Catboat icon gets MBE

| 31/12/2010

(CNS): Two Caymanians have been given royal gongs in the Queen’s 2011 New Year’s Honours List and eight others have received local honours from the governor. William Kemuel Jackson has received an MBE for his contributions to preserving Caymanian culture and the environment. Something of a cultural icon himself, Jackson is best known for his incredible work as a master catboat builder. A second MBE has gone to the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mary Lawrence, for services to the community, an official release said. The Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour awarded by the governor has gone to Mary Elizabeth Blake, Ellen Rose Sherman, Reba Dilbert, Morgan DaCosta, Audrey Ebanks, Rod Hansen, Dave Thompson and Zemrie Estella Thompson for their various contributions to the community. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Vice president of the Cat Boat Association and vice chairman of the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation, Jackson has worked hard to preserve the art of cat boating, as well as being an advocate for Cayman’s natural environment for many years. Describing the boats as the pick-up truck of their day, Jackson says there is simply no improving on the design of this especially Caymanian boat. Now in his early seventies, Jackson has retired from his life as a merchant seaman but continues to sail his own catboat and to share with others the intricacies of cat boating, including the hundreds of children he teaches every summer. “It is important that our young people take an interest in our heritage,” he said.

Lawrence, a former school teacher, has been given the MBE for her “service to community and country”, an official release said. Having worked as housemother in the Frances Bodden Home for Girls, as well as being a member of the Adoption Board, she recently consulted for government on the reform the residential care system for children. Described as working “tirelessly to promote good government”, Lawrence, who is currently the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, has also worked as a journalist. Lawrence said she was honoured to receive the MBE. Paying tribute to her late husband, she said his support made it possible for her to pursue her interests.


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  1. T Gibson says:

    Congrats Ellen Rose Sherman

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to each of the Award Honourees for your unselfish dedication to our country!!!
    CNS: I think you were trying to link to the full releases on the GIS website.
    Here they are:

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow! According to the GIS release, what a staggering contribution to Bodden Town Mrs Lawrence and her husband made. It would appear she should have had this award or another one earlier. How come we all thought she had been unemployed since the 1970s until just recently? Just shows you the media doesn’t print everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon Sun 18:53.

        You’re being sarcastic are you not? If you are not, then you clearly have no knowledge of Bodden Town and the difference between the GIS report and the truth.

  3. Ron Kipp says:

    A well deserved award to Kem Jackson. I am happy to have known Kem for over 30 years and only wish we had 1000 more just like him in Cayman.

    Ron Kipp

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kamuel Jackson is to be congratulated for his work with the catboats. This might be a good time to use this award as a spark to ignite the rebuilding of the property next to the Lobster Pot for a Cayman Islands Maritime Museum.

    It is sad they current condition of that property and it would be a perfect location for such a museum. I for one would be willing to contribute to such a worthy cause.

  5. DEAN NELSON says:

    I hate reading the comments sometimes even though we all are entitled to our own opinions. First off Ellen Rose congrats you deserve this 100% long time overdue. You have done so much for the community, for those who do not know you and know all that you have done please shut up. Ms Reba Much love and respect you deserved it also and Ms Zemrie nuff respect. For people who sit on the sidelines and all they do is criticize shut up. Cayman is a small Island and we these people may not be getting the awards for some of the things you may consider big, but in our small community they are big. Please reearch and find out about these people before you blab what you do not know about. also Ms Mary congrats. I do not know all the recipiants but congrats to all. And people their are in some cases if you do not lhave anything good to say JUST SHUT UP.



  6. Michel Lemay says:

    Mr. Mary this award for you is long overdue. Your determination alone and your influence on many over the many years speaks a lot of your integrity.The last episode in the LA as no bearing on this; you are a true lady made of iron. May the one who has never done anything unpopular or made a wrong decision cast the first stone. Please let me know first as I will take her place.The only perfect person to walk this earth was crucified. This is now 2011 and we must learn to forgive and move on and make right decisions for the betterment of the country

    • Lion Cowardly says:

      Ummh, no.  "The last episode in the LA" has a bearing on this discussion.  All you have to do is look at thumbs up/thumbs down indicator in case you missed it. 

      P.s.  If she did nothing wrong, why do you suggest that "we must learn to forgive and move on"?  Hmmh, yeah, that’s what I thought…

      Yours sincerely,

      Lion Cowardly

  7. Michel Lemay says:

    Congratulations Ms. Reba.Now this is one you deserve. Your dedication to what you do and your commitment with the younger generation is something we always admired from you. Your eagerness to always want to help even when in pain does not go unnotice. We are proud of you. Doris and Michel

  8. Michel Lemay says:

    Congratulations Mr. Kem this is a very desrving award for such a humble man. We have lots a respect for you sir. A true Ironman from west Bay. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  9. Iris Baker (Lawrence) says:

    How cowardly of the "anonymous" persons who make snide comments, and won’t sign their names!!. In my humble opinion, Mary Lawrence has long deserved recognition for defending and helping the ordinary Caymanian citizen. I am proud to see know that she is getting this award. She is a woman of principle and I say, "way to go Mom!"

    • flipper says:

      In case you haven’t noticed you’re not allowed to speak freely.  When you do, they want to crucify you.  So unless you’re a sandwich short of a picnic, or have a wish to be deported, you post anonymous comments.  Of course the brave ones, and all other brownnosers such as yourself, have every right to post your names.

    • anonymous says:

      Your opinion doesn’t count for much when looking at the many thumbs down that you have received.  signed, anonymous

    • Lion Cowardly says:

      My name is Lion Cowardly and I write to ask that you please not insult my good name.  Your post appears to attach some negative connotations to my family name, and I don’t appreciate that.  In the future, please refrain from doing so again.  Lastly, if only your mommy would have defended the rights of all people, including expats, and not tried to bully (and that is exactly what she and her cohorts tried doing) an expat who was simply doing his job, perhaps she may have deserved her little award which simple people so love to covet.  Yours truly, Lion Cowardly

      P.s.  Immigration won’t find me on their list – just thought I’d save you that phone call 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      It is very understandable that Mrs Baker (Lawrence) would stand up for her mother in the face of "snide comments" from anonymous posters but perhaps she has forgotten that her parents published "the Voice" ANONYMOUSLY back in the day and printed ANONYMOUSLY some terribly hurtful things about Jim and Haig Bodden and Truman Bodden as well. Many of us were distressed by that at the time and we remain unimpressed by Ms Mary’s achievements.

    • see threat to the press, democracy in cayman says:

      Question is, are those principles the right ones?

  10. Anon says:

    Ms Flipper, you are way out of order to suggest that Mrs. Lawrence is a perverted type that would call for anyones head on a stick! You have highlighted exactly the reasons she deserves an MBE, for standing firmly behind what she believes!

    There is no other person on this island that has championed the causes of indivdual free speech and the rights of individuals like Mrs. Lawrence. 

    Mr. Fuller’s aticle was somewhat mischievous, and I supect to help bolster the falling popularity of the Compass news paper at the expense of a growing rapidily unpopular Government!

    And as far as I am concerned, if Cayman could possibly  go 10, 20 or 30 years behind in Human Rights, our society would still be a lot better off than it is today! 

    You need to look at Jolly Good old England and see how much the good people of that country are suffering because of these special interest groups, who act in the name of Human Rights!

    Well done Mrs. Lawrence, My Good and Faithful Servant!

    • flipper says:

      Right…and the tooth fairy is real.

      • anonymous says:

        FLIPPER, you sound that you are one of those perfect ones hiding behind many things specially human rights. I wonder why you are here period. Not happy with the human rights where you are from or simply a very unhappy and miserable person. IT’s 2011 lighten up and enjoy our Beautiful water of our beautiful Island maybe a little behind but we can still forgive and still don’t have to forget. Be happy man or just swim away to your own perfect island. oh! I get it, flipper rights,human rights hey at least we give you the right to critize careful you don’t swim to Cuba it’s not that far.

  11. pmilburn says:

    My congratulations to my good friend Kem Jackson on such a well deserved honour.I have known Kem and his good wife Olla ever since I came here way back in the 60’s and Kem helped me withmy diving and taught me many other things that were related to running boats,fixing them,working on compressors and many other important things which have helped me to where I am today.I hope that many young Caymanisians will see what hard work and dedication to ones hobbies(Catboats in particular)bring if one stays the course.

           WELL DONE KEM!!!!!!

  12. preserving culture and heritage says:

    I am very happy to see this award for Kem Jackson. This is the recognition and preservation of Cayman heritage and culture that is valuable and far too often overlooked in the overall tourism offerings.

    All the best in 2011 Cayman.


  13. Anonymous says:

    As a younger expat, I am thankful to see Mr. Jackson being recognized for his continuing support, dedication and hard work in maintaining a very important cultural icon, as well as being one of the fathers of the dive industry.  He is a smart and humble person who continues to teach.


    Lets forget the negativity that breeds in this forum and dedicate this to remaining positive.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congradulations to Mary Lawrence and Kem they well deserve their award, Reba, and Mary. and congradulations to all of the political  recommendation support  awards, after all what did youdo to deserve an award..   IOt happens every year.  What a shame.

    • anonymous says:

      9:56 you don’t know Reba Dilbert very well do you? The many costumes at Batabano were created by her and many children that were willing to help and learn. Instead of being on the streets or in bad company doing drugs. I have known her for 30 years and she was the same then and is the same now except even sick at time still on the job. Before you critize someone get to know them first. Or is just because she is Caymanian? New Year,same old ways, very sad.

  15. Tammie says:

    Congratulations Kem Jackson. May God Bless you with many, many more years to continue to do what you are great at and enjoy doing. You are truly deserving of this honour.




  16. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Mrs. Mary Lawrence on being awarded the MBE.  Well done my Good and Faithful servant! She has always stood firmly behind her beliefs for justice and honesty for all. I believe this is one of the most deserved awards as it recognizes the work of ordinary people.

    Cngratulations to Mr. Jackson as well! This is another Honour for the ordinary citizen! 

    • flipper says:

      Looking at the many thumbs down, people obviously disagree with your assessment of Mrs. Lawrence’s stand on justice and honesty.  You must have been away when she, along with other members of the LA, shamelessly tried to bully an expatriate reporter (who was simply doing his job) into silence.  How would you like for the Speaker of the House and the major politicians to call for your head to be delivered on a stick – all in the name of JUSTICE and HONESTY, as you put it???  So please stop with your jokes, they’re not that funny…  If she and others had their way, Cayman would fall back another 20 years in terms of Human Rights.

      • anonymous says:

        Thumps up or thumps down don’t matter as long as you don’t disrespect  the Cayman Islands. You would not have survived long here 20 years ago. Having no internet to  hide behind your flipper.

  17. flipper says:

    I was always of the opinion, and this simply confirms it, that in the Cayman Islands like in the rest of the world, things regularly work a$$-backwards – in other words, the lower your intelligence and the higher your incompetence, the greater your rewards, salary, position, etc.  And then, to make a ludicrous situation even more so, they top it off by awarding you with all kinds of fancy, schmantzy accolades!!!  Here you go, this is in recognition for being the dumb-a$$ of the century.  Happy New Year Cayman!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Rod Hansen???

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Speaker? For what? It surely helps to be associated with the UDP in any way at all. My, my, my! For what? What a disgrace. It must be for 3 decades of rejection at the polls in BT! Could only be.

    • Little Cayman Resident says:

      This type of comment is really uncalled for. But I guess Caymanians pulling down Caymanians is what we know best.

      Ms. Mary has worked non-stop in Bodden Town and the greater community for decades. I actually thoughtshe had been recognized for that already. Just because she did not make it at the polls means nothing. Look at the last elections and the great Independent candidates that were unsuccessful. The polls are never an indication ofcapability and worth but rather who can convince the majority of people on election day…and a lot convincing comes with paved driveways, walls, turkeys and other hand outs. Ask yourself, what did I get last election and was it worth it? Did you get a turkey for christmas this year? Did you take it? enough said.

      A rejection at the polls these days is usually a sign of a good person that is not prepared to bribe their way to the top.

      Well done Ms. Mary and all the other persons honoured. Congrats.

      • anonymous says:

        "A rejection at the polls these days is usually a sign of a good person that is not prepared to bribe their way to the top"…ha ha ha ha ha ha Good one.  That person may not "bribe their way to the top" as you say, but has certainly accepted to be placed at the "top" by friends and colleagues. 

    • John Evans says:

      If Desmond got one (and I would love to have seen his reaction to recent events in the LA) why not?

      If you look at the full list –

      Julio James Alcantara. Formerly director of Education, Gibraltar. For services to education and to the community in Gibraltar.

      Peter Michael Allcorn. Formerly British Honorary Consul, St. Kitts and Nevis. For services to the British community and to British interests in St. Kitts and Nevis.

      Michael Philip Patrick Atsoparthis. British Honorary Consul, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. For services to the British community and the consular evacuation of expatriates during the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan.

      Mrs Christine Sarah (Jane) Bielby. Treasurer, Bermuda Girl Guides. For services to Guiding in Bermuda.

      Matron Mary Winifred Brewster. Formerly Hospital Matron. For services to the sick and the elderly in Zimbabwe.

      Miss Susan Caroline Curtis. Formerly Second secretary, British Embassy, Kinshasa.

      Samarendra Nath Das. Formerly chief Opthalmic Surgeon. For services to ophthalmic work overseas, particularly the establishment of eye hospitals and clinics in India.

      Christopher James Duff. Member of Crosslink International, Kyrgyzstan. For services to the evacuation of expatriates during the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan.

      Mark Charles Evans. General manager, Outward Bound, Sultanate of Oman. For services to cultural diversity and promoting understanding between people in the Arab and Western worlds.

      Mrs June Christine Haimoff-Fairey. Environmentalist. For services to environmental conservation and the protection of endangered turtles in Turkey.

      Ms Suzanne Elizabeth Golden. Senior manager, South, Oman International Group, Oman. For services to the British community in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman.

      Derek Owen Griffiths. Governance Adviser, Provincial Reconstruction Team, Helmand, Afghanistan.

      Mrs Claire Allison Harri. Teacher.For services to the evacuation of expatriates during the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan.

      Joel Ilmary Harri. Member of Crosslink International, Kyrgyzstan. For services to the evacuation of expatriates during the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan.

      Thomas Luther Hewitt. Chief executive Officer, Umthombo Street Children, Durban, South Africa. For services to child welfare in South Africa.

      Inspector Richard John Maurice Hynes. Metropolitan Police Service. For services to community safety in South Africa.

      Mrs Caroline Louise Ingram. Chair of Trustees, the Victoria Climbie Charitable Trust. For services to education for children and the establishment of a school in the Ivory Coast in memory of Victoria Climbie.

      William Kemuel Jackson. Vice chairman, Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation, Cayman Islands. For services to cultural heritage and environmental conservation in the Cayman Islands.

      John Hugh Kenyon. British Honorary Consul, Puerto Montt, Chile. For services to the British community and consular assistance in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

      Dr John Edward Lancaster. Trustee, Board of Directors, Sparrow Ministries, South Africa. For services to the victims of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

      Mrs Mary Jannet Lawrence, JP. Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Cayman Islands. For services to the community in the Cayman Islands.

      Andrew William George Lewis. Head, UK Trade and Investment, British Consulate General, Los Angeles, USA.

      Dr Gaynor Deeble Maclean. International Midwifery consultant. For services to midwifery overseas.

      Stephen Michael Markey. Third secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

      Mrs Lesley Marie McConnachie. Second secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

      Mrs Lorna Marie Miles. Formerly Pavilion director, UK Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010.

      Ms Tracey Alexandra Morgan. Formerly Legal Officer, International Organisation for Migration, East Timor. For services to the British community in East Timor.

      Andrew John Mullen. Chief executive Officer, Corporate Security Consultants, Guatemala. For services to the British community, charitable activities and British commercial interests in Guatemala.

      Mrs Elizabeth Janet Neill. Chair, International Library, Dusseldorf, Germany. For services to the promotion of British culture.

      Ms Mary Patricia Northmore. Founder and Chair, the Smile Foundation Bali. For services to those suffering from cranio-facial abnormalities in eastern Indonesia.

      Mrs Rosalind Stephanie Oliver. Director, Double Dragon Alliance, Shanghai. For services to the promotion of cross-cultural understanding, particularly between the UK and China.

      Mrs Lesley Fawcett Phipps. Member, Board of Directors, Hospice Africa, Uganda. For services to palliative cancer care in Africa.

      Mrs Lorraine Jennifer Repetto. Government Treasurer. For services to the community of Tristan da Cunha.

      Peter Robinson. Chairman, George Cross Island Association, Malta Branch. For services to the British community in Malta.

      Timothy John Rushton. Choreographer and Artistic director, Danish Dance Theatre. For services to dance.

      Graham Alan Shillabeer. Formerly Second secretary, British Embassy, Brussels.

      Ms Hannah Killingley Small. Chair of Trustees, Soft Power Education, Uganda. For services to education in Uganda.

      Mrs Jillyan Stanley. Volunteer. For services to children with disabilities in Tanzania.

      Braxton Eugene Steede. Entertainer. For services to entertainment in Bermuda and internationally.

      Mrs Alison McGregor Tardivel. Headmistress, Junior School, British School of Paris. For services to British education in France.

      The Reverend Andrew Thompson. For services to human rights and promoting interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims in Kuwait.

      Charles Sydney Tobias. Chairman, Pusser’s Rum, British Virgin Islands. For services to the Royal Navy and to the community of the British Virgin Islands.

      Mrs Susan Jean Wakeling. Formerly Learning Centre manager and Teacher, Guizhou, China. For services to special needs and disabled children in China.

      Francis Kendrick White. Vice president, English Speaking Club, and president, Alicante Branch, Royal British Legion. For services to the British community in Spain.

      Dominic Luke Williams. Second secretary, British High Commission, Colombo.

      – you soon realise that being awarded an MBE is a bit like winning the lottery rather than any recognition of merit. This is one of the major failings of the current honours system.

      Whilst I respect the sentiment embodied in it, the belated award to Mr Tobias is particularly interesting. What was known as ‘up spirits’ in the RN, when the daily rum ration was issued, stopped over 40 years ago and is now reserved for special occassions only. 


      • Knal Domp says:

         Johnno, ol’ sport- do your research. The Royal Navy Sailor’s Fund, a naval charity more commonly called the "Tot Fund" receives a substantial donation from the sale of each bottle of Charles Tobias’ Pusser’s Rum. Aside from the fund’s original bequest, the Pusser’s contribution has become the fund’s largest source of income. Hence the MBE.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Kem Jackson, a fine catboat sailor and a true gentleman.

    CNS, I think you may have confused the CBE (an honour higher than OBE) with the Certificate and Badge of Honour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats to all awardes, and I do hope that Miss Beulah McField will be awarded in the very near future too. If not dont worry you will receive even a greater award in Heaven. Miss Beulah you are doing a fantastic job, and I pray that God will grant you a long life.