Culture camp highlights Cayman’s finest

Cayman National Cultural Foundation summer camp round up highlighted some of Cayman’s finest, which have a huge impact on our cultural traditions today. 

But what was interesting and intriguing about the event at the Harquail Theatre on Friday, 17 August was the way youngsters and camp staff put their own modern twist to cultural songs performed by Aunt Julia and Radley Gourzong. 

The remix version of “Munzie Boat in the sound”, which is an original song of Aunt Julia accompanied by Radley and the “Happy Boys” and a music class featuring youngsters as Aunt Julia and Radley of what it might have been like with these two growing up in the Cayman Islands. Miss Lassie dreaming of painting and performed by a youngster was also a hit. These were done up by Melissa McField and professional actress Grace Gealey. 

The group of youngsters, along with camp staff, featured many works of Miss Lassie, the painter, Radley Gourzong, the fiddler and Julia Hydes the drummer through a number of songs and dances along with an arts and crafts display. 

During the performances the group of more than 60 youngsters through a narrative of works of the three locals and gave the audience a brief rundown of history along with a slideshow featuring Aunt Julia telling about her younger days. 

“Miss Lassie paintings are all over the world, she is a big inspiration to the people of the Cayman Islands,” said a youngster as another joined in with. “He grew up to be a policeman, but that was not all he did for the country. He also provided us with traditional music, which has become a part of our culture today. Mr. Radley Gourzong was one of Cayman’s finest fiddlers and formed the singing group the “Happy Boys”. Aunt Julia Hydes, from the district of West Bay, was knows island-wide for her brilliant drumming and singing. She is very good at plaiting thatch, making baskets and rope, too. The amazing thing about Aunt Julia is she learned to play and sing all by herself.”  

According to camp counsellors, it was a wonderful two weeks in which the children learned about Caymanian culture and were excited to show their parents what they had accomplished. 

“At the end of the camp we always put on a show for parents and guests to come and see what the kids had been working on during the camp,” said programmes manager Rita Estevanovich. “We had a display of arts and crafts done by the children tutored by Rose May Ebanks and Donna Bryan.”  

The art camp was taught by Vikki Powell, who was working with the younger age groups and some of the projects included painting Miss Lassie’s windows. There was also paper art featuring Caymanian culture and recycled art using tin. The older group was taught arts and crafts by Deal Ebanks and 
Tony Powell. 

Youngsters and camp staff put own modern twist to culture songs sung and played by Aunt Julia and Radley Gouzong a long time ago. 

Culture Camp 4

Youngsters perform a skit about Aunt Julia and Radley during their days growing up. –Photos: Jewel Levy

Culture Camp Miss Lassie 5

A youngster acting as Miss Lassie dreams of painting.

Culture Camp 10

The culture day featured an arts and crafts display.

Culture Camp 6

Youngsters at culture camp perform a dance.

Culture Camp 7

Youngsters give a steel pan performance.

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