Annie Huldah Bodden OBE
Pioneer, Annie Huldah Bodden paved new paths and shattered ceilings to ascend to the pinnacle of her career as the first female Law Agent in the Cayman Islands, and as a nominated member of the Legislative Assembly.
"Miss Annie" Huldah Bodden OBE
Pioneer, Annie Huldah Bodden paved new paths and shattered ceilings to ascend to the pinnacle of her career as the first female Law Agent in the Cayman Islands, and as a nominated member of the Legislative Assembly. Woke and outspoken, as a parliamentarian, she supported the government’s causes if her ethos was not jeopardised; stood against the government when she deemed it necessary.
In 1976, a decade into her political career, Miss Annie became the first female Caymanian to be awarded an Officer of the British Empire (OBE). Years later in an interview about her award preparatory comments for HM the Queen, Miss Annie revealed, ‘I spoke from my heart… My words brought tears to the Queen’s eyes.’
Bestowed with numerous accolades in her lifetime, Miss Annie’s early accomplishments include the passing of the Juvenile Law, 1964, and the Land Development (Interim Control) Bill, 1970 for which, Miss Annie, Berkley Bush and Ira Walton organised and led a protest that resulted in the withdrawal of the bill.
Affectionately known as “Miss Annie”, Annie Huldah Bodden’s political career began in 1962 by way of a recommendation from Commissioner Jack Rose, which she accepted. It followed the election of Cayman’s first female legislator, Ms Evelyn Wood of Bodden Town.
First Female Law Agent
“She poured long hours over Norberg's books…, cleared merchandise from various boats and settled land disputes among the locals.” Following much discourse about her work, and encouraged by Dr Roy McTaggart to study law, Miss Annie utilised the resources available to her in the extensive ‘Edmund Parsons Law Library’ to successfully undertake a course in legal studies. In 1960, and newly qualified, she opened her Law Office on Cardinal Avenue a credit she gave to her mentor, Edmund Parsons. “I learned it all from him.” Within months of this milestone, Miss Annie walked up ‘twelve steps’ to court, to try her first case.
Previously, Miss Annie generously prepared legal documents and administered legal advice for the underprivileged at a nominal cost, actions that met with grave complaints from some men in the profession who challenged the system and called for Miss Annie to cease or, become legally commissioned.
A professional career did not hinder Miss Annie from taking care of home and family. She became her family’s sole breadwinner when her sister Alix took ill.