What a year 2005 has been.
It was one filled with hope, dreams, frustrations, disappointments and joys; not much unlike any typical year.
But the year we are putting behind us to usher 2006 in was anything but typical.
Last year this time most of us were wondering if this country could ever recover – in part or total – from Hurricane Ivan.
Frankly, it looked a little hopeless.
But the spirit of this country and her people rallied and much has been done to put everything back into order.
There are still some businesses that haven’t re-opened and homes that still need attention, but much of Ivan’s destruction has been erased.
As we all worked to get our houses – at home and at work – back in order the winds of change were blowing over the Cayman Islands.
That wind took hold of the voting public, which sent a loud and clear message that they believed it was time for a new government.
By the end of election night it was clear that the People’s Progressive Movement had rallied and a new set of leaders took the helm of this country’s ship.
As the new Government was setting in, it became time for the Queen’s representative to move out.
Governor Bruce Dinwiddy and his wife Emma left the Cayman Islands and the country received a new UK rep in the form of Stuart Jack.
2005 was the year when Cayman saw its crime rate soar and its Caymanian born and bread police commissioner step down into retirement.
New Commissioner Stuart Kernohan from Scotland is now at the helm and residents are already seeing changes, especially drivers.
The new commissioner promised a crackdown on bad driving and he has kept his word. Police are visible on just about every roadway and tongues are wagging in all districts about the frequency of road blocks.
Drivers – especially those who imbibe – can be guaranteed those road blocks will be up again and more than likely increased over the long New Year’s weekend that begins today.
One site of New Year’s celebrations will be The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, which had its grand opening this year after much anticipation and more than a few setbacks.
The resort is already luring top-of-the line tourists and is sure to be an economic boon to the Cayman Islands in 2006 and the future.
The year we are bidding adieu to has been an interesting one.
The year ahead promises to bring its own challenges and victories.
However you choose to ring out 2005 and ring in 2006, remember to be safe, find a designated driver if you drink and look forward to the New Year with hope and joy.