Bodden Town’s senior centre, which will be a place for the district’s older persons to share their heritage and socialise, was recently opened and, in a surprise to its namesake, named after Nurse Josie Solomon.
Governor Stuart Jack, with the assistance of an unsuspecting Nurse Solomon, ceremonially cut the ribbon to officially open the centre.
Then, together they opened the large envelope that revealed the centre’s official name – Nurse Josie’s Seniors Center. The tribute was given because of Nurse Josie’s decades of medical service to the Cayman Islands, as well as her participation with the Bodden Town Senior Citizens Committee.
Attending the 4 November opening were Minister of Health and Human Services Anthony Eden; Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment and CommerceCharles Clifford; MLA Osbourne Bodden; Department of Children and Family Services Director Deanna Lookloy; members of the Bodden Town Senior Citizens Committee; and district residents. They were entertained by the North Side Kitchen Band.
The centre is particularly noteworthy because it was opened primarily through the efforts of the Bodden Town community, with the community’s own resources.
‘This is what society is all about – to care and have responsibility for all its members, including older persons,’ Minister Eden said, praising the community’s efforts.
Ministry staff are committed to supporting work with the elderly, he noted, and they are looking forward to programmes that will be held in Nurse Josie’s Seniors Center.
He also said that ministry staff especially welcome the idea of bringing children to this culturally and historically rich centre, and having them spend time with Cayman’s elderly.
Mr. Bodden applauded the work of the ladies from the district’s senior citizens committee: ‘Cayman has a long history where men went to sea, and women stayed home to keep the society together. The ladies from the Bodden Town Senior Citizens Committee are the hardest-working women of the district, and their work is equivalent to the work of strong women in our history.’
In time, it is expected that the centre will be open to visitors who are interested in Cayman’s heritage, said Minister Clifford. ‘Within this house there is a lot of history; it represents Bodden Town’s community spirit,’ he said.
Indeed, it was community spirit that brought the committee’s success in opening the centre, said committee member Mary Lawrence.
‘It is truly a community project – if people get up and do what they ought to do, then things move,’ she said.