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Sister Islands Service

(L-R) Acting Governor the Hon. Donovan Ebanks, MBE, JP, presents an award to District Commissioner Ernie Scott, JP.

Last week, it was Cayman Brac's turn to laud long-serving government veterans and hand out some well-deserved awards.

Because no presentations had taken place since 2006, the Sister Islands' recipient list spanned four years. All 40-plus awardees had already served a minimum of 25 years - with most remaining active in their posts.

Together with their guests, they were treated to a luncheon last Friday, 17 June, co-hosted by the Office of the Deputy Governor and the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association (CICSA).

Most notable of the recipients were the two civil servants who earned 40-year awards:

Career educator Mexi Ann Grant, Cert Hon, JP, began working as a 'pupil-teacher' in 1957, at only 14 years of age. There were breaks for formal training, as well as marriage and family, but she remained a teacher and eventually became a principal. In 2008 Mrs. Grant retired as the Sister Islands' Education Officer/Learning Community Leader.

Indicative of her lasting commitment to profession and country, she still assists teachers-in-training at the Brac's University College of the Cayman Islands campus.

Similarly, Floyd Banks' (Cert Hon, JP) lengthy career began in 1969, when he joined the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU). Although now past retirement age, he remains on contract as the Sister Islands' MRCU Superintendent.

He reflects that while the mosquito problem was not as pervasive as on Grand Cayman, battling the Aedes aegypti mosquito was the main reason for MRCU's start on the Brac.

Commending and thanking all the awardees, Acting Governor the Hon. Donovan Ebanks, MBE, JP said, "We're the rims and the lugs, which nobody notices as long as the wheels keep turning smoothly."

However, he also emphasised the importance of current efforts to "enhance cross-training and multiplicity of roles in the ongoing effort to re-balance government accounts."

Others attending the function included Permanent Secretary with the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands & Agriculture, Kearney Gomez, MBE, JP; Chief Fire Officer Dennom Bodden, and CICSA President James Watler.

Congratulating the recipients on their years of service, Mr. Watler said, "Persons like you made conscious decisions to remain faithful to the people of the Cayman Islands and it is to your credit that you have made a vital difference."

Mr. Gomez, who also received a long-service award last month, noted, "It's great to be amongst friends and colleagues in such a tranquil and safe environment. While civil servants see more criticism than recognition, I commend you for jobs well-done over the years."

Deputy Premier and Cabinet Minister, Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, JP tendered regrets for her unavoidable absence.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Lennon Christian