Editorial for 14 October: Miss Lassie’s gets recognition

 

We’ve always known we had something special
on South Sound; now the world knows it.

The World Monuments Fund’s 2012 World
Monuments Watch has recognised Mind’s Eye, better known to us as Miss Lassie’s
house, as one of the globe’s threatened cultural-heritage sites.

The home to Gladwyn K. Bush joins a list of
66 other sites in 40 other countries and territories that are worthy of saving.

Inclusion on the list means experts at
preserving the site are now aware of its existence and may lend a hand to help.
It is also possible monetary help could be forthcoming.

The future of Miss Lassie’s home was in
doubt as recent as 2008 when the house was on the real estate market for $1.6
million.

Government stepped in and bought the
classic wattle and daub house, which her father built and in which she lived
her entire life, for $1 million, ensuring that it would not be purchased and
torn down. It placed the care of the house with the Cayman National Cultural
Foundation.

But maintenance on the house at the end of
Walkers Road is costly and restoring it to the condition it was when Miss
Lassie lived there is a pricey, ongoing project.

Fortunately, government has stepped up to
the plate again, promising $500,000. It will be a shot in the arm to help the
foundation raise the estimated $900,000 needed for restoration and upkeep.

Miss Lassie began her visionary art when
she was 62. Her dramatic spiritual visions adorned canvas, glass, wood and
eventually the walls, windows and ceilings of her home. It became a national
landmark and a draw for visitors and locals.

Miss Lassie lived by Jesus’ example, never
turning anyone away and those who had the privilege of entering the doors of
her home left changed.

Now that Mind’s Eye has been recognised on
the world stage, it is hoped the cultural foundation will have an easier row to
hoe when it comes to attracting donations to help this national treasure remain
for generations to come.

It is, indeed, a fitting recognition.

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