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Service and Friendship

Acting Cayman Islands' UK Representative Mary Chandler-Allen (seated, centre) flanked by former civil servants Jenny Manderson (L) and Jennifer Ritchie.
Standing (L-R) are retiree Betty Ruth Ebanks; Corporate Manager in the office of the Deputy Governor Christine Wright; Cabinet Office Assistant Secretary Meredith Hew and Public Works HR Manager Francine Roach.

Based in the Cayman Islands' United Kingdom (UK) Office for almost three decades, Mrs. Mary Chandler-Allen was guest of honour last week, at a pre-retirement luncheon hosted by some of her local government associates and friends.

Mrs. Chandler-Allen is retiring this July after 28 years of service. She and her husband Adam intend to spend time travelling and enjoying their Isle of Wight home.

"The memories that I'll take from Cayman will be of excellent colleagues, friendly, helpful people and good working relationships," she said.

During the informal Grand Old House meal on Wednesday, 16 March, her colleagues expressed appreciation for their professional and personal relationships, and said they looked forward to keeping in touch.

Mrs. Chandler-Allen first arrived in Cayman in 1980, assigned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as secretary to then-Governor, Mr. Thomas Russell, CMG CBE.

After two years she returned to the UK, and in 1983 resigned from the FCO to work in Cayman's new London Office. Her working relationship with Mr. Russell was renewed when, following the completion of his tour of duty as Governor, he became the first Cayman Islands' UK Representative.

By 1994, Mrs. Chandler-Allen was appointed Deputy Representative, continuing in the position through Mr. Russell's retirement in 2000 and Mrs. Jennifer Dilbert's appointment as his replacement.

Following Mrs. Dilbert's return to the Cayman Islands in 2008, Mrs. Chandler-Allen became Acting Cayman Islands' UK Representative, a role she retains to date.

The London Office provides diplomatic links between Cayman and the UK and Mrs. Chandler-Allen explained that its mission is to build relationships and enhance the Islands' interests. To that end, the four staff members supply the Cayman Islands Government with information and advice on UK and European events and policies.

"Our achievements come through interaction with the UK's Government and Parliament, Commonwealth bodies, and the UK Overseas Territories Association. We also represent Cayman on the Overseas Countries and Territories Association which meets regularly in Brussels," Mrs. Chandler-Allen said.

She added that other aspects of the Representative's multi-faceted role include interfacing with international governments, organizations and businesses, and attending official and ceremonial functions, including Commonwealth and parliamentary gatherings.

In addition, arrangements are made to facilitate official visitors from Cayman, and the office also handles media relations and public enquiries. Finally, the London Office offers support to Caymanians studying, living in, or visiting the UK.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian