Walking down memory lane

For those who reminisce about the good old days in Grand Cayman and wish we could return to those times, we encourage you to read the article on the front page of today’s Observer on Sunday.

In it journalist Carol Winker takes us back in time to 1959 through the memories of Sir James Astwood.

Sir James was the colony’s Stipendiary Justice, arriving in 1958, and he was the only attorney on Grand Cayman when Commissioner Allan Donald got ready to pen Cayman’s constitution.

Sir James and his family lived on Grand Cayman when electricity was sparse and most people depended on oil lamps and candles.

News from the outside world was just as sporadic but possible occasionally when radio waves found their way to the Cayman Islands.

His Summary Court was in the upstairs of the building which is now the National Museum. The building had a dual purpose while Sir James conducted judiciary affairs upstairs, downstairs was used to store thatch rope for export.

He also remembered the awful mosquitoes. He said there were so many of them that the sound of them around the house at night was like hearing bees in hives.

The good old days in Cayman were, compared to today’s modern conveniences, miserable.

One of the many things we did find interesting in Sir James’ recollections was the traffic problems on Grand Cayman at that time.

Speeding was a problem on the road between West Bay and George Town and the increasing number of traffic cases in court bears out Sir James’ memories.

Today we have reliable electricity, more radio stations than we need and have effectively gotten mosquitoes under control but we still have a problem with traffic offences.

We’ve heard is said more than once that building more roads is not the answer to our traffic problems.

We have built more roads since Sir James’ days here in the late 1950s and our traffic problems have only increased.

It was nice to be able to sit down and reminisce with one of the men who helped lay the foundations of today’s Cayman Islands.

The Sunday Observer thanks Sir James for his time and his memories.

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