West Bayers headed out to Birch Tree Hill Road on 2 May to hear from independent candidate Henry Ormond Morgan.
It was not hard to discern that the theme running through the evening was finding a way to bring West Bay back to West Bayers, and the tourism industry back to Caymanians, through a determined spirit and a lot of hard work.
‘I will not stand to see West Bay ridiculed, carried down and disenfranchised; we need to get our act together and we can do it,’ he said.
Outlining numerous problems facing West Bay including crime, unemployment and the lack of a proper civic centre and police station, Mr. Morgan made it clear his priorities lay in creating a better community,
‘It is my intention if elected to make West Bay a much more elevated district than what we have known. There are ways to generate employment. We must beat ourselves out of this situation and we must fight,’ he said.
He pointed out that the Caymanians who started the tourist trade based on such pillars as cleanliness and security have now been disenfranchised from their own product.
Praising the laid back and easygoing Caymanian nature, Mr. Morgan argued that it may have backfired.
‘We have a very oppressive situation in the Island and we must stick up for Caymanians and take back the market,’ he said.
He said he felt Caymanians have not been given the opportunity to get back their fair share of the tourism market, while at the same time tourists see a change in attitude which now seems to be all about the dollar.
He pointed out that improving the stay over tourism product and making it a more Caymaninan experience would take work, but was necessary.
‘We must maintain the head of the game, we cannot stand here any longer, we must take first place in our country,’ he said.
‘Tourists want Caymanians in the tourism industry, and I see false representatives coming into our country and taking over the tourism product.’
He used the example of hearing that a dive company has extended the buoys past traditional fishing areas.
‘We don’t want these cowboys laying down the rules and regulations,’ he said.
‘It’s the almighty dollar, if elected you will see a big change, I’m going to fight my way, if you come here you must obey my rules and regulations.’
He pointed out that a lot of people in Cayman could be doing more for the less fortunate, and appealed for a way to get organized to help them.
Mr. Morgan proposed the government funds being used to pay out such things, as lawsuits could be better used to stimulate the economy and help citizens.
‘You want to have a say, we need to have a say like our forefathers had, they were the people that were calling the shots,’ he said.
‘If they saw what Caymanians have allowed to happen . . . stand up for your country – you do not get respect by backing away. You have to stand up and let people know you will respect us we are only asking you obey our laws and regulations and respect it will be better for all to live in harmony.’