Images evoke yesteryear memories for seniors

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 Seniors gathered at the National Gallery this week to view a special exhibition of images depicting life in the Cayman Islands in past years. 

The photographs brought back poignant memories of yesteryear, including smoke-pan days, neighbors helping each other thatch roofs and sharing the little that they had. 

The outing was part of a month-long celebration of seniors in the community, helping to make a connection to days gone by. 

The exhibition featured some memorable pictures found in the Cayman Islands National Archive. Brought together by Walkers, the collection chronicled the social history of the Cayman Islands from the 1900s to the 1960s – a time when life moved at a difference pace.  

Featured photographers included George Nowak, from his book “The People Time Forgot,” Ira Thompson, Marcia Bodden-Bush and many others who found it important to record the places and faces of these islands. 

“It is really a wonderful day for the National Gallery and the seniors’ art day sponsored by Ernst & Young LTD, partnering with the Children of Family Services and National Gallery,” said Kaitlyn Elphinstone, the gallery’s operations and communications manager. “Watching the seniors make connections to the past from the yesteryear images really bring us together and connect those links of early years.” 

She added, “We were overwhelmed by the response and amazed at the turnout of seniors, who gathered to shared their wisdom and expertise through conversations.” 

Francine Jackson, a senior visiting the exhibition with husband her Vernon, said she recognized a lot of the people displayed in the photos, including Maud Hydes from West Bay. She said Ms Hydes spent many days rocking in her hammock plaiting silver thatch to make hats and baskets.  

Other seniors said they recognized Thomas Joseph McCoy Welcome, known as ‘One Eye’ Clifford, who was well known for his farming abilities and Duxley Ebanks, who was renowned for his talent on the violin. 

The visit to the exhibition was organized as part of the Older Persons Month, which is being observed throughout October. 

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Eulene McLaughlin and Vernie Dixon discuss Maud Hydes’ photograph. – Photo: Jewel Levy