We can’t have it both ways.
We can’t throw our arms up in the air and complain when pieces of our heritage are chipped away and then castigate Government when it makes a decision to preserve that same heritage.
At issue is the decision taken by Government last week to uphold that law that bans live music and alcohol sales past midnight on Saturdays.
The decision means that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations at public places will have to come to an early close because both days fall on Saturdays.
As much flack as the Government is taking about the decision, the men and women who make up the body of lawmakers in this country are to be applauded for sticking to tradition.
The decision isn’t about any one religion.
It isn’t about making life difficult for restaurant and bar owners.
It isn’t about putting a damper on Christmas and New Year’s Eves.
It’s about heritage; plain and simple.
Tourism Minister Charles Clifford made it quite plain in the Legislative Assembly last week when he said that a change in the law would be contrary to the tradition of these islands.
The restaurant and bar owners who have been in the Cayman Islands for several years have been in this position before.
They know that they won’t, or shouldn’t, go to extra expensive to throw lavish parties that have to be shut down at midnight.
They also know that this one or two night anomaly won’t break the bank for them.
They have survived and the new bars and restaurants that have never experienced a Christmas or New Year’s eve on a Saturday in the Cayman Islands can also survive.
Those who use the argument that tourists will ignore the Cayman Islands because they can’t get loaded at bars and restaurants after midnight on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve have a weak argument.
We would hope that any tourist coming to the Cayman Islands is doing so to embrace our heritage and traditions and enjoy the other things this beautiful country has to offer.
Why would they want to leave the comfort of their homes just to do the same old thing?
The ban on live music and alcohol sales after midnight on Saturday does not have any bearing on private parties at home with friends and family.
Many of us in the Cayman Islands have been ringing in the New Year and sharing Christmas Eve fellowship for years without benefit of bars and restaurants.
It’s part of our heritage.