Friends and well-wishers joined staff of Radio Cayman on Sunday for a service of celebration and thanksgiving to commemorate the station’s 30th anniversary.
The service was part of the regular weekly worship at Church of God Chapel on Walkers Road. Coincidentally, Pastor Alson Ebanks was an announcer with Radio Cayman in the 1980s.
He was one of approximately 103 people who have worked at Radio Cayman over the years and whose names were listed in a special brochure.
Of that number, nine are deceased. When Acting Director of Broadcasting Norma McField called their names, many memories were brought back: Ed Bush, Joy Brandon, Hyacinth Conolly, Roy Dunlop, Hilma McField, Doren Miller, Anthony Panton, Joy Ann Rollins and Bonnie Webster.
Ms McField also presided when retiring Director of Broadcasting Loxley Banks was presented with a plaque of appreciation by the Minister for Communications, Mr. Arden McLean. The plaque, given by the staff of Radio Cayman, acknowledged Mr. Banks’ 30 years of dedicated service to broadcasting in the Cayman Islands.
Mr. McLean noted that the government station began broadcasting on 17 April 1976 in Grand Cayman and later that same year in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. He recalled the months of testing and fine-tuning. It was an exciting time, he said, as people began calling the station to request their favourite songs.
The station was officially inaugurated in December, 1976.
Mr. McLean said he was proud to have been a part of the station’s early days. He had worked on the transmission tower that was erected at Gun Bluff in East End.
Since those days, Cayman has witnessed many changes. Advances in technology have been nothing short of revolutionary, he commented and he wondered if the younger generation could imagine their scope.
The public looks to Radio Cayman for quality broadcasts of news, commercials, public events and major ceremonies, Mr. McLean said. But people especially rely on Radio Cayman during emergencies such as before, during and after a hurricane.
Mr. McLean thanked the staff for making Radio Cayman a resounding success. He saluted Mr. Banks for his hard work and dedication at the helm.
Other staff members who took part in the programme included Mrs. Paulette Conolly-Bailey, who read from Scripture, and Mr. Joel Wilson, who presented a basket of flowers to Mr. Banks’ wife, Julene.
Appropriately, the service was broadcast live over Radio Cayman.