service club news Rotary tree lighting luminous

UCCI Choir performs in public for first time

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman held its 45th annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Celebration Square in George Town on Monday.

The event, which was held free for the public, included performances by the Cayman National Orchestra, the Cayman National Choir, the La Pierre Family Steel Pan Music trio and the University College of the Cayman Islands Choir.

In her welcome address, Rotary President Lori McRae asked attendees to take time to experience the magic of the holiday season through children.

“Our youth are our hope for the continued strengthening of our community,” she said. “We must take time to nurture them and teach them the benefits of their involvement within their community as they grow.”

Ms McRae also asked for people to remember those less fortunate in the community “to make this a happy time of year for everyone”.

Continuing with that theme in his Christmas Address, Governor Duncan Taylor spoke about all the charity he has witnessed in Cayman since arriving almost a year ago.

“I am really amazed by the spirit of philanthropy and the spirit of giving and kindness that exists here in the Cayman Islands,” he said, asking people to be especially generous this Christmas during the current difficult economic times.

“You can get far more joy out of giving than receiving and Christmas brings that out,” he said.

He noted that some of the trappings of Christmas – like Santa Claus, fir trees and snowflakes – seem incongruous with Cayman’s tropical setting, but that the real meaning of Christmas was found elsewhere.

“Christmas is about worship, fellowship and taking time to stop and think about ourselves, your families and our friends,” he said.

The governor’s wife, Marie Beatrice Taylor, did the honours of lighting the Christmas tree, which was decorated under the guidance of Rotarian Betty Baraud.

UCCI President Roy Bodden was on hand to watch the UCCI Choir make its debut public performance, singing Calypso Christmas, Total Praise and Hallelujah Chorus. The formation of the choir was an initiative undertaken since Mr. Bodden became university president and he said he was very proud of their performance, which garnered rousing applause from the audience.

As is customary, the event featured an appearance by Santa Claus, but this time he was accompanied by Mrs. Claus. They arrived by pedicab – the bicycle rickshaws used in George Town – and handed out candies and toys to all the children present.

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