Dear Editor ,
Pirates’ Week has become a potent topic in the media and our family has been quiet on the controversy surrounding the current situation; however, in the Observer’s 23 August 2009 edition a letter to the editor by Penny Phillips was printed about the festival and its founders that upset us greatly.
The letter stated that our father, the late Mike Lockwood, was not involved in the festival from its inception. This is wholly untrue and it has been confirmed that he was in fact involved from the beginning. The idea for the festival came from the late Hon. Jim Bodden and the Tourism Advisory Council, which was in place for the purpose of enhancing the tourism product as a whole. A group of Caymanians, including our father, were recruited to bring it to fruition. Our father had a strong and personal relationship with Mr. Jim before Pirates’ Week and it continued until Mr. Jim’s death in 1988.
The festival’s Chairmen between 1977 and 1982 included the late Rudy Selzer, Colin Panton, Carolyn Pells and Dr. Frank McField. We have pictures of our father from the 1977 festival and the picture in the misguided article is actually from 1977. Our father became the Chairman in 1982 and served until his death in 1997. Throughout his term as Chairman he was responsible for how the festival developed and grew to what it is in the present day.
Since our father’s death we have often been complimented on how he personified the festival to the point of being referred to as ‘Chief Pirate’ and even though he is gone he will never be forgotten. He was a humble gentleman and please let his name be remembered with the honour he deserves.
Michelle and Michael Lockwood