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Published 28th February 2008, 4:40pm

Through training over four weeks, prospective youth parliamentarians are learning how legislators work in the Cayman Islands.

The young women and men will occupy the Legislative Assembly chamber on Monday 10 March in a session of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Youth Parliament.

The participants have had two training meetings, beginning on Saturday 16 February and continuing on 23 February. CPA Cayman Islands Branch’s youth parliament committee members have coached the participants in the composition of the House, procedural matters, the various roles in the government and opposition benches, backbench members, Official Members, the Governor, the House Speaker and Deputy Speaker, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Under the guidance of Committee Chairman Mr Alfonso Wright, MLA, members Mr Rolston Anglin, MLA, and Ms Lucille Seymour, MLA, and Clerk of the LA Ms Wendy Lauer, the participants chose from among themselves the various role players including government ministers and district representatives. Then they learnt about oaths of allegiance and affirmation, the tools used to swear in all MLAs.

During the first session, Chairman Wright underscored the importance of every position and encouraged the participants to have their full say. With primary emphasis on encouraging crisp debates, the participants also learnt how to craft motions, with Mr Anglin and Ms Seymour highlighting the differences between government and private member’s motions.

The preparatory exercises are also aimed at building confidence in a relaxed atmosphere that simultaneously emphasises the respect accorded to the legislature.

Sidebar: Positions Chosen for Youth Parliament

On Monday, 10 March, “His Excellency” Alex Cowan, Governor of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Third Youth Parliament, will administer oaths and affirmations to all “Members” in the Legislative Assembly Chamber. Alex is a student of St. Ignatius High School.

Past Youth Parliamentarian Sidney Terry will be the Speaker while Past Youth Parliamentarian Marvin Hurlston will be the Leader of Government Business. Assuming positions of the four Ministers will be Jessica Kong (University College of the Cayman Islands), Saleicia Samaroo (John Gray High), Kalesha Edwards (past Youth Parliamentarian) and Corrina Worm (Cayman International School). Thea Bush (UCCI) will be Leader of the Opposition. Melody Martin (CBHS) will be the Deputy Speaker.

Official Members are Joseph Gracey of Grace Christian Academy, as the Hon. First Official Member and Chief Secretary; Annalisa Wallace of Cayman Preparatory High School, as the Hon. Second Official Member and Attorney-General; and Geoffrey Grizzel of Cayman Brac High School, as the Hon. Third Official Member and Financial Secretary.

Officers of the House are Gabriella Mendoza-Hydes of Grace Christian Academy, as Clerk of the CPA Third Youth Parliament and Taylor Myers of Wesleyan Christian Academy, as Serjeant-at-Arms.

Representing the different electoral districts are:

West Bay:
Thea Bush (University College of the Cayman Islands) – First Elected Member
Marzeta Bodden (Past Youth Parliamentarian) – Second Elected Member
Owen Foster (Cayman International School) - Third Elected Member
Justin Jacky (Triple C) - Fourth Elected Member
Kelly Brown (Past Youth Parliamentarian) - Fifth Elected Member
George Town:
Andrel Harris (John Gray High School) – First Elected Member
Duet Berry Jr (UCCI) – Second Elected Member
Michaiah Bryan (UCCI) - Third Elected Member
Raven Ramoon (John Gray) – Fourth Elected Member
Marvin Hurlston (Past Youth Parliamentarian) - Fifth Elected Member
Bodden Town:
Latoya Davis (John Gray) – First Elected Member
Saleicia Samaroo (John Gray) – Second Elected Member
Kalesha Edwards (Past Youth Parliamentarian) – Third Elected Member
Elizabeth Charles – Fourth Elected Member (Past Youth Parliamentarian)
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman:
Melody Martin (CBHS) -First Elected Member
Heidi Knowlton (Past Youth Parliamentarian) - Second Elected Member
North Side:
Corrina Worm (Cayman International School)
East End:
Jessica Kong (UCCI)
        Registration    UCCI student Duet Berry, Jr, who will sit in the Opposition Bench in the CPA Youth Parliament on 10 March, registers at the start of the preparatory exercise on Saturday 16 February at the LA.    
        Youth Parliament Mace    Youth Parliament Committee Chairman Mr. Alfonso Wright, MLA, (seated) explains about the handling of the mace, held by Committee Member Mr. Rolston Anglin, MLA. Also seen are participants in the Opposition Bench, the Clerk of the LA Ms Wendy Lauer (foreground, centre right) and Gabriella Mendoza-Hydes of Grace Christian Academy, who will be the Clerk of the LA in the March CPAYouth Parliament.    
        Entry with Sgt.    Youth Parliament Committee Member Mr. Rolston Anglin, MLA, demonstrates how the Speaker enters the LA Chamber. Accompanying him is CPA Third Youth Parliament Serjeant-at-Arms Taylor Myers of Wesleyan Christian Academy.    
        Seated in Chamber    Participants take their seats for the first time in the Chamber of the LA at the start of the preparatory exercise.    
        Coach reports    Ms Leonora Mendoza-Hydes, Principal of Grace Christian Academy and one of the coaches, gives a report on how participants on the Opposition bench determined the roles they will play in the CPA Youth Parliament.    
        Determining Roles            Participants take positions on both sides of the aisle before leaving the Chamber to determine the positions they will fill in the Youth Parliament.