Former legislator wants discussion

This letter is in reference to Mr. Frank Roulstone: Any time you and the National Trust interfere with my heritage there will be loud public debate.

Your letter Caymanian Compass 26 April, 2006) claims I made certain misrepresentation; I do not take kindly to being called a liar.

I never claimed that the public had no right to use these traditional footpaths, let me repeat what I said and thereby clearly demonstrate who is lying.

1. There is no ‘Chisholm Trail’

2. The Chisholm burial ground is on private property on which the National Trust has no right to trespass.

Further, the National Trust has no mandate or permission from the Chisholm family to re-write its history, the information you are disseminating about them is factually incorrect, please stop doing so immediately. We (yes I am half Chisholm, my mother being the recognized family anthropologist) are proud of our heritage and have extensive records of our history, probably more so than any other family in Cayman.

Yes Mr. Roulstone I am a life member of the National Trust and have the unique position not enjoyed by most of your current members, in that I was also privileged to be a representative in the parliament that enacted the enabling legislation that created the National Trust. This means that I have more knowledge of the law and the intent of the Legislators who supported this legislation than you or most of your members and I can unequivocally state that we did not intend for the National Trust to become the creature that is today.

The hansards of parliament will confirm that Mr. Jim Bodden – National Hero and other members of the back bench sought and received the specific undertaking from the then Attorney General Richard Ground and the minister piloting the bill Sir Vassel Johnson that the National Trust would never initiate the acquisition of private property, but only accept what was being offered willing by private owners and then pay fair market value. This is an important element of the National trust mandate and since it is not being adhered to by the National Trust, the only solution now is to have the amendment we wanted to the law then be enacted now, which will clearly prohibit the National Trust from most of its current activities in relation to private property.

If Mr. Roulstone would grant me the pleasure of returning my phone calls to the National Trust office I could detail the many times the National Trust has traversed the intention of the legislation over the past decades, including their published position to keep the value of this private property depressed until they could raise the money to purchase this property.

Mr. Roulstone could prove me wrong by investigating the McCoy property in Mastic now owned by the National Trust in spite of well document claims to ownership for several decades by the McCoys (another well established North Side family) and return this valuable land to the rightful owners. The return of this private land by the National Trust would go a long way to restoring public confidence in the National Trust.

Yours for continued private ownership.

Ezzard Miller

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