Archive for September 3rd, 2008

McLean makes stand on island names

| 03/09/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The former Health Minister and Bodden Town representative Gilbert McLean (left) will, CNS has learned, be running for office again in the forthcoming General Elections. And while the would-be Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) has not set out his official campaign stall yet, a call to Radio Cayman’s Talk Today show yesterday hinted that the identity of the Sister Islands and the use of that generic term to describe Little Cayman and Cayman Brac may be one of his political battlegrounds.

Once an independent MLA for the two islands for two terms before he represented the people of Bodden Town with the United Democratic Party (UDP), McLean was also responsible for bringing the bill to the Legislative Assembly which changed the name and official identity of the Sister Islands from its historic name, the Lesser Islands (which referred, according to historical accounts, to the geographical size), to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Speaking on the lunchtime radio show on Tuesday, 2 September, McLean said he was proud to have made that change but was very disappointed that this term in common use, the "Sister Islands", was something he did not approve of.

“I think it is belittling, condescending and ignorant to use this term to describe Little Cayman and Cayman Brac,” said McLean. “The islands should not be covered by some blanket condescending term. These islands are separate places; they are Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and we should all have enough respect to use the correct names and identify each of the three islands.”

He said he had no idea where the term came from or how it began to be used in common parlance and he did not know where this imaginary place the so-called Sister Islands was and he wondered if this meant that those living on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman should refer to Grand Cayman as the brother island.

“We should seize the opportunity to promote the correct names to the world in a sensible manner and for us to show respect to their separate identities,” said the former minister. 

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