Youth forum held in Cayman Brac | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture (MSYCH) held a successful two-day programme on Cayman Brac on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March19.

The events variously opened up much-needed discussions with youth, provided a platform for intergenerational dialogue, recognised those who protect and serve and provided a cultural performance rich with associations and history.

Some of the points raised by attendees MSYCH Youth Forum were the need for a more diverse choice of afterschool offerings, mental health issues, prevalence of cyber bullying, peer pressure and the need for a better public transport system between the different areas.

Following brief remarks by MYSCH Minister, Hon Bernie Bush, last Friday morning’s empowerment session was led by the Ministry’s Chief Officer Ms Teresa Echenique. Designed to evaluate the range of needs and issues faced by the Brac’s young population, the results of this and future sessions will help provide source data to assist the Ministry in developing representative youth initiatives and policies.

Twenty student council members attended from Layman E. Scott High School and Spot Bay, Creek, West End Primary Schools, as well as from Little Cayman Education Services.

Caymanian Proud: Memories of Her Majesty – The Ministry’s next event was ‘Caymanian Proud: Memories of Her Majesty.’ Held later that morning, the Platinum Jubilee event was emceed by former politician Mr. Lyndon Martin in conjunction with Brac MP, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell.

The multigenerational session included a highly informative introduction by Mr. Martin. His intersectional discourse gave well-researched insights into the relationship between the Cayman Islands, the Queen and by inference the mother country. Mr. Kirkconnell also drew on Brac national identity and customs to illustrate the high regard many Brac residents have for the Queen.

After a screening of the video compiled for the monarch’s 1994 visit, the audience shared their recollections of the 1983 and 1994 of the UK’s longest-serving sovereign’s visits to Grand Cayman. The live-streamed event even included a Whatsapp contribution from a viewer who gave her memories of one of the royal visits.

Audience member, Mr. Churchill Bodden shared that he had worked on the Queens Highway. The former Public Works Department staffer said that the roads crew worked around the clock to get the road completed on time. He also reminisced about being at the official opening and seeing the monarch.

Mrs. Laurel Martyn recalled that the Cayman Islands Government had paid for a group of Brackers, including her family, to travel over to Grand Cayman to meet the Queen.

In welcoming primary school students, the mcee told the audience that Cayman Brac High School had painted a welcome message on its roof to give the royal couple a Caymankind welcome.

A response which featured in Grand Cayman’s Cayman Proud event, and was reiterated at the Brac session, was how friendly and gracious Her Majesty was during both tours. Seemingly unbothered by her arm in a sling, she took time to speak to islanders and find out a little bit about them.

Several primary students asked questions during the event encouraged by reminiscences of adult audience members.

Ms Eziethamae Bodden, who had flown from Grand Cayman with the Cayman Islands Folk Singers, was commended on her collection of royal memorabilia and photo albums that were displayed.

CI Folk Singers Concert – The Ministry’s whirlwind trip to the Brac ended on a high note, thanks to its sponsorship of a free concert by the Cayman Islands Folk Singers (CIFS).

The performers, managed by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation which falls under MYSCH, drew from its repertoire of popular folk melodies.

Songs performed included Chip Up Potato and Munzie Boat on the Sound by the late West Bay drummer and composer ‘Aunt’ Julia Hydes.

Saturday night’s show, attended by Minister Bush and Minister for Education, District Administration & Lands, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly was the first time that CIFS had performed in the Brac in three and a half years.