Friends and family of the late Lois Blumenthal will celebrate the life of the “Bat Lady” at a gathering in Prospect this month.
The celebration on Saturday, Oct. 12 will end with watching a bat fly-out, in apt remembrance of a woman who dedicated much of her time and efforts to conserving bat species in the Cayman Islands.
Ms Blumenthal will be remembered for her contribution to conservation in the Cayman Islands. Her motto, from Paul McCartney, was “the more you give, the more you get”. This was true in her relationships with her family, her friendships, her support for new mothers, and her conservation work.
She was a Lifetime Member of the National Trust and served on the Trust Council since 1994. During this time of volunteering with the National Trust, she established the Wildlife Rescue Programme and served as its manager until 2007.
She initiated the Trust’s Cayman Islands Bat Conservation Program, which is the most successful in the Caribbean and acclaimed as a prototype for tropical countries worldwide. She was the Caribbean Coordinator for Bat Conservation International and successfully implemented a “listserv” electronic mailing list that linked bat conservationists and researchers throughout the region.
Her work with bats earned her the affectionate nickname of the “Bat Lady.”
She also volunteered in the Blue Iguana Recovery Program since 1993, initiating a fresh fruit and vegetable project, which resulted in the first successful hatchlings in two years.
Ms Blumenthal was a prolific author and advocate for nature; writing numerous articles for local and international publications as well as developing materials for local schools. Books for schools included “The National Symbols Study Guide”, “The Bats of the Cayman Islands Study Guide”, and “The Coral Reef Colouring Book.”
She also wrote the “Mastic Trail Guide” and was co-author of “Landscaping with Cayman Islands Native Plants for Butterflies & Wildlife.”
She didn’t stop at writing; she often presented in classrooms and led nature walks for students. She spoke to adults also, through Rotary Club, Lions Club and other service clubs and through the National Trust’s “Know Your Islands” program.
She was an avid naturalist and an advocate for the conservation of nature through cooperative means. She was a founder of the “Cayman Wildlife Connection” website and as president of the Garden Club of Grand Cayman, she spearheaded beautification projects, including the Seafarer’s Hall and the Mission House, as well as assisting schools, churches, nurseries and gardeners to landscape with Cayman Islands native plants.
She felt strongly that the community benefits socially and economically from the preservation of ecosystems and that a closer connection to the natural world creates a more positive outlook in children and adults.
Soon after meeting her husband in 1966, they starting travelling around the United States and to the Caribbean. She had been a regular visitor to the Cayman Islands since 1975 and in 1990 moved here permanently with her family. Her other interests included the outdoors, music, reading, and scuba diving.
Ms. Blumenthal, who was born in 1946, died peacefully at home on April 22, 2013, in Grand Cayman with her family by her side. Fittingly, April 22 is Earth Day.
A celebration of Ms Blumenthal’s life will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, at the Prospect Youth Centre, 294 Prospect Point Road, ending with watching a bat fly-out. Kindly RSVP to [email protected]