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Published 19th January 2007, 11:54am

The august chamber of the Legislative Assembly is slated to ring with the voices of Caymanís youth on 13 March this year when a group of them will "take over" the Parliament for a day.

That is the day the Speaker, Hon. Edna Moyle, will happily give up her imposing chair and Caymanís legislators their "privilege" of being the customary users of the legislature building. In a move instigated entirely by them, the Members of the Legislative Assembly will welcome younger talent to usurp their role - for the second time in these Islands.

On that day the Cayman Islands Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) holds a Youth Parliament when the young of the Islands conduct the entire "business" of the House and get first hand knowledge of some of the onerous tasks that the peopleís representatives routinely undertake in their public life.

Taking part in the second Youth Parliament, the first of which was held in 2001, will be a number of high school students nearly all of whom are nominated by their schools as well as some of the participants of past Branch CPA activities and international Youth Parliaments organized by the parent CPA. The ages of the participants range from 14 to 25 years.

The high school student participants are:

  • Sherie Jackson and Mikhail McLaughlin of John Gray High;
  • Richard Watson and Kayla Archibold of George Hicks High School;
  • Reshma Nikeeta Seeram and Dustin Bodden of Cayman Brac High School;
  • Elizabeth Charles and Alex Stoll of Triple C School;
  • Kimberly Solomon and Stuart Gorter of St. Ignatius High;
  • Kalesha Edwards and Marvin Hurlston of Wesleyan Christian Academy;
  • Gabriella Mendoza and Joseph Gracey of Grace Christian Academy;
  • Kimberly Robinson and Brian Ogilvie of Cayman Prep and High;
  • Kelly Brown and Paige Foster of Cayman International School.
  • Travis Ritch of St. Ignatius High will attend as an independent invitee.

Participating students from the University College of the Cayman Islands are Sylvia Powery and Brian Whittaker.

Past CPA participants who will take part in the Youth Parliament are:

  • Marzeta Bodden
  • Kamaal Connolly
  • Angella Scott
  • Kimberly Williams
  • Sydney Terry
  • Orrie Merren
  • Calicia Burke
  • Chantele Whittaker
  • Joanna Jackson

The local CPAís sub-committee is currently busy at work to ensure the success of the Youth Parliament. The members have been meeting periodically to discuss the event and met again this week on Monday 16 2006 to take planning the event further.

Committee Members Alfonso Wright (chairman), Osbourne Bodden, Lucille Seymour and Rolston Anglin, assisted by Clerk of the LA Wendy Lauer (secretary), aim to put an interesting programme together with a view to making the whole exercise a useful and appealing one to the participants.

In this connection, the sub-committee will hold a strategy meeting for all those attending the Youth Parliament on Saturday 21 January from 11 am at the Legislative Assembly building to fine-tune progamme details and other aspects that need to be discussed regarding the event.

Ms Lauer expresses the gratitude of the sub-committee to all the past youth parliamentarians who recently contacted her so promptly in response to her request.