The indomitable spirit of Cayman Brackers is alive and well.
Just take a look at today’s read on the front page of the Observer on Sunday.
One year ago today Category 4 Hurricane Paloma set her sights on our Sister Islands.
While Paloma took a swipe at Little Cayman, she delivered a powerful punch to Cayman Brac.
the time the storm passed, 95 per cent of the Brac’s buildings had received varying degrees of damage from destruction to minor damage.
Things looked mighty bleak on the Brac a year ago, but it was by the grace of God that no one died in the storm.
And Brackers were thankful for that fact. It was the days that followed when people realised family homesteads and heritage had disappeared; when they found out that insurance didn’t cover or didn’t exit; when some began to get antsy because help wasn’t getting to them soon enough; when the hum of generators became just too much to bear; when life was at its worst.
But that was then.
Today the Brac is well on its way to full recovery. There is now an air of gratitude among those who call the Brac their home and major improvements have been made to areas that were lacking pre-Paloma.
We’re happy to report that the Brac Reef resort, which was demolished in the storm, has rebuilt and is back open for business.
There’s also a new hotel on the Brac – the Alexander.
There’s a new construction company and the gardening companies are growing in more ways than one. The generally good economy caused from an influx of insurance payouts means the economic woes that have gripped the rest of the world and the country have pretty much been absent on the Brac.
But Sister Islands MLA Moses Kirkconnell warns that the Island could start feeling a pinch in the economy early in 2010.
That’s why it is so imperative that the tourism product be invigorated on the Brac.
Offerings to visitors to the Brac are aplenty, but potential guests have to have a way to get to the Brac besides flying first to Grand Cayman.
Much political talk has been paid to linking the Brac to Miami through Cayman Airways flights. It’s time to come clean on those promises and help the Brac grow its tourism industry.
We helped them rebuild. Let’s help them survive.