Governor invites nominees for Royal gongs

| 30/10/2008

(CNS): The people of the Cayman Islands are being invited to submit nominations for the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2009. H.E the Governor Stuart Jack is inviting members of the public to submit nominations by Friday 21 November 2008. And while the honours remain popular in the Cayman Islands they have come in for much criticism over the years in other jurisdictions, with people such as Poet Benjamin Zephaniah (left) refusing them.

Final recommendations for OBEs and MBEs are considered in the United Kingdom while recommendations for the Certificate and Badge of Honour are considered locally. It is stressed that for any Award, long service is not enough. Nominations must be supported by a persuasive account of the outstanding or innovative or self-sacrificing services and achievements of the nominee, whether paid or unpaid, in one field or several, and what has raised them above those of others performing similar services.

While Cayman seems content to keep making nominations and accepting the awards, Royal Honours have been criticised in other jurisdictions and especially by people from the Caribbean community living in the UK. Many recipients have even gone as far as refusing the honours because of their connection to the concept of empire and slavery, as well as the issue of elitism and snobbery.

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah famously made the headlines in the UK in 2003 when he explained why he had turned one down: "I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’: it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality," he had said.

Actress Honor Blackman, musician David Bowie, writers JB Priestley, Graham Greene and Roald Dahl all rejected awards. Alan Bennett has rejected both a knighthood and a CBE for services to literature, but the most persistent refusenik, as they have been termed, was the British painter LS Lowry, who turned down five awards, including a knighthood.

For those who think their nominations are unlikely to refuse, forms can be collected from the reception desk of the Government Administration Building or requested by e-mail from  Nominators are asked to make every effort to fully complete all the relevant sections.  Once completed, the forms should be submitted, under confidential cover, to the Governor’s Office.  While all recommendations will be acknowledged, the Governor’s Office cannot enter into correspondence about the action taken on them.

For any further information please contact the Governor’s Office on 244 2401.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Personally I think that until the "Martin Bridger Fiasco" is solved and removed away from the Cayman Islands,  all Caymanians and residents alike should "boycott" all things associated with the UK to include the Queens Birthday Parade and all social functions at the Government House.

    As for the applications at the Glass House, take all of them and throw them in the garbage. It’s only the "colonial empire" in disguise, hard at work again.

    You won’tfool me though !!!!!!!!