The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting was a time of thanks giving and celebration of Jesus’ birth.
Held in the George Town Court House car park, attendees heard presentations from Ray Whittaker, President of the Rotary Club, the Cayman National Choir and Orchestra and the Christmas message by the Governor, Mr. Bruce Dinwiddy.
‘Once again we prepare for the birth of Baby Jesus. Just three months ago we were making preparations of a very different kind as we watched the Internet images of Hurricane Ivan advancing towards us across the Caribbean.
‘Who could have guessed then, what lay ahead of us between the arrival of Ivan late on Saturday, 11 September and the advent of Christmas,’ said Mr. Dinwiddy.
‘The passage of Ivan was for most of us a frightening experience, the like of which many of us including Emma and myself had never known before.
‘After the storm we emerged from the shelters to the remains of our shattered homes to find a very different Grand Cayman.
Mr. Dinwiddy went on to say despite the horror of it all, the huge majority of us survived. ‘We clung onto God’s great gift the gift of life,’ he said.
‘We celebrate that gift of life again this evening as we prepare to commemorate the birth of our Lord and saviour remembering the very first Christmas in Bethlehem just over two thousand years ago.
‘Let us all welcome the infant Jesus this year with a new spirit.
‘Because of Ivan this Christmas will inevitably be somewhat different from those of the recent past. ‘For many people this year Christmas will not be the same.
‘Some will not be back in their own homes, or be able to afford presents or other material things we associate with Christmas.
‘For some, Christmas will be a family reunion after weeks of separation, and some families will remain separated even through the holiday season’ he said.
‘Let us give thanks to God that the essential message of Christmas remains unchanged, personified in the person of his blessed son the infant Jesus.
‘There is always something magical and exciting about new birth that has never been as true as this year in the after math of Hurricane Ivan.
Mr. Dinwiddy also said he hoped this Christmas would be a collective recovery and a time to remember to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
Throwing the switch to illuminate the Christmas tree was the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Emma Dinwiddy.