Carribean Cultural Connections


Mayor Dick CLiffe and Mrs Glenis Cliffe last week attended a reception at the Foreigh and Commonwealth Office in London to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms.  Why was Penzance represented?  Because of the strong historical links between Cornwall and the Cayman Islands.

The first settlers on the Cayman Islands were two British sailors thought to be deserters from Cromwell's army, who landed there in 1658, one of whom, Bowden, was a Cornishman.  A variation of his name, "Bodden", is still common on the Islands today.  Bowden and his successors may have brought more than a family name to the Islands.  The Cayman Islands have their own version of the Cornish pasty called the Cayman Pattie.  Rugby is a national sport, and the Caymanian dialect includes several phrases that are close to Cornish terms, for example, the Cayman word 'ereckleh' meaning later, is similar to 'dreckly' in Cornwall.  And like Penzance, they celebrate their pirate connections.  Edward Teach (Blackbeard) was a frequent visitor to Grand Cayman in the 1700s and the Islands hold a festive Pirate Week every year in November.

The gala reception hosted by Premier McLaughlin brought a full Cayman experience to the heart of Westminster.  The event was used as a platform to tell guests about the Cayman Islands story and underline the links between the Cayman Islands and Britain.

Over 400 guests attended the reception, including heads of state and senior officials from the UK and other Overseas Territories.  Guests were treated to a real taste of Caymanian culture, with Cayman-inspired food and beverages, demonstrations of the historic craft of rope-making and a film telling the Cayman Islands story through its Coat of Arms.

View a short video about the event, including an interview with Mayor Dick Cliffe HERE