50 years ago: Consternation over the purchase of a tractor to pick up garbage

NEW Bodden-50-years-logo-final-595x420In the Aug. 17, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Bodden Town correspondent Haig Bodden wrote:

“It was good to see the new Ford Dextra tractor-trailer combination making its rounds in Bodden Town during the past few weeks.

“‘Puffing Billy,’ as this garbage collection unit has been nicknamed by the children, has puffed and snorted through the town for the third Tuesday in a row. The children have doubtlessly been reminded of the early 18th century inventions of the English locomotive builder George Stephenson. All this contraption lacks is a man with a flag walking in front of it.

“Why should this farm-type tractor be converted for daily use on our streets? These tractors are commonly used in Africa today for garbage collection. Why should we copy the African way of life, when for the past 20 years we were considered to be far ahead of the African civilization?

“A few years ago the government bought an international garbage truck, the same type as one sees on the streets of Miami and other U.S. cities. That truck has worn out … Why was not the same type of truck bought again as a replacement? The cost (estimated at 3,000 pounds) of the present tractor and two trailers far exceeds the price of a U.S. manufactured truck … Articulated vehicles are always a nuisance on the road, and should only be used when absolutely necessary.

“Perhaps at some later time other work can be found for the tractor which can be a useful piece of machinery. It is certainly misplaced at the present time.

“On the 11th a concert was held at the United Church. The programme was in connection with the visit of a group of 32 Christian youths who have come here from Florida. The group is conducting Vacation Bible Schools throughout the island. Six of them are staying in homes throughout this district.

“This week has been one of fervent activity for the churches here. Each one seems to be bent on trying to outdo the other with evangelistic zeal. However all of the services were dwarfed by the United Church’s magnificent performance on Sunday night.

“For the third consecutive week it is necessary to report another resignation from the service. Mrs. Willalee Parsons leaves her job as a teacher in the Bodden Town school. Willalee has been in the service for 10 years having previously served at Savannah.

“Mr. Wilford Moore is home on vacation. He is an employee of National Bulk Carriers. Mr. Hartman DaCosta and his new bride returned from Jamaica on Sunday morning. His wife is the former Jeanie Martinez.