I have read the news that the Pirates Week Festival has been eliminated and taking its place is a heritage festival.
As one of the original sitting committee members that formulated the Pirates Week Festival and witnessing a small fun filled event blossom into an internationally famous and dynamic festival, I am mystified that such an historic and valued facet of our tourism product and a huge contribution to our merchant and government offers can be discarded with what appears to be no notice or discussion when one considers the far-reaching monetary considerations and financial impact that this decision impugns on all associated with what has been a world-class event and I guess the next to go is peg leg Sir Turtle.
The truth is that all democratic systems in the world make a clear distinction between Church and State and for good reason, and mainly there are so many churches and denominations and as each one thinks their way is the only true way to salvation as all the multiple religions cannot possibly be given free access to implement and or influence Government matters and that is good enough reason to keep church and state apart.
This is not to say that government is excluded from abiding by Christian principles to govern as a belief in a divinity is the right of all people on earth, regardless of their particular belief.
When one considers the incredible commercial value to merchants, both wholesale and retail in products associated with the pirate and buccaneer area to include gift items, T-shirts, clothing, books, coins, Disney pirates of the Caribbean, documents, treasure hunters and on and on, and to think that we had such a strong hold on this 30-year-old successful festival, there are going to be many sections of our economy impacted by this decision to discard the Pirates Week Festival, which has also doubled as a very successful Heritage Day district celebration and this includes airlines, hotels, restaurants, taxis water sports, gift and jewellery stores and right through the entire spectrum of our economy and the loss of merchandise already purchased in expectation of some good income in this hard time era. So where do we go from here?
Consideration should be given to amalgamating the Batabano Festival as a part of the Pirates Week Festival and strongly compete with the Trinidad Carnival that is a great success story and gets stronger each and every year.
The present elected Government has a resounding and clear mandate to govern us for the next four years and good governance must be for all the people, at all times, without fear or favour from or for any one group and in this instance it appears that the decision to abandon Pirates Week came straight from the pulpit and if the church goers who apparently influenced this decision want to stop Pirates Week attendance or participation then council their own members that to support Pirates Week is a one-way ticket to you know where and let the supporters of Pirates Week get on with their lives and interests in supporting this world renowned festival.
Leadership is not an easy road and I, with deep respect, ask our present Leader of Government Business to consult with his members, supporters and all affected within our community and hopefully arrive at a decision that is fair to all concerned, bearing in mind that no one on this earth can be right all the time, as the Pirates Week festival is really big business for the Island and the income filters right through every sector as an important tourist dollar.
I submit this my considered view with the deepest of respect and admiration for what is right, fair and balanced and in no way impugns the honesty, sincerity or integrity of anyone in the Cayman Islands, including most profoundly the Christians and other religious supporters of this, our homeland.
Kent D. Eldemire