West Bay volunteers have been working since July to get the West Bay Heritage site back in shape for Pirates Week and plans are afoot to use the site year-round for local activities.
District residents, with a variety of handyman skills, have combined to repair the ravages to the traditional Pirates Week Heritage Day site caused by Hurricane Ivan, said a press release from the West Bay District Committee.
The well known L-shaped area with its various stalls is being rebuilt using heavy lumber and the three Caymanian houses, which were tumbled about in the storm, have been righted and repaired.
The next stage in the project will see the roof being put on over the stalls and a general painting.
District Chairperson Ezeithamae Bodden said: ‘With the repairs we’re doing, the plan is not to use it just for Pirates Week, but to have it operating year-round, maybe once a month or so, where the local people can come out and sell their crafts or meals, and maybe even have it as a regular stop, maybe once a week, for the cruise ship tours.’
Ms Bodden estimates that more than $80,000 has been invested in the West Bay site over the years from the revenues produced in Pirates Week. She noted that level of investment should not be allowed to slide.
She said the costs associated with the restoration were met by residents, who have contributed their labour to the project, and by corporate donations.
She singled out for special mention A. L. Thompson, Cox Lumber, and the West Bay Action Committee for making substantial contributions to the materials being used in the repair work.
One piece of work left unfinished is the repair to a 12-ft section of the rock wall at the front of the site which was damaged during Ivan, and an appeal is being made for a donor to fund the repairs.
‘We are thankful that we have people who are willing to come out every Saturday, and even during the week, to do this work for us,’ she said.
West Bay’s Pirates Week District Day will be held Thursday 16 November, starting at 11am.