Archive for October 15th, 2008

CITA prepares for Food and Wine Festival

| 15/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As a premier sponsor of Taste of Cayman 2008, a Food & Wine Festival hosted by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), Butterfield Bank will be presenting this year’s Kid’s Corner, which the bank says will be filled with many activities such as mini tennis, airbrushing, face painting, jewelry making and a Blue Iguana craft.

The designated area will be located in Jasmine Court at Camana Bay and will be centrally located around the fountain, which is a popular attraction for children itself.

Photo: (left to right) Trina Christian, CITA Executive Director, Kim Pisano CITA Membership & Special Events Coordinator, Vaccianna Franklin CITA Administrator, Sheree Ebanks, Head of Wealth Management Butterfield Bank and Kathryn Parks CITA Event Planner.

Taste of Cayman will be held at Camana Bay on 1 November. Tickets are now on sale for $40 prepaid or $50 at the gate, which includes admission and entry into the raffle. For more information on Taste of Cayman, please call 949-8522 or visit

All are invited to compete in the Taste of Cayman Cayman Cook-off during the 21st Taste of Cayman 2008. Thisyear categories are: Best Traditional Caymanian Cassava Cake; Best Traditional Other Heavy Cake and Best Traditional Pepper Sauce. There is no charge to participate. For more information please call Gina Bodden 916-1314 or Kerry Forbes 917-5198.

Taste of Cayman Food & Wine tickets are on sale:

Friday October 17, 2008

Kirk’s Super Market: 5pm to 7pm
Foster’s Food Fair Strand: 3pm to 7pm
Hurley’s Grand Harbour: 5pm to 7pm
Books & Books, Camana Bay: 5pm to 7pm
First Caribbean Bank: 10am to 4pm

Saturday October 18, 2008

Kirk’s Super Market: 10am to 6am
Foster’s Food Fair Strand: 10am to 6pm
Hurley’s Grand Harbour: 10am to 6pm
Books & Books, Camana Bay: 10 am to 6 pm



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HSBC supports long-term employee’s development

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(CNS): One of the longest-serving employees of HSBC Bank (Cayman) Limited (HSBC Cayman) has successfully completed studies which will enable her to continue to progress in the bank. Vernie Watler-Harris (left) graduated in July 2008 with an Associate of Arts (honours) degree in Accounting from the University College of the Cayman Islands, following three years of part-time study, for which she received a scholarship from HSBC.

“HSBC Cayman is committed to the training and development of all of its employees and has been proud to support Mrs Watler-Harris in her studies. She has been a hardworking and loyal employee and we are certain that her valuable contribution to so many areas of the bank will only be enhanced through her new qualification,” stated Head of Human Resources, Walling Whittaker, in a release from the bank.

Watler-Harris, currently employed as a Client Account Associate, joined HSBC Bank (Cayman) Limited in 1986 when it was known as Samuel Montagu & Company. She worked as a secretary in the insurance department. In 1988, the company’s name was changed to Midland Bank Trust Corporation and Mrs. Watler-Harris was promoted to an executive secretary. She also served as an Assistant Administrator in the Funds Department and was later promoted to Assistant Account Manager.

Her progression through the company and her various promotions over the years were underscored by continuous educational pursuits. In 2005 she graduated from UCCI with a merit certificate in the Financial Services Foundation Certificate Course. Prior to that she completed a Mutual Funds Course at the then Community College of the Cayman Islands.

Watler-Harris stated, “Although sometimes there were challenges to working full time and studying, I was able to succeed in my course through the kind support of everyone at HSBC Cayman. This degree has prepared me for greater responsibilities at work and I look forward to even more training and new opportunities as I continue to grow with HSBC Cayman.”

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A little help for tertiary students

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(CNS): The three higher education bodies on the Cayman Islands have recently introduced a Student Union Card that will make the lives of nearly 3000 students much easier by letting them know where to find the necessities of life and offering discounts at a number of shops and service providers.

Each student and staff member at St Matthew’s University, University of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) and the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) received their cards on the first day of term and the cards will be valid until the start of the next term in January. A product of Ktone, the wallet-sized card is designed to go everywhere the student goes throughout their student career. Altogether there are over 30 participating organizations on the card, most of whom offer a particular discount when the card is produced.

Matthew Luke, Campus Coordinator at St Matthews, pointed out that when a new student arrives on the island they need to get accommodation, transportation, bank accounts and cell phones, as well as find out where to shop for the necessities such as groceries or where to go for a hair cut. This Student Union Card is their guide when they first arrive.

“We like the fact that the card tells them where to go for everything they need with a discount added on, as often student budgets are quite small,” he said.

UCCI has also pointed out that their students will benefit greatly because many of them are still living at home and therefore all discounts are gratefully accepted. Many of these students need to think about bank accounts and where to go to rent an apartment and will need help in all these areas.

Ktone Managing Director Neil De Vere said, “Everyone, from banks and utility companies to spas and restaurants, has spotted the opportunity to have their businesses in the pockets of 3000 students in many different demographics. ICCI’s students tend to be more established in the work force but still appreciate getting a discount or hearing about a particular special.”

Businesses wanting more information about Student Union Cards can contact Jamie Ware at 926 8663.


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A course in macroeconomics

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(CNS): The Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) joined forces with the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) to host a regional macroeconomics statistics course in Grand Cayman on Monday, 13 October. Understanding macroeconomic factors can help Cayman’s key government staff plan for its budget and prepare economic recommendations, a government release says.

(CNS): The Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) joined forces with the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) to host a regional macroeconomics statistics course in Grand Cayman on Monday, 13 October. Understanding macroeconomic factors can help Cayman’s key government staff plan for its budget and prepare economic recommendations, a government release says.

“ESO will be introducing System of National Accounts and Balance of Payment statistics early next year. As such we are very glad for this opportunity to train a core group of users to understand these macroeconomic indicators,” said ESO Director Maria Zingapan. “For the first time the Cayman Islands will have its own macroeconomic statistics such as the sector contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). A good understanding among key users will enhance their practical use for economic planning such as revenue projections and budget analysis.”

Cayman is well represented at the course with delegates from theESO, Treasury, the Revenue Unit, the Portfolio of Finance and Economics, the Budget Management Unit, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). Other participating countries include St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.

CARTAC Programme Director Therese Turner-Jones welcomed the opportunity to provide this kind of training to the region. “Macroeconomic indicators underpin everything we do – signalling whether we should prepare for an economic slow down or are about to enter a growth period. For governments to be successful, it is very important that they know what to plan for in the way of infrastructure and investment policies,” she said.

She further explained, “This course is designed to show economists and statisticians what data they should collect to have good snapshots of their countries’ economies, and then how to put the pieces in order to draft sound fiscal and other policies.”

Photo: ESO Director Maria Zingapan (left) with CARTAC Programme Director Therese Turner-Jose and ESO’s Theodore Thompson (front).

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Promotion at the Postal Service

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(CNS): The new Mails Manager for the Cayman Islands Postal Service (CIPS) began working for the Service in November 1986 when, wanting to earn a little extra seasonal cash, he signed up to help out with Christmas mail. Some two decades later as he moves up another rung on the management ladder, Lloyd McField has never regretted that initial decision.

“The postal service is where I immediately felt I belonged,” he said. “I love my job, I think I have a calling to serve the public and I enjoy working with them.”

Within one year of joining the department he was a permanent employee, gradually working his way up from secondary to primary sorter. In 1994 he was promoted to Customer Care Officer at the General Post Office, and from there McField was appointed supervisor in the Incoming Mail section with responsibility for six employees. In time he gained experience in every section of CIPS. Then, in 2006 he was promoted to Quality Manager.

As part of the preparation for his new position, Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow arranged a four-week secondment to the Barbados Post Office, intended to reinforce McField’s local exposure to all operational aspects.

“The Barbados postal administration is well known throughout the Caribbean for its organisation,” ActingPostmaster General Ann James explained. “His experience over there provided broader scope and greater insights than we could provide here in Cayman because they are a larger administration,” she said.

As Mails Manager – the second highest position in operations – McField will have responsibility for overseeing mail processing for all three islands. That task includes every aspect of incoming and outgoing mail, and the CIPS processes over 12 million pieces annually. He will also maintain statistics and will work closely with Deputy Postmaster General: Operations, Anthony Williams.

James expressed every confidence in McField. “Lloyd is an excellent worker and always gives 100 percent. I have complete faith in his abilities and he is constantly looking at ways to improve the service. His work ethic has earned the respect of his peers and he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty, pitching in as needed,” she said.

“He is the kind of employee that every organisation hopes for, and we are glad to have him. Plus, it is nice to see a young Caymanian in top management, having climbed up through the ranks.”

In his turn, McField said he was grateful for the Postmaster General’s faith, and added, “One of my aims is to instill teamwork across the board. The postal service is a family unit and everyone has a role in meeting customers’ expectations. I will be taking a 360-degree approach to the Mails Manager position, from incoming to outgoing mail, and looking at things not just from a mails operation point of view but also from the perspective of our customers,” he concluded.

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AL Thompson’s Thinks Pink

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(CNS): One local business is doing its part to fight a killer disease in the Cayman Islands. AL Thompson’s is selling specially designed and produced t-shirts, decorated with a pink ribbon logoabove the words “Beat Breast Cancer”, that were created to assist the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS) during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to a release from the store, the black, all-cotton shirts are not only worn by the women of AL Thompson’s during October but also are available for purchase so that the public can assist as well. Selling the shirts for only $15, AL Thompson’s will donate 50 percent of that purchase price to CICS, and the purchaser gets the opportunity to enter a drawing to win a lovely crystal rose bowl.

“Our customers have responded to this effort with interest and great support, so much so that even if they do not purchase a t-shirt, they are opting to donate funds to the cause. We are very pleased with the enthusiastic response and look forward to presenting a handsome check to CICS in early November,” noted Patricia Anne Rice, Creative Director.

To view and purchase these unique shirts and enter the drawing, you may visit AL Thompson’s in George Town or Savannah.


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Crime Stoppers appeals for information

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(CNS): Cayman Crime Stoppers has launched an appeal for members of the community to come forward with any information they have about the suspected murder of Estella Scott-Roberts last weekend. Stuart Bostock (left), Chairman of Cayman Crime Stoppers, is keen to remind the public that Cayman Crime Stoppers guarantees absolute anonymity.

“Our telephone tips-line is answered by a call-centre in Miami, not locally, and no personal details are taken from the caller,“ said Bostock. He added, “Tips can also be submitted anonymously via our secure online portal. Anyone submitting a tip online is not required to give personal details and the information is processed securely so its source is never recorded.” Cayman Crime Stoppers’ tips-line number is 800 TIPS (8477) and the online portal can be found at under the ‘report a crime’ link.

Cayman Crime Stoppers’ public appeal calls for members of the public not to be inhibited about sharing information. Bostock said, “The disturbing news of Estella’s disappearance has stirred much emotion among the community. This is a matter of grave concern for everyone and it is vital that anybody who may have seen or heard anything at all which could help solve this case comes forward without delay.”

Anybody who submits a tip to Cayman Crime Stoppers is eligible for a reward of up to $1,000, should their information lead to arrest and conviction. Commenting on reward offers Bostock explained, “Whilst Cayman Crime Stoppers is limited to a maximum sum of $1,000 when issuing rewards of its own, we have on previous occasions partnered with other institutions who wish to offer rewards, to act as a secure mechanism for receiving tips.” He continued, “We have not yet been approached to do so in this particular case, however anybody wishing to pledge a reward of their own may contact us for more information.” Bostock can be reached on 949-0004.




Cayman Crime Stoppers was formed in 1993 by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce to provide a vital service, which helps protect the community from crime. Working in close partnership with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), the community and the media, it has become one of the most effective crime solving tools available to local law enforcement agencies. Cayman Crime Stoppers provides a safe and secure means for anybody with information about a crime to share it freely whilst protecting their identity. It could also earn them a reward of up to $1,000.

Cayman Crime Stoppers is one of some 1200 Crime Stoppers programmes in 20 countries. Since its inception in the United States in 1976, Crime Stoppers has been responsible for over 700,000 arrests, over a million cleared cases, the recovery of nearly two billion dollars of property and drug seizures worth a staggering seven billion dollars. About 83 million dollars have been paid in rewards through Crime Stoppers Programmes across the globe.

Cayman Crime Stoppers is a non-profit civilian run organization and is also a recognized regional member of Crime Stoppers International. The board is community based consisting of civilian leaders within the Cayman Islands and one law enforcement coordinator who assists with the dissemination of information received by the Cayman Crime Stoppers anonymous call-center operated in Miami, Florida.


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Rumour causes distress

| 15/10/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A false rumour regarding the identity of Estella Scot-Roberts’ murderer is causing additional heartache to a family already grieving her loss. In response, the family of William Murphy Powell, a prisoner at HMP Northward who has not been released, is advising the public to refrain from spreading any malicious rumours regarding any member of the Powell family’s alleged involvement in the suspected murder of Scott-Roberts, whose body was found Saturday morning in her burnt out car.

A member of the Powell family said that Estella was very close to them all and, in fact, lived with them for many years when she was the girlfriend of Perry Powell, who is now the Deputy Chief Officer for the Ministry of Communications, Works and Infrastructure of the Cayman Islands Government.

“The rumors have taken over common sense through this community in speculation of this senseless act and our family is also grieving deeply for her loss,” the family member said. “The allegations and rumours have been primarily been directed at my brother Murphy Kencer Powell, who remains in prison for the past ten years. He has not been released, she never testified in any case involving him, all of these vicious lies only serve to detract from the real tragedy and the energy should be focused and directed towards assisting the investigation.”

In a release, the family said, “We are deeply saddened by this incident as Estella was also considered a part of our family and we also like to extend our condolences to her husband and his family in this most difficult time. The Powell family is prepared to take any necessary legal action against person or persons engaged in spreading these rumours or any conduct which is defamatory to any member of the Powell’s family. We ask the public to respect our privacy in this most difficult time and to focus their attention on providing assistance to the RCIPS investigation.”

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Official Launch of JUCCI

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(CNS): The official launch for the 2nd volume of JUCCI (Journal of the University College of the Cayman Islands) will be in the form of a symposium, in which scholars will have a forum to present papers on issues pertinent to Caymanian Society followed by question and answer sessions. The event will take place in the Sir Vassel Johnson Hall on Thursday, 16 October, starting at 5:45 pm.

Guest Speaker Mary Rodrigues, Chief Officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service, will make a presentation on the topic “The Importance of Research and Publication in the Life of a University”. Barry Chevannes, Professor Emeritus from the University of the West Indies, will present “Tertiary Education and the Challenge of Youth”.

Christopher Williams will present “Determining the Historicity of Modern Caymanian Identities”; Dr Brian Chapell will present “Evolution: Educational Challenges in a Christian Society”; and Dr Mark Minnott will present “Encouraging the Recruitment of Teachers into Initial Teacher Education and Training in the Cayman Islands”

The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The University is anxious to have a huge turn out from the public, and copies of the Journal will be available for sale.

For more information, please visit the UCCI website

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Financial crisis a call to action

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(CNS): World markets are in turmoil and many are seizing the opportunity to blame offshore markets. How should Cayman respond to this threat? How is Cayman really perceived in the global marketplace? What are the key factors used to rank financial centres? These are just some of the questions that the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) is attempting to address at its luncheon event on Monday, 20 October, at the Ritz Carlton.

The guest speaker at the luncheon, Mark Yeandle, is the person behind the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), which is an important ranking mechanism that examines the strengths and weaknesses of financial centres around the globe based on 57 instrumental factors. Yeandle describes the presentation as “something which might spark discussions with government and private sector, as we look at which factors are most highly correlated in determining a financial centre’s competitiveness and how the Cayman Islands ranks in these critical areas.”

CIFSA Director Andrew Johnson emphasized, “In order to protect our place in the world economy it is important that we take the time to understand where Cayman is gaining and losing ground as a financial centre and the steps we can take to respond and improve ourcurrent standing.”

In what many are calling the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and with US Presidential elections coinciding with this crisis, there are many individuals seeking to capitalize on these events and generate public support for anti-business and anti-competitive policies by blaming offshore centres for all of the current problems battering the economy and stock markets.

“CIFSA sees this as a critical time for the financial industry in Cayman and hopes that every business operating here will unite in an effort to protect and even enhance our industry’s reputation at this crucial juncture”, explained Johnson. “This needs to be a continuous effort and this luncheon is an excellent place to start. We hope that individuals within the industry, and those that service it, will attend to share their comments and suggestions.”

To register contact Michelle at Tower Marketing: or 623.6712.

Illustrating the importance for such a discussion, the PR Unit of the Portfolio of Finance is a major sponsor of the luncheon. Other sponsors include; dms Management and Cayman Free Press.

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