What was once ours

Years ago the West Bay Seven Mile Beach Road was only just a 12-foot road that extended from West Bay’s Town Hall Road to the Pageant Beach Hotel of George Town, opposite the Merrens Plaza on the west side of what is now the Wharf Restaurant.

The old Gallion Beach Hotel that is now replaced with the Westin Casuarina Hotel was the only hotel on the Seven Mile Beach Road. This 12-foot-wide road was made with marl and sand along the coco plum bush where there was only one other small wooden building called the bath house for people to change their clothes. Some Sunday evenings, local horse riders raced along the bath house area. School children walked this area and picked coco plums if the mosquitoes were not thick. At that time there were only about four vehicles in the West Bay area.

Eventually the people of the district decided it was time to upgrade the road. Mr. TW Farrington and some others got the ball rolling. Two companies were brought in, Coastal and Mangum Equipment Company. The Anaugua Rover was the landing barge that brought the first load of equipment to the Island and Captain Thomas Henning of Church Street, West Bay, was the skipper. The equipment was unloaded on the upper end of Public Beach and was then taken from the beach to West Bay where most of it was parked behind TW Farrington’s store, where the work was scheduled to begin the following week at the Chapel Church next to the Town Hall in West Bay. People who had property form West Bay up to the Merrens were those who mostly gave property to straighten and widen the road to a 20-foot road for chip and spray.

In 1968 plans for a second road from Batabano above Lime Tree Bay West Bay was in the making. At not time were there any plans to stop the road along the Seven Mile Beach stretch. Below Public Beach down about 250 to 300 feet was zoned for no development due to the narrow distance between the road and the beach. The question is, why only now has this been changed to suit certain developers?

In the past we’ve had representatives who had the country and the people’s best interest at heart, but today things are going haywire and instead we have politicians, which is sad for the Islands that were once known as heaven undiscovered. Caymanians need to wake up and not only keep our road, but for God’s sake, our entire country the Public Beach was reserved for us by the Jaycees Service Club, which was the first on the Island and I, John Burns, was a 
member of.

The grape trees along the roads were decoded by us to use as a hedge; we planted them and this was all done after sand had been taken from the site for helping of the paving of the road. This road and the Public Beach belong to the Caymanian people and no one else. All politicians should get their priorities right before getting rid of any Crown Land; this should be protected by the judicial system of the country.

John Burns


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