50 years ago: Septuagenarian Nettie Levy profiled

NEW Bodden-50-years-logo-final-595x420In the June 29, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Bodden Town correspondent Haig Bodden wrote:

“Following our news item last week that a 74-year-old grandmother was looking after a newborn baby due to its mother’s illness, we now report a little further on this fine lady.

“[Nettie] Levy, who when measured by Bodden Town’s yardstick of longevity is not yet old, is very proud of her latest offspring. This is her second great-grandchild.

“At her age, Mrs. Levy is still going very strong and hopes to live to see about a dozen more great-grandchildren and even one or two of her fifth generation. As Mrs. Levy herself is descended from a line of long-lived ancestors, she will undoubtedly see her wishes materialise. Her mother lived to the ripe age of 105.

“Mrs. Levy, an active member in the United Church, engages in all the town’s religious and social activities. Succeeding generations will remember her zeal in agitating for and getting government to put through the public road now known as [Cumber] Ave. which runs past her home.

“In an interview with Mrs. Levy, she told me that she is much impressed with modern technology especially in the medical field. Mrs. Levy, who was a midwife in the days before we had trained maternity nurses, is convinced that many mothers and infants suffered and died because of lack of knowledge. She makes mention of the reduction in the mortality rate since free examinations and care have been provided for pregnant women.

“A most entertaining conversationalist, Mrs. Levy also opines that the modern age is superior to the horse and buggy days of her childhood, and that the present generation has much to be thankful for.

“Mrs. Levy was in her youth an excellent horse rider and is quite famous for her escapades on her favorite mare ‘Sinclair.’

“Walking as erect as when she was a teenager, this woman is a shining example of the result of taking everything in moderation, praising God for every blessing and refusing to worry over trifles.

“Last week’s issue of the Caymanian Weekly published the fact that young Bill Wood from Bodden Town had undergone surgery at the hospital. On Thursday, Bill’s parents took him to Jamaica as his condition was considered serious.

“It is no secret that the increased rate of accidents and sickness is outgrowing our medical facilities. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but someone has to do something before the problem gets out of hand.

“The hospital is staffed by only one doctor who has to be surgeon, diagnostician and consultant, besides running a daily clinic and taking care of a large amount of clerical and administrative work as department head.

“For years, our doctors have had to work outside the normal working hours. Some time ago, a law was passed to prevent the private practice of our government doctors. This selfish law, which also prevents the individual from getting attention at a time convenient to himself or herself should be abolished. No one man can attend to all the sick within the regular clinic hours set by our government. Such restrictions as have been imposed by this law will keep away rather than entice men to work here.”

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