(CMR) Georgette Hurlston Ebanks (96), a women's rights activist who played an important role in the establishment of women's right to vote in the Cayman Islands, has died.
Born Georgette Hurlston on Grand Cayman in 1927, she was a member of the first graduating class of the Triple C School in George Town in 1947.
At age 21, Hurlston was one of the 24 signatories of the August 1948 petition demanding women's suffrage in the Cayman Islands. She said she was driven to participate in the suffrage movement after thinking about “the opportunity I, as a young woman at the time, was missing out on.”
Georgette was married to Nathan Ebanks, also of Grand Cayman. She joined the Cayman Islands civil service as a postal worker, a role she held for nearly 30 years.
Georgette Ebanks continued to engage in community organizing and politics into her nineties and was one of the last living signatories of that original petition.
A frequent caller to local talk shows over the years, Ebanks enjoyed sharing her thoughts with the community through that medium. Caymainas also looked forward to hearing her distinctive voice on the different programs.
In 2017, she was given the first Ira Thompson Award by the Cayman Islands National Museum in recognition of her contributions to the preservation of the Cayman Islands history. An exhibit at the museum that launched in 2015, titled “Legends Gallery: Miss Georgette Ebanks,” displays artifacts from her suffragist work and tells her story.
She is survived by children Anita, Ella, Laura, and Lee, along with grand and great-grandchildren. and brother Booth Hurlston.