50 years ago: New radio link dish completed in Batabano

West-bay-50-years-finalIn the Nov. 2, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, news from West Bay included:

“The parabolic reflector for the tropospheric scatter radio link between here and Cayman Brac [is] now completed at Batabano.

“The reflector was erected by six Italians whose company makes the dishes in Milan. In order to ensure that everything was erected correctly and as quickly as possible, the company sent those men out to do the job for Cable & Wireless. No unauthorised person should go near this installation as it is dangerous to do so, Mr. Forestal told the Compass.

“There are two of these reflectors now being erected by the Italians in Cayman Brac; one to send and receive signals to and from Grand Cayman and the other to send and receive signals from and to Jamaica. Another reflector has already been erected in Jamaica and thus the islands will be linked with each other and with Jamaica, which will give access to the worldwide network through the submarine cable of Cable & Wireless.

“Also in the island just now are three Marconi radio engineers who have developed the radio equipment now being installed [at the West Bay site]. They have come to install the equipment with Cable & Wireless and to ensure that everything is correct and the specifications etc. achieved.

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“Mr. David Beavis, Mr. Keith Oakley and Mr. Michael Haygreen are travelling between Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman and Jamaica, and Cable & Wireless are indebted to the Beach Club Colony and Buccaneer’s Inn for accommodating these personnel at very short notice.”

In the same issue, West Bay correspondent Leila Yates wrote:

“Halloween was celebrated in the United Church Hall sponsored by the Christian Endeavour society with a dinner on the 28th. There was a costume parade in which Ina Claire, dressed like a beast, won first prize, and Betty Ruth Ebanks, dressed like a gypsy woman, won 2nd prize. The Hall was colourfully decorated with jack-o’-lanterns, witches, cats and scarecrows. The judges were Rev. John Gray, Mrs. Ruth Coke and Mr. Spurgeon Ebanks. There was a good attendance with a Christian fellowship enjoyed by everyone.

“Mrs. Thomas Ebanks of Mount Pleasant returned on the 27th having visited in Port Arthur 6 months with her daughter Euldene. Euldene and her little daughter Dora Lee accompanied her mother home.

“Mr. and Mrs. Waldo Banks left for their home in Miami on the 30th. Mr. Grayburn Banks returned to Miami the same day. He accompanied his aged father and mother home.

“Mr. Kennedy Ebanks left on the 30th for the U.S. to seek employment there. He has obtained his legal visa.

“Nurse Joyce Ebanks who was in training as a nurse in the UWI Hospital, Jamaica, graduated as a general nurse on the 29th and returned on the 30th. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ebanks of Mount Pleasant. The people of this district welcome her home with congratulations.

“Mr. J.P. Powell arrived on the 27th from Jamaica where he went on a business trip.

“To Captain and Mrs. Shelby Hydes, a daughter was born on the 26th, weighing 6 pounds.

“A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Ebanks on the 28th, weighing 9 pounds.”


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