The debate over liquor in Savannah has prompted me to put pen to paper for a couple of reasons and I would be grateful, Madam Editor, if you would allow me some space.
I don’t understand what the outcry is all about. Have the Cayman Islands become a Muslim country all of a sudden?
Did I miss the law in the Gazette stating it was against the law to sell or consume alcohol? Since I read the papers daily, I doubt it.
In the Cayman Islands liquor is sold from Monday to Sunday throughout the Islands. Granted, there might be some restricted hours, especially for a liquor retail outlet such as the one that Jacques Scott proposes, but the sale and the consumption of alcohol go on.
Both groups approached me to sign a petition. A nice Christian lady dropped by my home on Saturday afternoon like a woman on a mission, asking me to sign a petition against the sale of liquor at the Country Side. I respectfully refused to sign the petition because, as I told her, I believe that people should have a right to set up businesses pretty much wherever they wish as long as it is not against the law. She walked away in a huff.
The other group, Jacques Scott, asked me as I was walking out of Foster’s Food Fair in the very plaza where they propose that the liquor store is supposed to go. I signed that petition because, again, I believe that they should have the right to sell their goods wherever they wish.
The arguments are, as I understand them that people moved to Savannah because it is a dry district and that churches are near the proposed liquor store.
I moved to that district because it is a nice place to live and so did most of the people I know who moved there. The neighbours are nice (yes, they drink and have the occasional party, as do I). As for the churches, if there was ever a time when the Liquor Licensing Board should have had a whit of common sense was when they allowed Margaritaville to open next to Elmslie Memorial United Church.
That was wrong!
Even I, who believes in allowing business to set up anywhere, would have protested for Elmslie.
That church is a historical icon for these Islands.
The churches in Savannah are located about 300 feet and 600 feet away. And remember that this is a retail outlet; our laws prohibit them from being open on Sunday or after 7pm.
The other nonsense I have heard spouted is that children will be able to purchase liquor. Cayman’s reputable liquor distributors don’t allow children to purchase liquor or cigarettes from their outlets. Jacques Scott has proved over the years that they are a responsible corporate citizen, so what makes people think that once they come to Savannah they are going to throw all of that away by selling to children? Is it because the air is so fresh? Horse manure. It will be business as usual.
The bottom line is that we can’t allow the so-called Christian community to ride rough-shod over the rights of people. There is and should be a separation of church and state and the same democracy that works for that community should work for everyone.
It is time for the quiet majority to raise their respective voices and drown out the vocal minority for once.