50 years ago: Low wages blamed for lack of efficient dock workers

George-Town-50-years-finalIn the Aug. 31, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, news from George Town included:

“Doing a man’s job: boys save the dock situation. Seeing these lads working on the dock, carrying goods from the ships to the warehouse, has led to many adverse comments and criticisms of Government regarding the employment of these youths for this task …

“No boy under the age of 15 years is employed and … the pay is now 4 shillings four and a half pence per hour for a 7 hour day and the boys get the same as men ….

“It does not appear as if anyone has any objection to seeing these lads being gainfully employed rather than running idle on the streets but it is a fact that they are unable to cope with the work and, as a consequence the ships suffer …

“Summing it up, it would appear that if the Government raised the wages even the Public Works Department pay of 35 shillings for an 8-hour day they would, in all probability, be able to find the men needed to do an efficient job ….

“The Inagua Wave which called last week took away a Vickers-Armstrong 15/60 ton pneumatic-tyred roller. This very heavy piece of equipment which has a total length of 47 feet and weighs nearly 17 tons is going back to Britain via Kingston.

“The roller has been in use in connection with the resurfacing of the airfield to proof roll the existing main runway, apron and taxi-ways, the overruns and the shoulders. It was also necessary in the areas that showed weak and had to be repaired to proof-roll these again. This work was completed some time ago but this is the first time a suitable boat has been available to take it away from the island.

“Arriving from Britain via Jamaica on the Kirk Pride last week and installed with much difficulty at Barclays Bank, was a 3 ton safety deposit box.

“This is a customer facility offered by Barclays.

“There are 60 boxes in three sizes which will be rented to customers for an annual rental. In these can be kept documents, jewellery and any other valuable items which need to be safely secured. This will be a great asset as at the moment any valuables have to be deposited in a locked container or a sealed envelope.

In the same issue, George Town correspondent Miss Frances wrote:

“Mrs. Lawrence Thompson and daughter Berna left on the 25th. Berna will attend Graceland College, Iowa where she will major in business administration.

“Miss Gaylia Coe returned to Flint, Michigan after spending her vacation with her parents Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Coe. Gaylia teaches biology and physical education.

“We hated to say au revoir to our good friend Mrs. Ella Jackson who has been spending a few weeks with her brother Mr. Otto Hurlston and family. She left on the 25th for Miami where she works.

“Mr. Roosevelt McField left via Costa Rica on the 25th to join the National Bulk Carriers S.S. Bulk Oceanic.

“Mr. Beattie Hurlston of Crewe Road returned to Tampa on the 25th to ship out to sea as usual.

“The following seamen left for Montego Bay by C.B.A. to join their ships: Messrs. Henry E. Powery, Colbert I. Parsons and Leslie I. Chaplin-Forbes.

“Mr. George Samuels is on vacation leave from the Naval Academy where he is studying in nuclear power.

“On Friday the 26th a shower was held at 8 o’clock at the Truth for Youth School for Miss Lois Jackson who is to be married to Mr. James Arch, son of Pastor Raib Arch, on the Sept. 7.

“We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Donnie Bush on the arrival of their second daughter at Miami on the Aug. 24.”