National Trust draws crowd

If numbers alone can tell how well an event turns out, the Chamber of Commerce Business after Hours at the National Trust headquarters was an unqualified success.

National Trusts Business After Hours

Guests at the National Trusts Business After Hours register with Chamber of Commerce operations manager Kerry Pratt and marketing assistant Catherine Healy while other guests examine a display. Centre, Chamber chief executive officer Wil Pineau and National Trust chairman Carla Reid greet Chamber councillor Brian Barnes. Photo: Carol Winker

Chamber operations manager Kerry Pratt estimated attendance at 230, with almost 200 people signing in.

Trust field officer Paul Watler, one of the evening’s hosts, reported his co-workers’ delight that four individuals signed up to be members of the National Trust, four more signed up for family memberships and six people signed on to be volunteers.

Sales of Cayman-related books, T-shirts and craft items totalled more than $600, Mr. Watler said.

But what especially pleased everyone was the number of people who said they had never visited the National Trust office before – even people who live near the South Church Street location, in the Dart Family Park.

Chamber president Angelyn Hernandez observed that Business After Hours was started precisely for the purpose of helping members get to know each other better and thanked everyone for turning out.

Besides seeing each other, guests had an opportunity to view craftwork, enlarged photos of National Trust activities and specimens from environmental projects.

General manager Frank Roulstone reminded people that the National Trust owns nothing. ‘What we have belongs to the future generations.’

The National Trust has done a very difficult job for 20 years, with very limited resources, he said.

‘Nevertheless, the Trust has set aside some 2,700 acres of habitat: somewhere for the birds, crabs, snakes, butterflies and iguanas to live; somewhere our 700 species of plants can continue to grow without being chopped down to be replaced by concrete, asphalt or landscaping plants from Florida; quiet paths for our children to walk on and see the splendour of our native environment; historic buildings and sites which teach of a time past.’

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