It’s time for the people of Grand Cayman to take more civic pride and step up to the plate because Government cannot do everything, Capt. Eugene Ebanks urged in the House last week.
He made this comment after detailing contributions by ‘outstanding corporate citizens and individuals in the community’ following Hurricane Ivan.
Capt. Eugene pointed out that Ivan had changed everybody’s way of living and thinking. When the 2004-05 Budget was passed last summer, no one anticipated Cayman would have to spend millions of dollars just on clean-up in the aftermath of the storm. ‘But it’s a reality – we have to deal with it.’
Major contributions had been made to the people of Cayman since Ivan, he indicated. ‘Operation Blessing’ was one organisation that had assisted greatly; its president, Mr. Bill Horan, has a home in North Side, he indicated. (According to its website, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation was founded in 1978; it is based in Virginia, USA.)
Capt. Eugene was able to speak of Operation Blessing from his involvement in helping to distribute goods.
He said the first Cayman Airways flight into Grand Cayman after the storm carried generators, 6,300 ready-to-eat meals and 25,900 bottles of beverage. Food and medical supplies followed, along with chain saws.
Shortly after, containers arrived with food supplies, water, 784 sheets of plywood and 12,000 sheets of tarpaper.
A lot of the supplies were given to the National Hurricane Committee and the Red Cross, and distributed throughout the Island. ‘Our instructions,’ he explained, were that the aid ‘had to be distributed evenly. We did the best we could, based on the population.’
When a member of the Opposition indicated some doubt as to distribution in one of the districts, Capt. Eugene named the individual through whom materials had been sent, saying this person would confirm quantities.
He also acknowledged that (as of 16 February) there were still four 40-foot containers ‘caught up in the backlog of shipping’. They contained tarpaper, sheetrock and water.