PPM leaders get royal gongs

| 12/06/2010

(CNS): The former leader of government business and leader of the PPM has been awarded this year’s top royal gong in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2010. Kurt Tibbetts has been made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Civil Division), aka an OBE,for his outstanding service to the community. His party colleague and right hand man, former education minister Alden McLaughlin, has received an MBE for his services to constitutional reform. Both opposition members awards were announced at this morning’s (Saturday 13 June) special celebrations in George Town.

Joining the politicians for royal accolades in Queen Elizabeth’s 84th birthday awards was Deputy Chief Fire Officer Doorly McLaughlin of the Cayman Islands Fire Service (right), who has received the Colonial Police and Fire Service Medal (CPFSM). The governor, Duncan Taylor, has also named Jackie Balls, Celeste Broderick and Penny McDowall in his first honours awards. The ladies all receive the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour (Cert. Hon) for services to the community.
Darwin Kurt Tibbetts received his royal nod following over 30 years of political and community service. “I consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to raise a family in Cayman and to do what I have. I sincerely want others to have similar opportunities,” he said. The opposition leader and George Town MLA is currently serving his fifth consecutive term in the Legislative Assembly. Between 2000 and 2001 and again in 2005 to 2009 he served as leader of government business. During his second term as LOGB he was also leader of the People’s Progressive Movement party, a position he continues to hold. Tibbett’s major political accomplishments include the Freedom of Information Law and the new Constitution.
Alden McNee McLaughlin was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2000 and has since taken on some of his generation’s biggest issues, and said the adoption of the new Constitution was a crowning moment in his career. As one of Cayman’s visionary politicians, he remains a vocal proponent of a better education system and the advancement of human rights in the Cayman Islands. “Just because Cayman punches above its weight in the financial arena, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pay attention to social development and human rights, because these things do matter,” he firmly states.
As a product of the public education system himself, McLaughlin holds that all children must be properly educated when they leave school. “Without that, it is near impossible to take advantage of scholarships or training opportunities – and too many of our young people are facing that struggle.”   
Currently in his third term as an elected member, McLaughlin is philosophical about his tenure: “Dealing with criticism and adverse public opinion is never easy, but I have always believed that I can make a difference, and I will continue to serve my people.”
Doorly McLaughlin’s award for long and distinguished service comes as he celebrates his 50th birthday, which is indicative of his life-long ethos of service to country. The deputy chief fire officer is the first local recipient of the Colonial Police and Fire Service Medal (CPM) for dedication to the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS). He has previously received three
Colonial long-service awards for service in his field.
Summarising his career, McLaughlin says he tried to join the service after graduating high school in 1976, but being only 16 at that time he had to wait two more years before enrolling as the youngest officer.
Over the years, McLaughlin consistently managed to balance fieldwork and professional development and his promotions continued. Two years ago, his positive attitude and ongoing education in emergency management led to his appointment as Deputy Chief Fire Officer.
Discarding misconceptions of domino games and leisure time in the firehouses, he says the rigorous routine of inspecting and testing all equipment twice daily demands more than half of their time. The remainder is spent in training: drills, lectures, project planning, and site visits. While encouraging young Caymanian men into the service, McLaughlin nevertheless cautions that the work is not for the fainthearted or those unwilling to sacrifice personal time, including weekends and holidays.   
For more on this year’s awardees:
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  1. anonymous says:

    Congratulations !! to Kurt and Alden.  Well deserving and long overdue.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kurt can thank McKeeva forthis, because he  said publicly on many occasions that he was going to recommend to the HE that he be recognised for his contribution to the community.

     I would agree that may be for his community service through working with Lions Club is worthy of recognition, but certainly not  his work on the constitution and the financial mess left behind by his Government.    XXXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done Kurt and Alden, thank God for leadsers like you two. You both are positive role models not just for the young, but you give hope for a better future.

  3. Anonymous says:

     Does Mr. Kurt have to decide whether he accepts it not?

  4. Scrooge McDuck says:

    A Royal Gong???  Oh well.  I imagine if we’re going to hold onto forms of outdated pomp and circumstance "giving a gong" is as innocuous as we can hope for.

    It gives the Queen something to do during her…yawn… days.

    At this moment she should also give BP a royal kick in the a** for destroying the Gulf of Mexico!! 

    How about it Your Maj??  Or is that too relevant??

  5. Looking into the fishbowl says:

    Why do these people court and accept Queen’s Birthday Honours when they do nothing but spout anti-Britiish rhetoric.  The stuff I read on the CNS by people who say they are caymanian seems to suggest that Cayman does not want to be part of Great Britain.  If that is so then they should be refusing these gongs.

    • Anonymous says:

      To "looking into the fishbowl." Just in case it slipped you, Cayman is a British Overseas Dependent Terrority & that has not changed yet. Therefore for you to make such stupid remarks is simply highlighting your childishness & ignorance. Why should anyone turn down an award from the Queen because some sectors of society are very unhappy with the way our so called mother country "looks out" for us (pretty non existant). Until the day comes when Cayman is independent (which I personally hope never comes), every honest & hard working person who is nominated for the Queens awards should accept them, & you can go to XXXX! Just in case you are wondering, I am not happy with the way your country treats us, but I know for sure that Cayman could never succeed as an independent country mainly because of 2 reasons (even though there are many more):

      1. All foreign investors would pick up & run because of the instability that would result from such a move, & we would never be able to afford all the expenses that come with it (we rely on foreign investment & we would end up with none, just take a look a little S/E of us. BOOM BAM!).

      2. Just imagine what an evil dictator would do to our lovely island if we became independent! Do not say it cannot happen, we are getting very close to that now & we are still British. It can happen, & IT WILL HAPPEN, if we go independent, there is nothing to stop it.

      So in the mean time, CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Tibbetts & Mr. McLauglin.

      • bradley says:

        Must also add – there is another dictator and Caymanians should not be too passive on responding against it.

        THE Foreign and Commonwealth Office!


        Not attacking all the members therein, but last year some interest groups have used the FCO as a tool to declare full British Rule on the peoples of the Turk & Caicos Islands – all because they pinned corruption upon 1 man. Instead of weeding him out, they took corruption as their premise to undermine the democracy of the people’s government. Taking control of their financial records and dissolving their Cabinet, the UK today says one thing, but does the other.

        After a series of corruption cases against the Cayman, and each case lost in court, it is about time that Caymanian leaders and politicians ensure some kind of "powerful representation" in the UK to protect us from our own FCO, which presides over us.

        So where we must avoid Independence – at the same time, we have to stand for our RIGHTS and not be niave, thinking that Great Britain is so nice to us all the time. Apparently, our new Constitution has not provide us with any provisions to secure our democratic representation – instead it states in section 33, part 2, that the Governor can choose not to follow the advice of the elected people’s cabinet when someone powerful in the UK wants to do his own thing.

        Look it up for yourself…

    • Anonymous says:

      CONGRATULATIONS kURT BB as you were affectonately called as alittle boy. This is much deserved. You not only look after the folks in Grand Cayman, but especially after the Paloma you were on thhe flight the same day, assisting those in need. We are proud that you were choosen for the MBE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are "these people"? I have never heard Mr. Tibbetts or Mr. McLaughlin "spout anti-British rhetoric". Indeed Mr. Tbbetts has often been accused of being too deferential to the British Govt. 

  6. political heckler says:

    This old colonial patronage system needs to be scraped it rewards too often morally bankrupt elements of our society with recognition and legitimizes some very troubling fixtures of our political and social hegemony and ignores the true heroes of our society. We are truly lost when we have to get others to mark our identity in our own society. sad man sad

    • Anonymous says:

      This is all pure Hollywood for goodness sake. NEWS FLASH : Britain ("England") hasn’t had an empire for decades. The only reason the British (England, Scotland, Wales, and, I think, Northern Ireland) keep the royal family going is as a tourism gimmick : it brings in a ton of money every year, which goes straight into the treasury via taxation. But then Cayman is a fantasy, truth be told, so what the heck, keep awarding these colonial-era badges. In truth there should be only one award : The Caymanian Badge of Honour.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I tend to agree with this sentiment. The giving away of royal gongs has always been at a much higher rate amongst the colonies compared to the home country – compare the per capita statistics. It does rather devalue the currency of OBE’s, MBEs and so on when you see some of the CI recipients. When someone in the UK gets say, an OBE it’s generally for something pretty awesome (OK long serving senior civil servants tend to get them too).

      Any CI politician will get a gong if he has put in a few years, likewise anyone sucessful in the CI financial or legal industry is liable to get one. In the latter case they dress it up with e.g. "for services in developing offshore laws" rather than the truth – e.g. "for being good at developing your own business model, making lots of money and being able to influence the local politics a bit". When in doubt they add "and for services to charity.." (where the potential recipient having been given the nod has quickly dropped a few $k on a local worthy cause).

      What troubles me is that this is a little like tossing colored beads to the natives – the locals may lap it up but it really doesn’t mean anything to the person giving the award. Do you honestly think her Maj., or anyone else high up in the UK, really cares a hoot about who’s getting a badge on their chest in CI this year? Nope – just the old colonial machine grinding away like it’s done for over 100 years.


  7. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    The Order’s motto is For God and the Empire.

    There are fourteen "British Overseas Territories" of the United Kingdom.  Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_overseas_territories
    However, "British Overseas Territory" is the less offensive sounding term for British Colony; it’s a euphemism.  The acceptance of these colonial medals by members of the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands is a subject which should now be studied and debated publicly by the Caymanian People.

    Perhaps this is a discourse which could be spearheaded by UCCI.

  8. Jenna Jameson says:

    What about Mr. Arden McLean? Doesn’t he deserve an OBE for standing up to Mr. McKeeva Bush?

  9. Dexter Rivers says:

    Congratulations to all for being recognized for service to their community and country..

    And thanks to those citizens who took the initiative to recommend the recipients.

    Honourable Kurt and Alden did in 4 years what so manypoliticians tried to do all their life, get a constitution that pleases most of the people in Cayman. What an achievement. They could not get one that pleases everyone, they are only intelligent  human beings not magicians! Those people who chose to be included in the constitution were  heard and their concerns were addressed. Those that chose not to be included will still be protected.  

  10. whodatis says:

    Elizabeth couldn’t bestow onto me a chewing gum much less an "honour".

    Imagine how my ancestors would turn in their graves upon hearing the news of me, their great, great, great, great grandchild, being bestowed and much worse, accepting such an absurdity!

    That "E" stands for "Empire" … that is a serious thing.

    If and when my time of recognition comes – rest assured that Liz and her ancestors were the LAST individuals on my mind as I did what I did for my people. She can keep their stinking pin too.

    Honestly … who the hell is that woman? A "queen"? Queen of who? Says who? My queen? Lol! I think not! She nor any of her "royal" ancestors before her have never had my best interest at heart – as a matter of fact, they all seemed pretty hell bent on my degradation and destruction.

    Regardless, I respect all of the celebrated individuals for their personal achievements and contributions to our society. Congrats to all.

  11. Denise Miller says:

    On behalf of the Young Progressives, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Honourable D. Kurt Tibbetts and Mr. Alden McLaughlin on achieving their respective honours. You are both more than deserving!

    May the impact of your contributions be examples to future generations, may others in society aspire to contribute in a similar fashion, and may it be marked in our collective mind and soul for generations to come.

    I also offer our sincere congratulations to Mr. Doorly McLaughlin, Ms. Jackie Balls, Ms. Celeste Broderick, and Ms. Penny McDowall.  

  12. NorthSideSue says:

    Congratulation Mr. Kurt, from Harv and Sue.

  13. Live Free... says:

    Congratulations to Kurt and Alden, they truly deserve the recognition of the good work they have done and continue to do. To the leader of the opposition Mr. Kurt  Tibbetts, you deserve to be made an Officer ofthe most Excellent Order of the British Empire, you are an example pf a true leader, no matter what the other party (UDP) followers says. And to Mr. Alden McLaughlin, you truly deserve the MBE that you have received, you truly worked hard to get the new Constitution put in place and you also work hard in reforming the Education Curriculum, you and Kurt, truly have love for the Country at heart.


    If I had an award to offer these two Gentlemen, it would be called, The Award Of Vision For The Future (AVOTF). Why? Because these two Gentlemen always look ahead, rather than only what is at present. That’s why you saw Mr. Alden building up schools, because they were not only being built for today, but also for tomorrow, that my friends I called vision. Mr. kurt Tibbetts with the new Government Building, was built to ease the expense on the Government, not just the Government of today, but for the Governments that comes after, that is vision my friends.

    Again, Congrats to Kurt and Alden… And to the others who have received awards also, keep up the good work and God Bless…

  14. Barbara says:

    Kurt and Alden,  Congrats!  So proud of you guys.  Thanks for all you both do. 


    • BORN FREE says:

      Congratulations to Kurt & Alden, very much deserved, & congrats to Lady Edna also. I hope to see Arden & Tony next year for sure. CONGRATULATIONS! I am proud of you both.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anyone who gives a ‘thumbs down’ to the congratulating of Kurt & Alden on their awards & the requesting of the same for Arden & Tony must be very sick & unstable people (10 so far). What a load of immature jealousy. I wonder what the response would have been when Mac Bush was awarded his OBE, because I sure as hell can say without doubt or favourtism that Kurt, Alden, Arden & Tony certainly deserve the award if Mac Bush got it, that is as sure a fact as hell is hot!

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations, we are all very proud of you both

    • Anonymous says:

      ok now and what happenedto the two ladies who did so much for the HRC?  Doesn’t their time and talents count? Personally I think their work for HRC (Human Rights Committee) is deserving of at least an OBE if one can get an  award for their work and time on our Constitution? HRC work was done for and to give  protection to the poorest and the weakest of our society but I guess that doesnt count? Let’s see how long it takes a politician to submit these ladies names……………………….I hope that next year their names will be on the list……………..considering that the arts (dance) and Ms Cayman organisation is deserving; then these ladies that did that work should get just rewards too………just my humble opinion………but I won’t hold my breath………..

      • Anonymous says:

        Well if you feel that strongly about them, go ahead and nominate for an award then!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to all!

    But, Doorly, many of us have spent time at the fire station and the rigorous regime you describe just doesn’t happen!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Congrats all

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is what a Honourable Leader looks like! very proud of You guys!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would like to congratulate our PPM leaders for their recognition.  To you people who refuse to see the handwriting on the wall, remember neither of these two gentlemen (and I can afford to call them that) have used our money to pay for armed security guards , etc……(tongue-in-cheek).  Caymanians have gotten the government they wanted, I hope they accept what goes along with it.  Nuff said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. timrod says:


    Outstanding service to the community with extravagant school projects incomplete?

    A Constitutional Reform which excluded the people of the Cayman Islands???


    • Anonymous says:

      At least "extravagant schools" is better & more rewarding than XXXXX. The schools are imcomplete at the moment because of XXXXXX. Thank GOD the PPM were never involved in any corruption, special deals, selling out of their country, or any suspicios deals, THANK GOD!

      As for "Constitutional reform which excluded the people of the Cayman Islands???"
      The only people in Cayman who were excluded were those who did not want to be included (ie: who chose to be excluded), or those who chose to listen to Mckeeva Bush & not attend any of the hundreds of meetings held by the PPM. By the way, have you forgotten that the new constitution went to referendum & the people of Cayman voted overwhelmingly in favor it (in other words THEY SUPPORTED the new constitution DUH!). But I will forgive you for your naivety as you seem to be a udp supporter & that explains an awful lot!

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you about the school,but it still remains the New Constitution was behind closed doors and uninformed people voting for their party on the same day, voted for it because their party supported it.

        Whereas – we needed a New Constitution, we didn’t need one like this one

        • Anonymous says:

          Re: the constitution:  you had ample opportunity to vote against it.  There were many meetings about it.  If you didn’t speak up it’s your fault.

        • Anonymous says:

          No Constitution is ever perfect but this one is a huge improvement on the previous. There was no reason for anyone to be uninformed about the Constitution as there were many meetings heldin the districts to educate people about the issue, TV and radio discussions and many articles written about it.  There is no Constitution that could be written that would please everyone. At least we have got one that pleases the majority.   

          Your theory about voting for the Constitution because of party obviously does not hold water since although Mr. Bush publicly opposed the new Constitution his party won the elections while the PPM, the party that proposed the Constitution, lost.