it work?

  • Sign up online as a team or individual – CI$25 (US$30) per person. Email fundraising@cicc.ky to register
  • Get friends, family and employers to donate to support participants. Sponsor sheet available on www.cicc.ky or attached.
  • Each participant will walk a maximum of 5 laps (a minimum of 1 lap).
  • For every $150 a participant raises, 1 lap will be removed (ie: if participant raises $450, you only have to walk 2 laps)
  • Wear a pair of ladies shoes. The more bling the better!
  • Take it up a notch…paint your toes, throw on a wig or show off a dress!
  • Get all of your friends to sign up and participate too!

For more information about the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre visit www.cicc.ky.  The 24 hour crisis line is always available at 943-CICC (2422).

2019 A Walk In Her Shoes Video – https://youtu.be/pQmk-DEsKv8

Thank you to our event sponsors, Camana Bay and Olea.

For more information on this event please contact Michelle Lockwood at michelle.c.lockwood@gmail.com or fundraising@cicc.ky 


Face Masks on Election Day Clarified

The Elections Office wishes to clarify to voters that, due to the high turnout expected on Election Day, the wearing of face masks or coverings is encouraged but is not a requirement to vote.

“Should someone choose not to wear a face mask at a polling station, this will not impede their ability to cast their ballot in any way as this has not been mandated by law. Given the ongoing global pandemic, some individuals may feel more comfortable to  attend a polling station with a face mask on. It is this that we are suggesting to people that they consider,” said the Supervisor of Elections, Wesley Howell.

“Our goal, as ever, is to see as many voters as possible cast their ballots in this General Election as every vote counts,” he added.

A supply of face masks will be available at all polling stations should any voter wish to have one.


Cayman Bids Farewell to HRH Prince Philip

The Cayman Islands bid a heartfelt and affectionate farewell to His Royal Highness Prince Philip to the reverberating booms of a formal 21-gun salute today (Saturday, 10 April 2021) at Government House, the CI Governor’s residence.

Precisely at noon, His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, led the nation’s tribute with heads bowed in respect to Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal Consort the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away peacefully on Friday morning in the UK.

Joining the Governor were his wife Ms Lissie Roper and National Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme, Ms Katherine Jackson, who was also the first gold award winner in the Cayman Islands’ programme as well as the Governor’s Aide-de-Camp Inspector Ian Yearwood.

Others invited to be present in the tribute were Ms Gabriella Terry, a bronze medallist in the programme, her mother Ms Gina Terry, gold awardee Ms Kimberly Carlos, bronze medallist Ms Valentina Bustos as well as leader and gold awardee Mr. Daniel Lee.

RCIPS officers presenting the gun salute were Sgt. Anthony Stewart, PC Creig Hunter and PC Matthew Greaves.

Flags in Cayman Islands Government establishments will fly half-mast until after Prince Philip’s funeral, which will take place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor next Saturday, 17 April 2021. The funeral arrangements have been amended in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and will not have the Duke lying in state for public attendance, it has been announced.

The longest-serving royal consort in British history, the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was Queen Elizabeth II’s husband for 73 years. He was born on 10 June 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu. The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.

Earlier today (Saturday, 10 April 2021) in the UK, from midday, gun salutes took place for Prince Philip in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as in Gibraltar and at sea from Royal Navy warships, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.


HSA expands specialist services with launch of new clinic at Smith Road Centre

Several new services are now available at the Smith Road Centre, where HSA has opened a modernised and spacious Specialist Clinic that doubles the capacity to serve patients requiring these specialized services.

Officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, 8 April 2021, the clinic has 21 clinical rooms, enhanced exam and treatment rooms and provides a more efficient layout that supports team-based care. The new location has created opportunities for increasing HSA’s specialist services from 12 to 16 with the addition of four new specialties – Complimentary Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic service, Neurology and Neurosurgery.

HSA’s Behavioural Health Outpatient Services (Mental Health) was also part of the ceremony with the unveiling of their new location which opened in 2020. This location offers an atmosphere that is comfortable and functional for patients and staff. In addition to clinical offices, the facility is also set up for forensic assessments. The department now offers Neuropsychology, as well as Psychiatry, Psychology, Adolescent & Child Psychology and community outreach & education.

“Our patients are at the core of our mission, which is why their needs and experience are considered in everything we do,” noted HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood. “We have a very involved Patient & Family Advisory Committee which allowed us to incorporate the patient’s perspective in our planning. We are delighted that this expansion of our services to the Smith Road Centre allows us to offer our patients these additional medical service options for their growing healthcare needs.”

“With this new location we aim to improve their overall experience by providing greater parking availability, a more relaxing and private environment, transport through a shuttle service to the main hospital campus and reducing clinic waiting times,” said Ms Yearwood. “This facility and other developments to come will also be more inclusive by incorporating braille as part of the interior signage providing easier navigation for patients with visual impairments.”

Medical Director Dr Delroy Jefferson stated that the clinic spaces were designed with flexibility so physicians could access additional consult/exam rooms. “The benefit to patients will be the minimization of wait times, which was one of the concerns we wanted to address when designing the facility. Furthermore, we wanted to ensure that patients were as comfortable as possible by providing them with an aesthetically pleasing waiting room outfitted with ergonomic seating including chairs specifically designed for older persons, numerous charging outlets with USB ports, televisions and artwork generously provided in partnership with the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.”

Additionally, environmental impact was greatly considered in the design of the new specialist clinic, which allows us to be energy efficient.

A shuttle service will be available every 15 minutes for transport of patients between the facility and the main hospital campus for patients who require additional services on the main campus.

“In the coming months we will continue the move of majority of our outpatient medical services to the Smith Road Centre as a part of our major facility development plan,” declared Ms Yearwood.


Statement on the death of Prince Philip By Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MP 9 April, 2021

It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the death this morning of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Her Majesty The Queen.

Both I and the Government of the Cayman Islands send our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen; Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

The Duke first visited the Cayman Islands in April, 1962, lodging at the then-new Government House on Seven Mile Beach, and attending a grand reception at the Galleon Beach Hotel.  We had the distinct pleasure of welcoming him back to the Cayman Islands on two additional occasions, with Her Majesty The Queen, for the Royal Visits in 1983 and 1994.

Prince Philip was a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations, and served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a self-improvement programme for young people throughout the Commonwealth. This award scheme, which he founded, has had a profound impact on young people in the Cayman Islands.

Since the inception of the programme in the Cayman Islands in 1970, thousands of young Caymanians have participated, with over 3,250 Silver and Bronze Awards presented, and 67 receiving the Gold Award.

He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. 

Prince Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August, 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. He was 99 when he passed from this earthly realm today.

I ask the people of the Cayman Islands to offer special prayers for his widow, our Sovereign- Her Majesty The Queen, The Royal Family and citizens and residents of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms. 

As we enter this period of official mourning, we will be announcing the location of official books of condolences on all three Cayman Islands.   Both the United Kingdom Standard and Cayman Islands flags have been lowered to half-mast on all Government buildings. 

I invite flags flown at businesses and private residences and premises throughout the Cayman Islands, to also be lowered to half-mast throughout the period of mourning, in a display of our support for our Monarch and The Royal Family in their time of grief. 

May God welcome and rest his soul and comfort his surviving family members and friends.


Emergency Pensions Withdrawal Final Figures

The final figures of the Department of Labour and Pensions National Pensions (Amendment) Act 2020, which allowed persons to make emergency withdrawals from their pension accounts to alleviate the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic has now been confirmed and stands at CI $489,258,534.65.

This is just over $45.79 million from the initial figures released late 2020. Based on statistics from the Department of Labour and Pensions, all pension administrators have now submitted their final numbers showing which indicate that a total of 53,361 applications were received, of which 43,090 were approved and 10,271 were rejected.

The ability for persons to withdraw from their pension accounts came to an end on 31st October 2020.

Contact dlp@gov.ky with questions or further information.