A Hell of a meeting

Ivan Farrington, owner of the Hell gift shop in West Bay, hosted a public meeting in the tourist attraction’s car park Monday night, the first of what he says will be regular gatherings. 

Mr. Farrington, dressed in white and red but without his customary devil’s outfit, told an audience of about 40 people that he wanted to give a forum to people to talk about issues affecting West Bay and the Cayman Islands. 

“I think it’s a disgrace that the elected MLAs – I won’t call them representatives because they’re not representing us – in three years and eight months, they never had one public meeting with us to tell what was coming to the House and how they should vote on it and whether it passed,” said Mr. Farrington. 

“They had a few meetings down here … to push Dart projects through. And they had one to tell us to vote no* for ‘one man, one vote’. We got to do better than that,” he said. 

Mr. Farrington said he had been told by local politicians that he should have consulted them before calling the meeting. “But if they were having a meeting, I wouldn’t have had to have it,” he told the audience. 

He called on candidates for the upcoming election in May to start holding public meetings to keep constituents informed. “I’m not a candidate, but I have my meetings,” he said. 

Although he had hoped to have four speakers at his meeting, only he and West Bay community activist Sarah Orrett attended. 

Ms Orrett blasted both the United Democratic Party and People’s Progressive Movement administrations during the past 12 years for their performances, saying they put private interests before the public good, and she called for Cayman to be more united. She told the Caymanian Compass she had not yet decided if she planned to run in the upcoming election.  

Addressing a lively audience that cheered, jeered, laughed and heckled, depending on the subject being discussed, Mr. Farrington and Ms Orrett spoke for more than an hour, from a platform unlike any other seen in a political meeting. The podium was erected under The Devil’s Hangout sign. Just to the left of the speakers, in large letters painted on the building’s wall reads the non-Hellish exhortion: “Jesus died for all of us, so give him your heart and go to Heaven.” 

Prior to the start of the meeting, footage about West Bay’s Hell and the many travel and entertainment television shows in which it has appeared played on a big screen. 

Both Ms Orrett and Mr. Farrington touched on a wide variety of topics, including the continued absence of a trade school to train local Caymanians, the money the government spends on the Turtle Farm, the need for a minimum wage, the impending closure of a section of West Bay Road, the lack of Caymanians working in the tourism industry, funds given to churches from the National Building Fund and status grants.  

Mr. Farrington, who is well known for donning the devil’s horns and a tail to promote Hell, offered prizes for those who could say the year he first ran for politics (1972), who could tell him what was the rectangular item wrapped in a white sheet that doubled as the podium (a safe), and the first time the one 
man, one vote issue was recommended in 
Cayman (1971).
 

 

*Editor’s note: This story has been amended for clarity.
 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. If McKeva could have done for the other districts all he done down here in west Bay they would not have to worry about a thing. A million people must be running this election. Should the intelligent people of this Island see the reason. Its just the money. If the get in you will see how they care about this country. They have to show me what they can do now.

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  2. Hunter – could you please exactly what Bush has done in West Bay that the people in other districts are missing out on? Vote-buying gimmicks at public expense? Unlike Bush, who has gained wealth through his involvement in politics, many of the candidates for the upcoming elections have either made their fortunes or have the potential to make their fortunes outside of politics.

    There is fresh blood because many of our people want leadership that is neither inept nor corrupt.

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  3. Speaker I have read your comments, but I can assure you that all the New commers will become corrupted by one year. Of course they got their money outside politics, by McKeva helping them, but no one can satisfy. Just sit back and watch how eveverything unfolds if they get lucky. The first thing they are going to do is change their phone number, or you will not be able to leave a message. They will hide from you and not answer your calls. I have been involved in politics for over 40 years, and I know what happens here every four years. Just prepare. I prefer to stick to the track i am familiar with, which is not broken and need no fixing.

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  4. Hunter – Does that mean you think Bush was corrupted within one year of being elected?

    Do you really think that Roy McTaggart and Wayne Panton, for example, owe their career success to Bush?

    It seems that you are willing to say anything if you think it helps Bush politically.

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