It has been nine years since the Cayman Islands voted to adopt their modernized constitution. After an extensive period of discussion and negotiations, and the fist local Referendum, the new Cayman Islands Constitution was approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Privy Council on June 10, 2009 and came into force on November 6, 2009.
So, what’s in the Constitution you may ask?
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
The people of the Cayman Islands, recalling the events that have shaped their history and made them what they are, and acknowledging their distinct history, culture and Christian heritage and its enduring influence and contribution in shaping the spiritual, moral and social values that have guided their development and brought peace, prosperity and stability to those islands, through the vision, forbearance, and leadership of their people, who are loyal to Her Majesty the Queen;
Affirm their intention to be—
• A God-fearing country based on traditional Christian values, tolerant of other religions and beliefs.
• A country with open, responsible and accountable government, that includes a working partnership with the private sector and continuing beneficial ties with the United Kingdom.
• A country in which religion finds its expression in moral living and social justice.
• A caring community based on mutual respect for all individuals and their basic human rights.
• A country committed to the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
• A community that practices honest and open dialogue to ensure mutual understanding and social harmony.
• A safe, secure and law-abiding community.
• A country that is free from crime and drug abuse.
• A country with an education system that identifies and develops on a continuing basis the abilities of each person, allowing them to reach their full potential and productivity.
• A community that encourages and prepares young people to assume leadership roles.
• A country that provides a comprehensive healthcare system.
• A community protective of traditional Caymanian heritage and the family unit.
• A country that honors the sacrifice of its seafaring men who left the shores of the Islands to enhance the quality of life of their people, and in doing so established themselves amongst the finest within the global maritime community of that time and through their remittances, endeavors and experiences built the foundations of the Cayman Islands’ modern economy.
• A country that honors and acknowledges the important contribution of Caymanian women who during the absence of the seafaring men of the Islands managed the affairs of their homes, businesses and communities and passed on the values and traditions of the Islands’ people.
• A country with a vibrant diversified economy, which provides full employment.
• A country that makes optimal use of modern technology.
• A country that manages growth and maintains prosperity, while protecting its social and natural environment.
• A country that respects, protects and defends its environment and natural resources as the basis of its existence.
• A country that fosters the highest standards of integrity in the dealings of the private and public sectors.
• A country with an immigration system that protects Caymanians, gives security to long-term residents and welcomes legitimate visitors and workers.
• A country that plays its full part in the region and in the international community.
Now, therefore, the following provisions shall have effect as the Constitution of the Cayman Islands.
For more information on the Cayman Islands existing laws, Constitution and Bill of Rights, Freedoms and Responsibility, visit: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/1379/contents/made
Even though Monday’s (July 2nd 2018) Constitution Day is uniquely Caymanian, in such a multi-cultural territory as ours- were residents hail from all over the world- our holiday coincides very closely with many other countries like America’s Independence Day, Canada Day, St. Maarten Emancipation and Bahamas Independence Day.
One of the leading members of American history, Benjamin Franklin who was also an author and scientist, inventor and diplomat was deeply active in public affairs.
Apparently, he had little formal education and he still managed to start a successful printing business in Philadelphia and grew wealthy. He helped launch a lending library, hospital and college, and garnered acclaim for his experiments with electricity, among other projects.
During the American Revolution, he served in the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence!
Another wonderful place to explore and know about is Canada.
Canada’s national holiday is celebrated on July 1. If it falls on a Sunday, it is moved to July 2, except in Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador. All provincial governments observe this day. Many organizations, businesses and stores are closed, although some book stores, pharmacies and gas stations may be open. Post offices are closed. As Canada Day falls in the Canadian summer holiday period, all schools are closed.
Canadians across the country and around the world show their pride in their history, culture and achievements. It’s been a day of celebration, where many festivities are held across the country, since 1868.
Also, each year, through the Canada Day Challenge, young people aged 8 to 18 are invited to express their creativity through arts on what Canada means to them.
On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day.
Now right here within the beautiful Caribbean Sea we can explore the lovely Island of St. Maarten.
St. Maarten Emancipation Day is annually observed on July 1. This holiday celebrates the day, when the Netherlands abolished slavery on the island in 1863.
The island of St Maarten is administered by France (the major part) and the Netherlands.
Here’s a little history; the first border on the island was set by the Treaty of Concorida in 1648, however, during the next two centuries the border was changed sixteen times.
St Maarten was a good place for cultivation of cotton, tobacco and sugar cane, that led to the lack of working labor and the beginning of the era of slavery.
France and the Netherlands imported a massive number of slaves to work on the plantations.
Slaves were subjected to cruel treatment, that is why they often staged rebellions. Due to the overwhelming number of the slaves, the rebellions were impossible to ignore. France abolished slavery on its part of the island in 1848. The Dutch followed the suit 15 years later and abolishment took place on July 1, 1863.
Abolishment of slavery is a very important event in the history of St Maarten.
Celebration of Emancipation Day usually begins with a church service, followed by the ceremony of wreath laying to the monuments of the fighters for freedom.
Let’s not forget the fabulous countries of the Bahamas. It is officially called the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and consist of more than 700 islands. Wow!
Bahamas Independence Day is on the 10th July. This holiday commemorates the day when The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining the British Monarch, then and currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its Head Of State.
The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on Tourism and Finance.
For more information visit: https://www.bahamas.com/event/bahamas-independence-day-holiday