Our second national hero is Mrs. Sybil Ione McLaughlin, MBE, JP, who continues to be an active member of society and a living example of the noble qualities towards which Caymanians, especially our young women, can aspire.
Mrs. McLaughlin received the country’s highest honour in 1996, in recognition of her contribution to Cayman’s parliamentary development, as well as to community life.
Among her outstanding achievements was her appointment as the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in February 1991, where her experience and resolve were appreciated until her retirement in 1996.
Mrs. McLaughlin entered government service in 1945, and was appointed clerk of the Legislative Assembly in 1959 – the first woman to hold this post in the Commonwealth. She served as secretary of the Cayman Islands Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association from 1965 to 1980. Mrs. McLaughlin also undertook attachments to the House of Commons in London, and Stormont Parliament in Northern Ireland, in 1966, and to the Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago parliaments in 1971.