WELCOME TO THE

CAYMAN ISLANDS

“He hath founded it upon the seas”

A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful Cayman Islands

CAYMAN-FLAG

The flag of the Cayman Islands was adopted on 14 May 1958 after the colony was officially granted a coat-of-arms. As with many British Overseas Territories, the Cayman Islands flag features the Union Jack in the corner nearest to the flagstaff. Originally the flag featured the national coat of arms in a white circle, however the white disc was removed in 1999.

 

The Cayman Islands’ coat of arms consists of a shield, a crested helm and the motto. Three green stars, representing each of the three inhabited Islands (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac), are set in the lower two-thirds of the shield. The stars rest on blue and white wavy bands representing the sea. In the top third of the shield, against a red background, is a gold lion passant guardant (walking with the further forepaw raised and the body seen from the side), representing Britain. Above the shield is a green turtle on a coil of rope. Behind the turtle is a gold pineapple. The turtle represents the Caymans’ seafaring history; the rope, its traditional thatch-rope industry; and the pineapple, its ties with Jamaica.

 

The islands’ motto, “He hath founded it upon the seas”, is printed at the bottom of the shield. This line, a verse from Psalm 24 Verse 2, acknowledges the Caymans’ Christian heritage, as well as its ties to the sea.

The proposal for a coat of arms was approved by the Legislative Assembly in 1957, and public input was sought on its design. The Royal Warrant assigning “Armorial Ensigns for the Cayman Islands” was approved by Her Majesty’s command on 14 May 1958.

As a British Overseas Territory, the official national anthem is “God Save the Queen”.

Unofficial national anthem – Beloved Isle Cayman (composed by Leila Ross-Shier, June, 1930)

1. O land of soft, fresh breezes,
Of verdant trees so fair
With the Creator’s glory reflected ev’rywhere.
O sea of palest em’rald,
Merging to darkest blue,
When ‘ere my thoughts fly Godward,
I always think of you.

Chorus: Dear, verdant island, set
In blue Caribbean sea,
I’m coming, coming very soon,
O beauteous isle, to thee.
Although I’ve wandered far,
My heart enshrines thee yet.
Homeland! Fair Cayman Isle
I cannot thee forget

2. Away from noise of cities,
Their fret and carking care,
With moonbeams’ soft caresses,
Unchecked by garish glare,
Thy fruit and rarest juices,
Abundant, rich and free,
When sweet church bells are chiming,
My fond heart yearns for thee.

(Chorus)

3. When tired of all excitement,
And glam’rous worldly care,
How sweet thy shores to reach,
And find a welcome there,
And when comes on the season,
Of peace, good will to man,
‘Tis then I love thee best of all,
Beloved Isle, Cayman!

(Chorus)

RODNEY WILLIAMS

GOVERNOR
 

HON. ALDEN MCLAUGHLIN

PREMIER

Governors

ATHELSTAN CHARLES ETHELWULF LONG

TOOK OFFICE: 22/08/1971 – LEFT OFFICE: 1972

 

KENNETH ROY CROOK

TOOK OFFICE: 1972 – LEFT OFFICE: 1974

 

THOMAS RUSSEL

TOOK OFFICE: 1974 – LEFT OFFICE: 1981

 

GEORGE PETER LLOYD

TOOK OFFICE: 1982 – LEFT OFFICE: 10/06/1987

 

ALAN JAMES SCOTT

TOOK OFFICE: 10/06/1987 – LEFT OFFICE: 14/09/1992

 

MICHAEL EDWARD JOHN GORE

TOOK OFFICE:  14/09/1992 – LEFT OFFICE: 16/10/1995

 

JOHN WYNNE OWEN

TOOK OFFICE: 16/10/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/05/1999

 

PETER SMITH

TOOK OFFICE: 05/05/1999 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/05/2002

 

JAMES RYAN (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 09/05/2002 – LEFT OFFICE: 29/05/2002

 

BRUCE DINWIDDY

TOOK OFFICE: 29/05/2002 – LEFT OFFICE: 28/10/2005

 

GEORGE A. MCCARTHY (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 28/10/2005 – LEFT OFFICE: 23/11/2005

 

STUART JACK

TOOK OFFICE: 23/11/2005 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/12/2009

 

DONOVAN EBANKS

TOOK OFFICE: 02/12/2009 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/01/2010

 

DUNCAN TAYLOR

TOOK OFFICE: 15/01/2010 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/08/2013

 

FRANZ MANDERSON (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/08/2013 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/09/2013

 

HELEN KILPATRICK

TOOK OFFICE: 06/09/2013 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/03/2018

 

ANWAR CHOUDHURY

TOOK OFFICE: 05/03/2018 – LEFT OFFICE: OCTOBER 2018

 

MARTYN ROPER

TOOK OFFICE: OCTOBER 2018 – INCUMBENT

 

Premiers

 

McKEEVA BUSH

(1955–)

TOOK OFFICE: 06/11/2009 – LEFT OFFICE: 18/12/2012

 

JULIANNA O’CONNOR-CONNOLLY

(1961–)

TOOK OFFICE: 19/12/2012 – LEFT OFFICE: 29/05/2013

 

ALDER McLAUGHLIN

(1961–)

TOOK OFFICE: 29/05/2013 – INCUMBENT

CAYMAN ISLANDS MUST STOPS

  • STINGRAY CITY
  • PEDRO ST. JAMES
  • KITTIWAKE
  • CAYMAN CRYSTAL CAVE

If you’re looking for a unique and thrilling experience while in Grand Cayman, then you can’t miss out on Stingray City. Located within the barrier reef that surrounds the island, it is a large sandbar populated by different species of fish and, most famously, stingrays. What makes Stingray City a very popular activity on the island is the fact that the southern stingrays that inhabit the area are extremely friendly. These giant sea creatures are so used to humans, that they allow people to feed them, play with them, pet them, and take pictures with them. It is definitely an experience unlike any other on the Caribbean!

Information adapted from Stingraycitycaymanislands.com

Pedro St. James Castle, known as ‘Pedro Castle’ by locals, is the oldest existing building in the Cayman Islands. Located on the southern coast of Grand Cayman Island, the manor is a reconstruction of an original 1780 house, and the home of plantation owner William Eden. Currently, a 7th great-grandson of William Eden serves as one of the tour guides at the historical site. The country’s first national landmark contains a visitor’s centre, theatre, exhibits, a gift shop, and cafe. it is also a popular venue for weddings and social events.

Official Website: www.pedrostjames.ky

On January 5th 2011, the Kittiwake (an ex USA Navy Vessel) was brought to the Cayman Islands and sunk to make an artificial reef off Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. In her day, the Kittiwake was a submarine rescue vessel.

 

Today the Kittiwake lays in a marine park serving as an artificial reef. It has become a haven for marine life, with each of the five decks offering a surprise. Divers and snorkelers are not allowed to take or touch anything in the marine park. To dive or snorkel the Kittiwake, you must go on a licenced vessel.

Information adapted from dive365cayman.com

One of the newest tourist attractions, you will be escorted through 3 spectacular caves by knowledgeable Caymanian tour guides. Eager and proud to share their heritage and experiences, you will have the chance to learn about the amazing attraction from your local guide during the 90 minute tour. Explore ‘Cayman Down Under’, as you venture through breath-taking caves formed from stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures. The tour also includes passing through the tropical forest area, under which the caves are formed. Amongst it all is a wonderful mix of plant and animal life including balsam trees, parrots and bats. 

Official Website: caymancrystalcaves.com

History of Cayman

The Cayman Islands are a Caribbean British overseas territory that have been under various governments since their discovery by Europeans.  On May 10, 1503, Christopher Columbus sighted two of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.  He noticed that the islands were full of sea turtles, so may that they looked like rocks.  It was for this reason that Columbus called the islands ‘Las Tortugas’.

A 1523 map show all three Islands with the name Lagartos, meaning alligators or large lizards, but by 1530 the name Caymanas was being used. It is derived from the Carib Indian word for the marine crocodile, which is now known to have lived in the Islands. Sir Francis Drake, on his 1585-86 voyage, reported seeing ‘great serpents called Caymanas, like large lizards, which are edible’.  The first known settlers arrived in Little Cayman and Cayman Brac around 1658; it is likely these were deserters from Oliver Cromwell’s army in the British colony in Jamaica. Many of the early inhabitants were also Britons from Jamaica. Some early residents were believed to be pirates that settled down looking for a more peaceful life.

On 8th February 1794, an event occurred which grew into one of Cayman’s favourite legends, ‘The Wreck of the Ten Sail’. A convoy of more than 58 merchantmen sailing from Jamaica to England found itself dangerously close to the reef on the east end of Grand Cayman. Ten of the ships, including HMS Convert, the navy vessel providing protection, foundered on the reef. With the aid of Caymanians, the crews and passengers mostly survived, although some eight lives were lost.

A constitutional relationship between Cayman and Jamaica existed until 1863 when an act of the British parliament formally made the Cayman Islands a dependency of Jamaica. When Jamaica achieved independence in 1962, the Islands opted to remain under the British Crown, and has remained this way ever since.

In 2004, Hurricane Ivan unleashed storm category 4 winds and subsequent floods on Grand Cayman and many buildings were severely damaged. However, financial services were operational almost immediately afterwards and tourism, which suffered a major setback, is now back on track. Moreover, buildings are now constructed to resist storm force winds, leaving less chance that any future hurricanes would result in similar damage.