Conch contest an insult

Like other Caymanians, we look forward to the 1 November opening of conch season and taking our legal catch of conch during the occasional weekend boat trip and sharing it with neighbours and friends.

As limited as Cayman’s conch population is today, we were appalled by last Saturday’s conch fritter eating contest at Macabuca only two days after conch season opened.

The organisers and host of this event, including 96.5 CAYROCK claimed it was ‘designed as a celebration of conch in the Cayman Islands.’ Shame on the organisers – and the media for its gratuitous support of such an event.

That contest was a merely gluttonous stunt that showed cultural ignorance. It practically mocked Caymanians’ traditional use of this mollusk, once survival food and a staple of our diet.

Even worse, many Caymanians today, especially our senior citizens, would give anything for a simple plate of stew conch with sea pie. Many can neither afford conch nor have the ability to provide their own supply during season.

If the organisers had so many mollusks to waste, why didn’t they ‘celebrate’ by treating residents of The Pines and other senior citizens residences and other senior citizens to a complementary conch lunch?

That’s the kind of thing Suzy and Bob Soto, the original owners and their staff of the Cracked Conch often did quietly in our community.

The Cracked Conch owners contend that Macabuca is the ‘Taino translation for ‘What matter to me?’ Here at Macabuca nothing does.’ Perhaps they should read Caribbean history books. The indigenous Taino were this hemisphere’s first custodians of the land and sea. Unlike the European invaders who enslaved, then eradicated them, everything mattered.

Jim & Barbara Dailey

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