Teen heard minister’s tirade

| 19/12/2014

(CNS): A teenager taking part in the Chamber of Commerce’s mentoring programme was one of dozens of people who witnessed the verbal assault by the health minister on his chief officer last week. The incident, which has caused outrage in the community and stirred up calls for the minister to step down, was overheard by the student from St Ignatius Catholic High School who was attending the ministry on her first workplace visit with her mentor, Nancy Barnard, the deputy chief officer. The Chamber confirmed that the youngster had reported the incident, which involved yelling and swearing, but that bothCO  Jennifer Ahearn, the target of the abuse, and Barnard had discussed the issue with her and explained that it was not normal workplace behaviour.

“Following the incident, Mrs Barnard and Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn took the time to meet with the student to stress to her that the behaviour she experienced was not normal or proper for the workplace,” an official from the Chamber stated. “Mrs Barnard and the Chamber’s Programme coordinator, Trisha Meyerhoff, also took the time to contact the student’s parents via email and by phone to discuss the incident and to offer further support if necessary.”

Chamber CEO Wil Pineau explained that all mentors are required to complete a mentor training seminar and to submit a police clearance in order to participate in the programme. At the opening reception, everyone was instructed to inform the Chamber’s Programme Coordinator if there is any incident that takes place at the workplace or during any visit that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way.

“Since the start of the programme in 2003, this is the first report of any incident during a workplace visit,” said Pineau.

Ironically the mentoring programme is sponsored jointly by the Chamber of Commerce and Osbourne Bodden’s ministry, which includes youth in its portfolio.

The Chamber has called for a full investigation to take place and the outcome to be made public. President Johann Moxam, who recently called for unity in Cayman, also raised his concerns about the allegations that Bodden had derided Ahearn’s Caymanian status and said such comments “destroy harmony”.

“The Cayman Islands is a multi-cultural society with residents living and working here from around the world. Our success is based on our ability to integrate and to accept that while we may have cultural and national differences, we are all working to make the Cayman Islands the best place to live and to conduct business,” Moxam said. “Anti-Caymanian or anti-foreigner comments destroy that harmony.

“We need to make every effort to remove these sentiments from our day to day discussions and interactions. Our collective objective should be to create a more inclusive Cayman for all stakeholders, whilst respecting and maintaining our heritage and traditions. This includes native, multi-generational persons married to Caymanians and persons who have lived and worked among us who have been granted the privilege of Permanent Residency and Caymanian Status, as well as those who are seeking to become Caymanian,” he added.

The existing divisions in the communities have been exasperated in recent years as the number of foreign workers coming into Cayman has continued, while the economic recession has taken a heavy toll on the local workforce, which is now competing with cheap labour from overseas.

As government battles to deal with the fallout, it too has been striving for a greater degree of unity and as a result it is the comment from Bodden that his chief was no more Caymanian than a piece of “f^*^ing driftwood” that appears to have exacerbated the minister’s tirade into a national crisis.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    An excellent lesson in culture from the head leader of Cayman culture. This youngster has learned at the knee of one of the greats. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent statement thanks, Mr Moxam, for underscoring how serious and important this issue is, and for speaking out clearly on the topic, as a leader.  We all need to work towards cohesiveness within our islands, not decisiveness.  Making disparaging slurs on another's differences should not be swept under the rug, rather, discussed publicly and addressed.  Enough of the generalizations – once someone receives the grant of Caymanian status they are Caymanian.  Yes some newer Caymanians may not appreciate that grant, but in my experience that is the exception not the norm.  Yes some Caymanians think newer Caymanians are like pieces of driftwood, but in my experience that is also the exception notthe norm.  

    Let us remember the shared joys and sorrows that all of us experience, regardless of background, religion, colour…

    Let us pause and reflect on our heritage for a moment; whether expatriate or local we all can likely claim to draw on a rich and varied ancestry – we are, in essence, all one fascinating extended family.

    • Anonymous says:

      Johan said " We are all working to make this place a better place to live and do business" Uhhh! I am not sure about that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    They explained it was not normal workplace behaviour and that the wrongdoer would be shifted to another job on the same salary as if he had done nothing wrong because his boss is a coward.

    • Anonymous says:

      The alleged wrongdoer was demoted from being the Minister for Health to being the Minister for Community Affairs.

      • Anonymous says:

        The wrongdoer, since he has accepted what he did, was shifted a little to one side, but basically escaped with impunity.  The punishment, such as it was, does not fit the misconduct, basically because Alden has not got the guts to do the right thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just be glad he didn't take out the cow cod. Voter memory sure is short.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That wasn’t just anger, those are his real thoughts. That is his real attitude, and that is frightening. If both don’t represent the feelings of his constituents what the f is he doing there?

  6. Anonymous says:

    nice to see how her representatives really are up close and personal i say. cant beat work experience

  7. Dean Nelson says:

    MY QUESTION if the woman in question was a black Caymanian would Caymaians be so up in arms.

    Caymanians never stand up for each other we fight each other to the grave, if Ozzie was a foreigner we would hear nothing of this.

    I am not condoning what he did but PLEASE worst than this goes on, this should have been handled internally,

    Caymanians YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OFCOWARDS.  But remember today is fi Ozzie an Tommara is fa you. 

    • Anon says:

      Are you kidding? If she was a black Caymanian, nooo way in ‘H-E- double hockey sticks’ would he have gone off bad like that. He only did it because she is a white foreign born Caymanian, and in his tiny mind he thought he could get away with bullying a her. Coward.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bull shit 21;14

        You must have your head in the sand. Dont you se how the Caymanians are giving it all to the Whites?

        look around you pal, and tell me who's bulding all these white people homes, it sure isnt the black caymanians.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just an FYI Caymanians are white too, not just black, let's not turn this into a black and white thing… Oh forgot west bayers are orange… 

          • Anonymous says:

            True true, i am so white I am pink! There are a few 100 of us, but we tend to be educated and conservative. Do not want to stir the pot. Sad but true.

            • Anonymous says:

              I no longer accept "white guilt". 

              There are "Miss Black America" pagents – but what would happen if someone suggested a "Miss White America" pagent?????? …………… answer honestly.

              There are "Black Universities" – let's open a "White one" ……………… what would the reaction be????

              Some segments of society promote divisions and sectarianism. In a depressed economy these ideals gain support from politicians with little constructive to offer society (society includes all of us regardless of colour, religion, sexual orientation [Caribbean has a tough time with this also], age, gender or creed)

              I am "Driftwood" and I am an employer! I employ based on talent and potential. I would never discriminate based on sectarian lines – it is bad business! I want to employ the best person for the position, period.

              These recent events and the limp reaction from the leader of this fine place send a clear message that "ethics" have no place here!!

              I am disgusted!

              • Anonymous says:

                Nothing grieves me more than when I read idiotic comments like this. It's as if you have no concept of history or understanding of the world.

                The reason there would be Miss Black America pageants is because in general beauty pageants apply white standards of beauty which automatically rule out black people who are beautfiful by their own standards.  If a person of colour does succeed, like Vanessa Williams, their beauty is attributable to their white half which allows the judges and public to over look any black  features.

                It is the pressure to achieve white standards of beauty that causes black women to straighten their hair and apply skin bleaching cremes. In other words, it tends to make them ashamed of their blackness.

                The reason that there are black universitites is because historically black sutdents were not allowed into white universities. Today many find it easier to learn in an environment which does have the stress of racism.  

                The reason you have black anything – TV, bar associations etc – is because 99.9% of the reast is in fact controlled by white people and for white people but you don't realise it because you are white. 

                Not of course that any of that had anything to do with what happened with Ozzie and Jennifer.

                Get a clue and stop writing nonsense.

        • Anonymous says:

          So why do you keep on approving all these Jamaican painter,mason and carpenter work prmit?

          • Anonymous says:

            Immigration keeps approving them so they can assist the Canadians, scotish and expat builders.

            They work them for pennies.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yep! If it was u or me we would have been fired! That is a fact Bobo!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree ozzie is a bully. I personally have no use for him. Being a bodden town constituent. But I have to say, while appauling and comical to an extent of this childish behaviour, (Especially coming from someone in a position such as his) I can agree with him. I used to feel the same way. Caymanians are a dying breed and foreigners are taking over cayman and calling themselves caymanian. But I have learnt n everyone else will to, that e need other people. Society would have a hard time functioning without Jamaicans, Filipinos, Hondurans, Cubians etc. We all just need to accept that we’re all human beings. All Gods creatures. And at the end of the day, it shuldnt matter where we were born n raised or the colour of skin or the type of hair u got. Just do what u got to live a decent life and enjoy it.

    • Anonymous says:

      There was nothing "comical" about Ozzie's behaviour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea! 15;50 tell that to the whities who dont believe in giving any thing to the black caymanians especially with the nappy hair.

      Ask them to please let us  black caymanians to all live a decent life and enjoy the wealth in our own country.

      • Anonymous says:

        I love this comment. The attitude! No talk about how people have to work hard to earn money, just "when are they going to give it to me so I can enjoy it".  And presumably do nothing to help yourself? Brilliant thinking, we have a budding Einstein!

        • Anonymous says:


          F@@@ off man! im talking of caymanians that are hard workers now being kicked aside by people like you.

          We dont ask for nothing free. look around you and tell me who built these great buildings, when you were not around…we the hard working Caymanians..and thats a living fact.

          What facts do you have that we are beggars? of course you are going to protect your kind that's  grabbing up all the wealth in our little island.

          • Anonymous says:

            Did the evil white men steal all the grammar books too?  Or have you someone else to blame for your child-like English?

            • Anonymous says:


              We were so happy here with our child-like English, we blame our stupid leaders for letting in people like you, to live amongst us.

              Your manners  is exactly why we should now be more selective of who we should let come in here.

          • Anonymous says:

            Beg to differ these block buildings were built by the sweat of imported black Jamaican labor not Cayman black or white

            • Anonymous says:


              Rubish! you know nothing of these Islands.

              The Wrights brothers, ( masons) the Denby Grooves, the Sonny Clarke, the James Ebanks, The Arches, Ranburn Christian,the Allan Bush, the russells, the Waltons, the Raybourn Mclaughlin ( the best mason in the island) the Forbes, the Hills The Thompson, the Fredricks the Watlers, the Berrys the Tibbetts, the Boddens the Jimmy Powel, the Rankins the Mandersons, the Bushes from West bay ( Tied all the rebars for Condo on SMB) I could go on and on.

              We had a few jamaicans on Cayman  yes, they were tile layers carpenters and masons, but they were decent Jamaicans, who stayed and integrated and ate out of the same pots as us, they were not greedy like the ones we have on our shores today.

              These guys have help lower the standard of living in these Islands, they work for half the of the market price, just to have a job  

              Of course with their prices being at what we were paid in the 70s and 80s and people like you will still say this is good for our economy.

          • Anonymous says:

            What proof? Errr, your statement?

    • Anonymous says:

      I accidentlyhit Troll when in fact I believe you are 100% right. Why everyone worries so much about nationality or ethnicity? Why not make the Cayman Islands the best multi-national, multi-cultural community there is? The potential here is so great and yet so unrealized due to petty bickering, name calling, blaming, finger pointing and complaining. It takes all kinds to make up a society. Sometimes we have to take the bad with the good but how about we start with ending the put down of the good just because they are "paper" Caymanians? 

      • Anonymous says:

        15;52 the Cayman Islands were a great multi-national multi-cultural community, until the greedy ones washed up on our shores.

        We enjoyed this mixture of all ethnicity until the racis ones moved in and screwed it all up. Not the Caymanians, we were always here enjoying our lives.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I demand that government immediately form a new commitee that will order a study on how they should handle this situation. 

    Please contact me directly I can draw up a detailed analysis and delay it's delivery to you until you see fit. I will also charge half of what E&Y will charge.

  11. Diogenes says:

    The Boddens – the original driftwood washing up here from Cornwall via Jamaica.

    • Anonymous says:

      Evidence? Original Caymanian settlers. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh I forgot the Boddens appeared by magic created by God.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because those are the only two possibilities, either they came here from Cornwall, Jamaica or they appeared here by magic. What a moron.

      • Diogenes says:

        Sigh.  Exactly. Two guys from Cornwall and Wales drift here from Jamaica and decide to stay.  Thats in the official history of the Cayman Islands.    Only difference between them and Ahern is that they drifted up here 300 years ago.  Comment was meant to show the complete lack of logic in critcising people for the amount of time they have been here rather than their conduct, but I guess some people need a little more clarity.  

      • Anonymous says:

        immigrant nevertheless unless a caiman 

  12. Anonymous says:

    It's time to install sound proof offices guys (;

  13. Anonymous says:

    When the report says "Caymanian" does it mean a real Caymanian, a piece of driftwood or a driftwood/Caymanian hybrid?

  14. Anonymous says:

    One can only wonder what the other dinosaurs in the LA who share similar xenophobic opinions are thinking about Ozzie's current troubles?

    They are probably hopeful that Christmas comes and redirects the public's attention.

    These oldtime poltical dinosaurs need to be put out to pasture.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean thrown on the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:55.It is really interesting that while commenting on an article addressing an alleged verbal assault by a Minister ,you contribute your own verbal salvo and add fuel to fire by referrinh to MLAs in a demeaning  manner and calling them dinosaurs.Tut,tut.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmmm, insulting the modesty of dinosaurs. Is that a crime in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course they are..

      what really interests me is some years ago I was in the brac (thank god only for the day), I overheard a conversation between two Caymanian business men from the brac, one of them was talking about the others worker calling him the Nig… And he should be kicked off, the other braca turned to him and told him to shut his mouth and don't talk bad about his Nig… 

      This is unfortunately our Caymanian mentality, what black, white , pink, yellow, we caymanians are racists to foreign nationals, personally I'm not, I just don't like easternders and northsiders, that's it…. 


  15. Anon says:

    A scruff is a scruff – even when they have the title "honorable"   

  16. Anonymouss says:

    This is no longer an Ozzie issue, its Alden issue.  Inaction and this silence is utterly unaccebptable from both he, and especially the ones championng themselves against abuse.

    • Anonymous says:

      But inaction is what Alden does best:

      • Gets the E&Y report.  Bins the E&Y report and proudly says he will do nothing.
      • Has a racist member of Cabinet.  Mumbles sweet nothings, and does nothing.
      • Has to do something about the dump.  Desperately creates various delays so nothing is done about the dump.

      The next election slogan for him will be "Busy Doing Nothing".

      • Anonymouss says:

        Maybe Kurt Tibbetts should step in… (insert excessive clearing of throat here)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Was this a Caymanian of foreign student? Ozzie is just wondering!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Moxam you give me hope for the future. Well said it is that sort of leadership required today.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why did they lie to the girl?

    this is normal behavior

    She should also know that she will witness sexual assults drugs extortion etc

    Stop sugarcoating things

    • Fred the piemaker says:

      They have serial assault drugs and extortion in the GIA? Wow – thought they were boring civil servants. Going to be a hell of an interesting internship for the girl.

    • Anonymous says:

      And as she climbs the employment ladder when school is over what example has just been set?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes especially if she goes to work in the financial services industry or local restaurants/bars. Not good places for impressionable young ladies.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is this more garbage to be processed? Certainly NOT re-cycled! LOL.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Sadly the Honourable For Ever MckeEver has set the standard far too high for a minister who merely screamed profanities at a lady member of his ministry for almost half an hour to have transgressed any reasonable standard of behaviour.

    Watch – NOTHING shall happen.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Johan for being brave and taking a leadership position on a national issue that stands to but caymanian vs expat relations behind for another 20 years. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    Moxam is of course right. Bodden has to go. Can we also agree that any expat that openly derides F…ing Caymanians in the workplace causing similar upset and even Caymanian staff to quit should also go? Right now we just renew their permits.    

    • Anonymouss says:

      Yes, Profanity towards ones peers, subordinates and just other people in general, along with personally vulgar attacks whether on their nationality, race, gender or whatever has no place in the professional world no matter who says it, and as such should be fired on the spot.



      • Anonymous says:

        However, many have been subjected to this kind of behaviour in the private sector I am sure and I for one never received any kind of apology when on the receiving end. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ozzie must go TODAY ALDEN !!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    As my concerns expressed already….what is the example that we are sending to our youth? With this type of behaviour (while giving speeches to "good governance etc.) and than no one being held accountable??

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ozzy is a disgrace to his race.

    Caymanians need to unite to have this ignorant,unproductive  bully removed from his position.

    A despicable man!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Ozzy is a disgrace to his race."

      Uh, let us keep race out of this.

      Ozzy is a disgrace to humanity is more accurate. 

    • noname says:

      He is a disgrace but Caymanian is not a race.