Governor Celebrates Red Cross' 60th Anniversary

Supporters, staff, and volunteers of the Cayman Islands Red Cross recently gathered at Government House to commemorate the organization’s 6oth anniversary. The event was hosted by HE the Governor, Martyn Roper, who lauded the organization’s dedicated volunteers and staff for their invaluable service to the community. The Governor commemorated the Red Cross for playing a valuable role in responding to the pandemic and deliver excellent services to the Islands in times of need.

The Cayman Islands Red Cross is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year. From its humble beginnings, when it was founded in 1961 as a Committee of the British Red Cross by Mrs. Ethel Cook-Bodden with the support of community staples like Ms. Janilee Clifford, to being one of the most dynamic Red Cross societies within the region, the CIRC has grown from strength to strength.

In the early days, under the leadership of Mrs. Cook-Bodden, the organization focused on fundraising for the hospital, beginning with ensuring that it could be equipped with a kitchen and kitchen staff to take care of the patients’ needs.  Fundraising efforts than expanded and the organization raised enough to purchase the first ambulance for the island.   The organization also assisted the community in preparing for the annual hurricane season. 

The CIRC, which as the name implies now has Branch status, has grown tremendously and now boasts four main programs: Disaster Management, First Aid and Aquatics Training, Child Protection and Sexuality Education, and the Thrift Shop. 

The CIRC is an independent organization that serves as an auxiliary to the government, working in partnership with agencies like HMCI in disaster preparedness and response, as well as the RCIPS, HSA, and Ministry of Education in its child protection efforts. The CIRC also has tremendous ties to other community and private sector organizations, with whom it partners regularly to support our vulnerable populations.

While the timing of the 60th Anniversary may not be ideal, given that the world is still working to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, the CIRC is excited to have this opportunity for engagement with the community.

The 60th Anniversary campaign, #PaintCaymanRed, was officially launched on May 1st, and will run for a period of one year.  #PaintCaymanRed is a community engagement campaign which encourages businesses, schools, community groups and individuals to find ways to do things for or with Red. Cayman Islands Red Cross has also issued special addition “#PaintCaymanRed” T-shirts that can be purchased at the organization Thrift shop. All proceeds will go towards supporting the Red Cross community programs.

Individuals, community groups, schools, and businesses are all encouraged to join the #PaintCaymanRed 60th Anniversary celebration campaign.  For more information, or to get involved, contact [email protected].