Elders Listen and Learn
A steelpan version of “You are the Wind Beneath My Wings,” ushered in guests attending the launch of the International Month of Older Persons in the Cayman Islands on Tuesday, 3 October 2017.
The event at the Family Life Centre included speeches, a recital, music acts, as well as the luncheon.
Attendees included the Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, both this year’s Older Persons Month ambassadors, and seniors from across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Opened by event’s compere Deputy Director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, the first item was the National Song sung by DCFS social worker Annakay Miller and her sister Althea.
DCFS Director Felicia Robinson gave welcome and remarks. She mentioned the private and public sector stakeholders who work in partnership with her Department to promote and provide services to the islands’ 4,000 plus elderly population. Mrs. Robinson gave a biography of the 2017 Older Persons Month ambassadors and commended them for their long and varied contributions to their communities.
Older Persons ambassador, Lurlie Scott offered the opening and pronounced a blessing on all the people of the Cayman Islands. She and fellow ambassador Lindbergh Eden were presented with arrangements by Mr. Manderson.
Between speeches, attendees were entertained by their peers in a series of short artistic interludes. These included Crosby Walton’s version of a Frank Sinatra standard, Olive Miller’s poetry recital and harmonica playing McDorm Frederick. Probably the most remarked on performance was a musical saw medley by Kenneth Melville. This was later followed by a solo by Anita Wheaton, who gave a humorous twist to “These are a Few of My Favourite Things,” and a performance Kate Allenger on violin.
As moderator, Mrs. Mendoza-Williams interspersed introductions with commentary including Nelson Mandela’s quote: “A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future”.
Ms Echenique delivered the Older Persons Month message. The Acting Chief Officer of Community Affairs spoke of the outstanding efforts made by seniors who had shaped the Cayman Islands into a top financial centre and tourism centre. She said that they were an invaluable resource and should be treated accordingly.
Guest speaker, Director of the Policy Co-ordination Unit, Deborah Webb-Sibblies gave a comprehensive overview of the Older Persons Policy, the commencement of the Older Persons Law and the introduction of supportive action plans to advance equal opportunities for older persons to access and participate in all aspects of society.
Lunch was catered by Liberty’s Restaurant. Guests were served by Cayman National Bank staff and members of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman. The event was enjoyed and appreciated by all in attendance.
For further information contact: Elphina Jones