50 years ago: New managers at Rum Point, fishermen return

North Side

Northside-50-years-finalThe Oct. 19, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, featured a column by ‘Sandys’ on the new management at the Rum Point Club:

“Bet Alice’s eyes opened wide at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party but am sure they would have opened wider if she had seen what I saw last Sunday at Rum Point.

“The Club is under new management and Bruce and Doris Parker are ‘mine hosts.’ They have come here from the Bahamas where they both spent many years and are expert underwater performers. Between them they have passed out approximately 25,000 Scuba students with no fatalities. I had my first lesson in the Scuba and I was impressed with the great care with which safety precautions are stressed. The first lesson was in 4 feet of water – no nonsense of taking one into deep water the first time out.

“Doris has spent many years in water carnivals and exhibitions and has many interesting reminiscences. One in particular amused me, though it probably didn’t amuse her at the time. Her stunt in the particular show was to ride a bicycle into the water and fail to reappear to the obvious bewilderment of the spectators. The secret was that before the show, a full Scuba tank was left for her, weighted down on the bottom, into which she normally climbed, adjusted her breathing apparatus and there she stayed put until the end of the show. However, on this occasion the chap who was supposed to put the equipment there had had a thick night and forgot. Fortunately, Doris had a snorkel and spent the next 20 minutes sneaking up to the surface taking furtive breaths.

“At the end of the jetty at Rum Point is about three feet of water, they have built up a collection of coral, sea eggs, etc., and at 3 p.m. every day Doris goes out and feeds the fish who are ready, willing and waiting for her there. I got a great kick out of holding a sardine and watching those marvelously coloured little fellows come and get it, but the thing that would have really fixed the Mad Hatter was Bruce holding out a piece of conch in front of a rock where there is a conger eel. Sure enough, out it came, had several mouthfuls and then went back into its house, strangely enough without any of Bruce’s fingers.

“The Parkers are doing a fine job in the redecorating of the rooms and clubhouse but I shall have more to say about that anon.”

In the same issue, East End correspondent Charles Dixon wrote:

“Mr. Roy Bodden returned from the U.S. on the 6th to spend his vacation.
Born to Nelda Connor on the 5th was the precious gift of a daughter. Also to Mrs. Valda McFarlane on the 6th the gift of a son. Both babies and mothers doing well.

“Mr. Kenneth Christian arrived on the 6th to spend some time with friends.

“Messrs. Aturo Bodden, Stanford Rankin, Robert Conolly, Bradford Connor, Robinson Dixon and Warrel Dixon returned from the Cays after spending three months on the fishing grounds. They all agreed that this was a very successful trip.

“Messrs. Vilbert (Will) Jackson, Willard Welcome and Wilson Levy returned on the 9th to spend their vacation.

“Born to Mr. and Mrs. Dorren Green on the 11th the precious gift of a son, their third child and first son. Mother and 9½ pound baby are fine.

“Born to Mr. and Mrs. Austin Bell on the 12th God’s precious gift of a daughter, their second child.

“Mr. Baldwin Welcome returned on the 13th to spend his vacation. He works for Imperial Oil.

“Mr. Evans Connor left on the 13th to work for National Bulk Carriers.

“Miss Virginia Pearson returned on the 16th after spending nine months in Jamaica.”

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