50 years ago: New school for the Brac takes shape

Cayman-brac--50-years-finalIn the April 13, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the paper reported:

“Picking one’s way over cliffs and rocks, looking at men taking stones from one place to another, observing others throwing up a coconut limb shade, suggests that one has nothing to do, but there are also corner profiles and an outlined area and men taking sights and stretching tapelines.

“Looking up to the Bluff, the sun has not long escaped from behind it. The morning is warm and there is a cool east northerly wind blowing.

“Through the tree tops, one sees the blue Caribbean stretching out to the horizon. And suddenly the moment is crammed with energy – the energy of our children bursting open with new opportunities. This is the beginning of our Secondary Modern School. The site is well chosen – an area of 7 acres stretching from bluff to sea at Stake Bay Point and being a very part of the widest section of lowland – stretching out to a point, it takes in the tradewinds all the year around. Having cleared some 300 feet by 200 feet, a materials storeroom and workshed have been erected. Messrs. Griffiths, Hurlstone and Tibbetts initiated the work on Monday 21st. Periodically Mr. Griffiths will pay supervisory visits. Beach rocks for levelling are being hauled from the hurricane heaps or shingle beach on the site. All the workmen building ‘our school’ are enthusiastic. Veteran Mariedale Connolly volunteered with typical love for country that the uprights of workshade are green cedar cut out of the ground.

“This school project is made possible by C.D.W. Grant from England.

“It is nice to remember a tincture of goodwill that flavours this land – the previous owner, the late Mrs. Mercedes Astor was an American lady who fell in love with the island and our people and saw the great need for outdoor recreation and she chose this spot to build a youth centre. May the spirit of learning and gaining and giving go before us as we enter the doorway of secondary education.”