Our History

50th Anniversary Book

The Parliament published a commemorative 80-page book to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Parliament building, with a comprehensive history and unique collection of images from the Parliament library and the Cayman Islands National Archive collection.
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1831
Three weeks after the very first election held on 10th December, all ten of Cayman’s elected officials meet for the first time at Pedro St. James on 31st December. Two representatives each were elected for the districts of George Town, Bodden Town, West Bay, South West Sound, and Prospect
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1832
The Assembly of Vestry and Justices passes the “Act to Regulate the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands,” on 2nd January, with elected members called Vestrymen and Magistrates who are appointed by the Governor of Jamaica.
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1835
Slavery ends in the British Empire, and the proclamation is made at Pedro St. James.
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1863
An Act of Parliament annexed Cayman to Jamaica but provided the authorization that the Justices and Vestry should continue to exercise legislative powers, subject to the assent of the Governor of Jamaica
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1909
The Assembly of Justices and Vestry moves to the multi-purpose harbour-front building, which, as of 1979, is known as the Cayman Islands National Museum.
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1920
The Legislative Assembly moves to the Town Hall. Designed by Capt. Rayal Bodden (who lay the first cornerstone of the present House of Parliament), it was also known as the 1919 Peace Memorial, in commemoration of fallen Caymanian soldiers during WW1.
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1956
Commissioner Major Allan Donald instituted an Advisory Executive Council made up of 3 Justices and 4 Vestrymen.
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1957
The Cayman Islands Coat of Arms is approved by the Legislative Assembly of Justices and Vestry on 3rd April
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1959
The first written Constitution of the Cayman Islands is signed at the Town Hall. This groundbreaking document came into effect on 4th July, the day after the Last Sitting of the Assembly of Justices and Vestry. The Constitution changed a significant number of elements of the legislature and declared Cayman independent from Jamaica. It also changed the name of Commissioner to Administrator; granted women the right to vote; replaced the old system of the Justices and the Vestry with a new Legislative Assembly and Executive Council (Cabinet as of 2003); and was the reason for the Hall’s name change 60 years later. On 2nd October the First Members of the new Legislative Assembly were sworn in. Hero Hon. Sybil I. McLaughlin became the first Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and also the first woman to hold said post in the Commonwealth.
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1961
“Miss Annie” Huldah Bodden became the first woman appointed to serve in the Legislative Assembly by Commissioner Jack Rose.
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1962
Ms. Mary Evelyn Wood was the first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly. Jamaica becomes independent. Cayman chooses to remain a British Overseas Territory, making the country fully independent from Jamaica. The powers of the Governor of Jamaica now fall under the Administrator. HRH the Princess Royal visits the island as the first member of the Royal Family to do so. Legislative Assembly meetings continue to be held in the Town Hall.
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1964

Cayman Islands branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) formed on a motion by Mr. T. W. Farrington. The Cayman Islands now acts as a strong and consistent member of the CPA, with Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff frequently attending and participating in conferences. Learn more

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1968
Legislative Assembly sat for the first time in Cayman Brac. Preliminary discussions began on establishing a new building for the Legislative Assembly, to be built at the location of Princess Royal Park next to the Clock Tower.
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1972
The new legislative assembly building was opened to the public on 27th July and dedicated to the people of the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands dollar became currency. A significant constitutional amendment was established through Constitution Order 1972, changing the Administrator to the Governor, who gave the first Throne Speech on 7th August by Governor Kenneth Crook, CMG, reducing the voting age, and allowing for a Speaker, among other changes.
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1974
The first Mace was presented to the Legislative Assembly on 20th November by Hon. Donald M. Fleming, PC, QC, General Manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. The Mace was designed by Miss Wanda Domerecki of Rutkowski Bradford & Partners, the same architects who designed the legislative building, and was carried by the first full-time Serjeant-at-Arms, Mr. Sibert Watler (pictured).
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1976

Legislative Assembly Standing Orders was approved in the Assembly on 8th September 1976.

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1982

Celebrated 150 years of Parliamentary Government (1832-1982). Hon. Sybil McLaughlin researched and published a commemorative book on the history of the Cayman legislature as the then-Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. 

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1983
HRH Queen Elizabeth II delivered the Throne Speech in the Chamber of the Legislative Assembly on 16th February.
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1991
Hon. Sybil McLaughlin was sworn in as first Speaker on 15th February after a motion for the Office of the Speaker was passed by majority on 5th September 1990.
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1992
Constitutional (Amendment) Order 1992 came into effect on 19th February, changing the number of elected Members from 12 to 15.
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2005
Election date was changed from November of each year to May of each year due to the devastation of Grand Cayman by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
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2009
Constitution Order, 2009 came into effect on 6th October, providing for a Premier and Deputy Premier, a Deputy Governor, a Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Hon. Dr. W. McKeeva Bush was sworn in as the first Premier of the Cayman Islands, with Hon Juliana O’Connor-Connolly as the first Deputy Premier, on 6th November
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2012
Referendum (Single Member Constituency) Bill passed in the Assembly on 14th May. Live televised broadcasts of the Legislative Assembly proceedings began in December.
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2013
Membership of the Legislative Assembly increased to 18 from 15 with 7 Ministers of Cabinet (formerly the Executive Council).
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2015
Constitutional Order for 19 single-member electoral districts was made on 19th November.
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2017
First general election with single member constituencies was held on 24th May.
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2020
The Cayman Islands Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2020 came into force, changing the Legislative Assembly to the Parliament, providing for Parliamentary Secretaries, among other changes. The Legislative Assembly became an autonomous body with the passage of the Parliament Management Act, 2020 on 16th October. The first Meeting of the new Parliament took place on 4th December, and the longest serving member of the Parliament staff, Mrs. Sharon Smith retired on 31st December.
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2021
The Parliament Management Act came into effect on 1st January, which established the Parliament Management Commission and the Council of the Parliament Management Commission. General elections took place on 14th April.
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2022

The 50th Anniversary of the Parliament building was celebrated on 21st July with a public event and a commemorative book. Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, MP, was elected as the new Speaker of the Parliament of the Cayman Islands on 25th November, and Hon. Dwayne Seymour, JP, MP, was elected as Deputy Speaker. Mr. Joseph Hew, MP, replaced Hon. Ebanks-Wilks on the Standing Public Accounts Committee.

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2023
Hon. Isaac D. Rankine, JP, MP, was elected as the new Deputy Speaker. Hon. Dr. W. McKeeva Bush, JP, MP, replaced Hon. Dwayne Seymour, JP, MP on the Standing Public Accounts Committee.

Our Gallery

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2023

Hon. Heather D. Bodden, OCI, CERT. HON., JP, MP, became the Deputy Speaker on 26th September 2023 during the Fifth Sitting of the First Meeting of the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament. Hon. Issac D. Rankine, JP, MP, became the Minister of Border Control & Labour after Mr. Dwayne S. Seymour, MP, crossed the aisle to become an Independent Member of the Opposition. 

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2023

Hon. Sir Alden McLaughlin, KCMG, MBE, KC, JP, MP for Red Bay, was elected as the ninth Speaker of the Parliament during the Second Special Meeting of the 2023-2024 Session held on 23rd November, 2023.