I would like to take this opportunity to remind my fellow Caymanians of certain things that might have been forgotten.
First, I would like to let Mr. Kurt Tibbetts know that I appreciate what he has done in stepping down to make way for someone younger. The first time I heard about him was many years ago when he was helping one of our settlers build his house on Eastern Avenue. Thank you Mr. Tibbetts for that.
I want to also thank the PPM for involving the young people in their meetings. Also, thank you to Mr. Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, for keeping the Caymanian people informed as to what is happening, on the radio with Mr. McLean and Mr. Harris.
Caymanians, have you forgotten that the Cayman Islands belong to us? The reason Dr. Roy McTaggart and others would not sign for independence back in the 1960s was that they foresaw what is happening today. People would come in and try to tell them what they should do. What I do not understand is if they did not destroy the Islands back then, how come the educated government people of today want to do just that? When Mr. Eric Bergstrom and Mr. Ralph Coatsworth came to settle in the Islands and built their hotels, neither of them suggested that they needed a canal in East End or North Side and that was at a time when we really needed the business. They only took out of the land what needed to come out; they did not destroy anything.
Caymanians, please listen; this is what I know from our past – we built the tourism industry with love and dedication. We walked through rain, cold, mosquitoes for miles. We needed the money but that was not our focus. Our focus was to make the Islands comfortable for our visitors. I remember how they even wen to church with us. We treated them like family and they did the same to us. We represented the Islands ourselves; the government was not involved. The staff at the hotels and restaurants were proud to give the tourists the best service they could. We did not stick to one job. Having only one plane flying to the Island in those days, we would volunteer to stay over after hours to be sure our guests had all they needed on arrival. I even recall how some of the tourists would break down and cry, not wanting to leave our Island.
Our problems started when other people came to the Island and wanted us to do things their way and tried to tell us what was best for us. What amazes me is that nobody wanted us when we were known as a mosquito-infested island, but now everyone wants a piece of our pie. Caymanians, remember where you came from and talk about it, especially thanking God for His blessings toward us. We are a proud and unique people who have worked hard for what we have. People do not understand how we have prospered without any manufacturing industries; they do not know how many prayers were said and tears shed for our Island by our forefathers and it is still going on today.
There is not another island like the Cayman Island that has given like we have because that is just how we are. We were taught to give and not to take. Unfortunately, this has meant that people have come here to take advantage of our generosity. We did not make a pact with the devil; we have a covenant with God Almighty through His son Jesus Christ. He is our source; not the government.
If the government is not doing what the scriptures say that makes them our leaders, they are not our leaders or our representatives and that is why Jesus Christ is our representative.
Now concerning the beaches – this is not the first time that this topic has come up. I have heard how people put up fences and walls and had to take them down. You see, we never had any law about walking on the beach because we knew then, and know now, that the beach was given to us by the same person who put us here – the Creator. And we will always walk that beach and swim in the water because those who tired to stop us are gone and we are still here.
Another thing I notice is that there are many professionals from abroad coming out of the woodwork to help us. They remind me of when, after Hurricane Ivan, everybody was a carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc. I wonder what happened to them? It is like someone said: ‘When they want money, they come to the Cayman Islands’. I notice that every year the NCVO has to beg for money, but then what about all those people who came to the Island? I don’t hear those that I know donating anything. I will even go so far as including the churches in this category.
Over the years there always seems to be disputes concerning taxi fares. The latest row appears to be that some drivers are charging less than others. Why is this a bad idea? Should we not provide services to the tourists at a fair price rather than get a reputation for overcharging?
This is my advice to my Caymanians: Get your education and at the same time do what your forefathers used to do; treat tourists with respect, charge them whatever is fair and stand your ground against exploitation and be the Caymanians we used to be. Our forefathers did not destroy the islands for us and we should not destroy the Islands for future generations.