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Waterloo Part of Turks and Caicos Living History says Governor



waterloo2Grand Turk, 11 Jun 2015 – The 200th anniversary of one of the most important and historic buildings in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is being celebrated on, Monday, 15 June 2015.

His Excellency the Governor’s official residence in the capital Grand Turk was named Waterloo after the famous battle fought in 1815.

The anniversary was marked by a reception hosted by the Governor at the house on the occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s official birthday.

“Waterloo is an important, historic and living piece of the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” said Governor Peter Beckingham.

“At a time when there is a growing appreciation of TCI culture for residents and visitors alike, Waterloo must be recognised as one of the most significant buildings in the Caribbean, given its age, and its key role at the heart of the Islands’ political development.

“The Islands are very fortunate that this historic building has been so well cared for, and has survived fires, termites, remodelling work and hurricanes in 1866, 1926, 1945 and 2008.”

In recognition of the anniversary, Governor Beckingham has published a commemorative booklet about the property, including a forward by local historian Dr Carlton Mills who said, “The significant role that this property has played in the Turks and Caicos since 1815 must be captured and shared as an important part of the Islands’ heritage and legacy.”

Historical, cultural and political highlights of Waterloo include:

The Waterloo residence was built in 1815, and named after the Napoleonic battle of June 18, 1815. It was built in the style of a Bermudan home, with just one wing and, in the style of the time, an open air kitchen.
In 1857 the local owner of Waterloo, James Misick, sold the property to the British Government for £1,046. The British had been looking for a more secluded property for their ‘King’s Agent’ or Crown representative in the TCI, known as the President.

In 1874, on the request of the people of TCI, the Islands became a dependency of Jamaica. With this change in constitutional status Britain was no longer represented by a President but by a Commissioner, who reported to the Governor-General in Jamaica, and lived in Waterloo.

By the 1940s the Commissioner, Edwin Arrowsmith, found the house in poor repair; finding it, “covered with old cloth backed paper which was dilapidated and housed multitudes of cockroaches”. He begun some modernisation, which was continued by a number of his successors.

After Jamaica became independent in 1963, the TCI became a Dependency of the United Kingdom, and responsibility fell to the Governor General of the Bahamas, who nominated Administrators to represent British interests, who continued to live in Waterloo.

Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra have all visited Waterloo.
In 1973 after Bahamian independence, the TCI chose to retain its British Dependent status and the Islands welcomed its first Governor.

In 1975 members of the Junkanoo Club marched on Waterloo to demand social, economic and political reform. They held a sleep out on the lawn and remained there until their demands were met. Their protest secured a new Constitution and the start of TCI Ministerial Government in 1976. The first Chief Minister was the Right Honourable James Alexander George Smith, or ‘JAGS’, McCartney.

Renovations and improvements to Waterloo were commissioned in 1993, to restore as far as possible the original features, including the windows and the property’s unusual guttering.

In 1999 a nine-hole golf course was created in the grounds, and despite damage in the 2008 hurricane, it is still used by local players who encounter tough greens and unusual fairways!

Today Waterloo is the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in the UK Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands, His Excellency the Governor. The house is regularly used for meetings with the Premier, the official opposition, overseas investors, church leaders and community groups, and school children regularly tour the building and property.

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Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.


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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.


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