(CMR) His Excellency the Governor has announced several members of our community that has been recognized for their outstanding response to the COVID pandemic. Among the list of awardees is the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael John Lee who has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen.
Upon hearing of the award, Dr. Lee said: “I am incredibly proud and humbled to receive this honour from Her Majesty The Queen. Cayman's unique strengths of integrity, clear thinking, indomitable spirit, resilience and perseverance have allowed us all to successfully face the challenge of the COVID disease.
“I thank all of those in Government and healthcare for their unswerving support and those closest to me for holding me through the darkest times.”
These awards recognise the many people across our community who played a significant role in the battle against the virus, including healthcare, emergency responders, charitable organisations, civil service and private sector.
The Governor is therefore pleased to announce the following awards:
Award of Honorary MBE
For her services to the COVID response in the Cayman Islands, and particularly her outstanding contribution to our capacity and ability to carry out wide-scale testing, Her Majesty The Queen has conferred the award of Honorary Member of the British Empire (Honorary MBE) on Angela Marie TANZILLO-SWARTS, Forensic DNA Specialist, Health Services Authority.
Ms. Swarts said: “It is very gratifying to have been able to be of service. I am honoured and humbled by the recognition.”
These two awards form part of HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which was delayed to be able to recognise outstanding contributions to the COVID pandemic by healthcare professionals in the UK and across the world. While we did not experience serious health impacts like many other countries, these awards from Her Majesty The Queen, despite stiff competition, underline that the success Cayman has had in controlling the virus should be recognised.
Award of Certificate and Badge of Honour
His Excellency The Governor is also delighted to award a Certificate and Badge of Honour to the following individuals in recognition of their exceptional service to our community during this pandemic. This is a unique and special one-off set of awards to reflect the unprecedented situation in which we find ourselves:
For meritorious services rendered during the COVID Pandemic and for services rendered to the Government and people of the Cayman Islands:
Chief Officer Gloria Mcfield Nixon – Portfolio of the Civil Service
Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose – Cabinet Office
Chief Officer Eric Bush – Ministry of International Trade Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs
Chief Officer Wesley Howell – Ministry of Employment and Border Control
Acting Chief Officer Nellie Pouchie – Ministry of Health Environment Culture and Housing
Chief Officer Teresa Echenique – Ministry of Community Affairs
For meritorious service rendered during the COVID Pandemic:
Ms Jennifer West – Meals on Wheels
Mr Rob Imparato – Meals on Wheels
Mr Woody Foster – Managing Director, Fosters
Mrs Marie Eden – Cayman Food Bank
Mr Phillip Hyre – Cayman Food Bank
Chief Executive Officer Wil Pineau – Chamber of Commence
Ms Tara Nielsen – Acts of Random Kindness
Dr Binoy Chattuparambil – Clinical Director, Health City
Commissioner of Police Mr Derek Byrne – Royal Cayman Islands Police Service
Director Hazard Management Danielle Coleman
Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Paulinda Mendoza-Williams
Chief Information Officer Suzette Ebanks
First Legislative Counsel Cheryl Neblett
Commandant Robert Scotland – Coast Guard
Commandant Bobeth O’Garro – Cayman Islands Cadet Corps
Deputy Head of the Governor’s Office – Maria Leng
Policy Adviser, Governor’s Office – Mrs Simone Eade
Chief Executive Officer Lizette Yearwood – Heath Services Authority
Chief Financial Officer Dawn Cummings – Health services Authority
Dr Samuel Rodriques – Health Services Authority
Ms Hazel Brown – Chief Nursing Officer, Heath Services Authority
Acting Director Joseph Woods – Port Authority
Mr Chris Duggan – VP Dart and Special Constable RCIPS
Deputy Chief Officer Joan West Dacres – Community Affairs
Deputy Chief Officer Andrea Fa’amoe – Ministry of International Trade Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs
Deputy Chief Officer Katherine Dinspel Powell – Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs
Director Graeme Jackson – Portfolio of the Civil Service
Mr Jon Japal – Department of Planning
Superintendent Adrian Seales – Royal Cayman Islands Police Service
Ms Claudia Brady – Department of Commerce and Investment
Ms Tristaca Ebanks – Ministry of International Trade Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs
Ms Kristy Watler – Cabinet Office
Acting Deputy Chief Officer Lauren Knight – Portfolio of the Civil Service
Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia – Office of the Deputy Governor
Ms Ventisha Conolly- Ministry of Tourism, District Administration and Transport
Mr Roy Tatum – Office of the Honourable Premier
Ms Laura Watler – Portfolio of the Civil Service
Director Winston Sutherland – Portfolio of the Civil Service
Ms Delia Hydes – Portfolio of the Civil Service
Ms Lauren Knight – Portfolio of the Civil Service
For meritorious services rendered to the Financial Services industry:
Chief Officer Dr Dax Basdeo – Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs
Director Michelle Bahadur – Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs
For meritorious services to Public Health and to the people of the Cayman Islands:
Director Richard Simms – Department of Environmental Health
For achievements in leadership and innovation within the Department of Commerce and Investment
Director Ryan Rajkumarsingh – Department of Commerce and Investment
For meritorious service to the Commissions supporting democracy and services rendered during the COVID pandemic:
Commissions Secretariat Deborah Bodden – Portfolio of the Civil Service
The Governor said: “Many congratulations to Dr Lee and Ms Tanzillo-Swarts on being recognised by Her Majesty The Queen.
“Dr. Lee played a unique and pivotal role, in the full glare of press and public attention, in our response to this crisis. He helped steer our Islands to safety during a highly difficult period in our Islands’ history. He carried out his duties calmly and confidently providing outstanding public health advice as confirmed to me by Public Health England. He was a reassuring presence for the wider community.”
“Ms Tanzillo-Swarts did more than anyone to enable Cayman to develop a reliable testing capability and capacity, which made such a crucial contribution to the success we had in responding to the virus. For our Islands to have conducted over 40,000 tests is an outstanding achievement.
“I warmly congratulate all those awarded the Certificate and Badge of Honour for their commitment, dedication, and sense of duty in supporting people across our entire community.
“Our Islands are blessed to have people of this quality and standing who are prepared to work so hard for our community.
“They have all demonstrated CaymanKind at its very best.
“We will hold an awards event, in the next couple of months, at Government House for those who got awards to receive their certificates and badges with family and friends.
“Today’s events at Red Bay Primary show we are not out of the woods yet in dealing with this complicated and dangerous virus. But the awards today can give us confidence that we have so many people with ability, skills, effectiveness and dedication to deal with whatever arises.”