Mary McCoy, Little Cayman tourism pioneer, remembered

The following was read by Deputy Premier and Sister Islands MLA Moses Kirkconnell at the Service of Thanksgiving for Mary McCoy (Aug. 18 1936 – Sept. 13 2016). The service was held at the Church of God, Full Gospel Hall, Spot Bay, Cayman Brac, on Saturday, Sept. 24 and officiated by Pastor Joel Scott.

Mary Delrose McCoy (nee Scott) was born on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 1936. She was the first daughter and third child of 10 children of Pastor Carl E. Scott (deceased Oct. 1, 2002) and Mrs. Violet R. Scott (deceased Sept. 6, 1971). Mary was also preceded in death by her husband of over 53 years, Mr. Samson Sylvester McCoy (deceased June 9, 2010) and three of her brothers: Mr. Lelan Scott, Mr. Osley Scott and Mr. Evelyn “Prince” Scott.

Mary attended school in Spot Bay, Cayman Brac, and helped her mother care for her younger siblings. She was an active member of her father’s church – this same church, here in Spot Bay, Cayman Brac and the Church of God Baptist in Little Cayman.

Mary fell in love and was married to Samson Sylvester McCoy of Cayman Brac, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1956.

God blessed them with six loving children, Maxine the eldest and only girl, followed by Craig, Carl, Christopher, Croy and Charles.

Mary was a loving and dedicated wife and mother, when Sam decided to settle from his life as a seaman, when his fourth child and third son Chris was born in 1966. She continued to support him by remaining in Cayman Brac for several more years while her children attended school. “Sammy,” as she lovingly called him, had been offered a job in Little Cayman.

The McCoy family, with Mary as the matriarch, was active in the establishment of Pirate’s Point Resort (after Sam had a stint at the Southern Cross Club) and then with the establishment of their own family owned and operated tourism property – Sam McCoy’s Fishing & Diving Lodge in 1983, now known as McCoy’s Lodge. Mary and Sam were true ambassadors for Little Cayman’s tourism industry.

Mary and Sam worked side by side, so that the McCoy’s Lodge became known for its delivery of Caymanian service to locals, fishermen and divers from all around the world, and a place where you can buy propane, gasoline and diesel. Mary was the primary chef, in addition to being the accommodations operator, bookkeeper, concierge and island tour guide. She was a genuine Caymanian host for over 40 years. Life was not easy in those days but Mary persevered and built a successful business with Sam to support their growing family.

Many international guests will recall their first real taste of stewed conch, fish, Cayman-style lobster, to name a few, and then later on, for her famous Saturday night barbecues with chicken, ribs and all the fixings. Even after a hard day of catering to guests, cooking, guiding tours, and pick-ups and deliveries from the airport, she was eager to join guests at the Oceanview Bar for a chat and to watch the sun set on the horizon. She was the last person to leave the party, as she always made sure the place was cleaned and locked up. Every Sunday morning she was up and dressed for church and, whenever she was in Little Cayman, she sang with her daughter Maxine as a duet during the service.

Recently, Mary celebrated her 80th birthday on Aug. 18, 2016. She was teased by Chris as having a week-long or more celebration, with a boat trip and dinner in Cayman Kai just days before her birthday, a large family gathering (dinner and dancing) on the day she turned 80, and then a barbecue in Little Cayman the following Saturday night, again with many family and friends in attendance like the old days. In her normal fashion, Mary looked like the Queen of the McCoy family that she truly was.

Mary loved music and was truly talented in being able to play several instruments, including the guitar, accordion, piano, organ and horn. She was known for always being perfectly groomed and dressed for any occasion, with matching jewelry, styled black hair and fashionable makeup.

The week that Mary passed, she was staying with Chris and his family, and had the opportunity to spend time with several of her sons and grandchildren, of which she loved nothing more than to tell stories of how she and “Sammy” raised their children between the Brac and Little Cayman.

Left to mourn her passing are her children: Maxine, Craig, Carl, Chris, Croy and Charles (“Chip” as he is called); her brother Roosevelt Charney “Dinks” Scott and his family; sisters Blossom Scott, Maple “Singer” Edwards and Bonnie Bodden and their families; daughters-in-law Dorita, Annette, Nicoela and Yolanda McCoy; son-in-law Waid Moore; grandchildren: Vicki and husband Bobby, Miguel and wife Joanna and Arrowe; Diego and Xavier and wife Demi; Rhyann and fiancé Laura and Kyle; Paxton and Logan; Arren, Arianna, and Arion; and Nathan and Natalia; great-grandchildren: Kai and Samson, Jovian, James, Jhade, and Miguel Jr.; and lastly little Dylan; as well as a host of other McCoy and Scott families and many, many friends both locally and internationally.

We will always love and miss you, Mummy/Ma/Grandma Mary/Mama Mary/Way Way/Aunt Mary/Ms. Mary (all the names you answer to) but we all know you had a grand reunion with your good Lord and all of your loved ones who have gone on before.