Residents and visitors in the Cayman Islands have lots to bid farewell to tonight.
And much more to look forward to in the New Year.
While many milestones were reached and memories made in 2004, it was the latter part of the year that caught most everyone’s attention.
Category 5 Hurricane Ivan paid an unwelcomed visit to the Cayman Islands 11-12 September and brought with it devastation many have never experienced.
The hurricane also brought a renewal of the Caymanian spirit that has made this country great. It is with that spirit that the islands are rebuilding and focusing on the future.
As revellers ring out the old year and welcome the new one tonight, everyone should take a moment to reflect on this past year and be thankful for the lives spared and the opportunities given to improve an already wonderful country.
There will be larger parties tonight than these islands have seen since the passage of Ivan and the lifting of the curfew.
Those taking part are encouraged to not become so giddy that they lose common sense.
Drinking and driving is illegal in the Cayman Islands and the sentence a stiff one upon conviction.
There are many bus programmes that will be operating tonight to take those who have imbibed a bit too much to their homes in safety. Taxis will also be available.
The designated driver programme also has a track record of success. There should be no reason why anyone is behind the wheel of a vehicle tonight drinking and driving.
It’s just not worth it.
The people in these islands have been through too much to have lives lost, bodies injured or property damaged because of the carelessness of drunken drivers.
There is so much for the Cayman Islands to look forward to in 2005 and the coming years.
There is indeed much to bid adieu to tonight. Don’t let drinking and driving ruin the promise and hope of a new year.
The management and staff of Cayman Free Press wish each and everyone a prosperous and joyous New Year.