50 years ago: Bread shortage spurs cooperative action

Cayman-brac--50-years-finalIn the Nov. 30, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Cayman Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch wrote:

“‘There’s beauty in bread!/ There’s the song of the rain/ that watered the grain,/ And the song of brown earth/ that brought it to birth./ And a song of sun too,/ as golden it grew.’

“These lines, read years ago in an old magazine found in my grandmother’s home, came back to mind as I delved into the reason why there was an islandwide shortage of flour and a close down of the Pioneer Bakery for four days, 18th to 22nd.

“As for the bakery, Pioneer receives its supply of flour from H.O. Merren and Co., Grand Cayman in bulk purchase from the USA. For reasons not yet known, the last consignment into the islands missed the boat.

“To try to alleviate the local situation Pioneer’s proprietor, Trevor Foster, requested Kirktrader Co. to obtain a small supply of flour from Kingston. The vessel arrived on the 21st. There was no flour aboard.

“By a combination of efforts on the part of the District Commissioner, MLA representatives Burns Rutty and K.P. Tibbetts, and Pioneer’s prop, assisted by the kind courtesies of the management of Marconi Co. England and Cayman Brac Airways (CBA), the DC-3 under charter of Marconi Co. through CBA for a flight to Montego Bay brought to the Island from thence over 400 loaves of bread and 20 sacks of flour on Tuesday afternoon, the 22nd. Capt. Keith handled over the loaves and three sacks of flour, and Pioneer went into operation with 17 sackfuls.

“Two notes complete the story. CBA’s plane went temporarily out of repair. Indirectly, it was our good fortune that the DC-3 was available for charter and the Motor Vessel Kirksons brought flour from Jamaica on the 25th.

“It sometimes takes a crisis to make us realize facts as they are. The community felt little lack because of the quick thought, hard work and cooperation of responsible agents. This classic example of interdependence should fill us with appreciation each of the other’s worth. The poet sings of the bounty of providence. Isn’t it the truth that the spirit of brotherhood is the crowning expression of this bounty?

“‘There’s beauty in bread!’

“We welcome the little strangers come among us:

“Oct. 25, to Mr. and Mrs. Harris Foster of ‘Rio Pecos,’ Gavin, Texas a son, (7 1/2 pounds) Carey Lee.

“We congratulate Mrs. Alma Foster of Port Neches, formerly of the Bight, Cayman Brac, on the birth of her first great-grandchild.

“And, born at nurse Petrona Bodden’s home, Creek: on Nov. 5, to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jackson of the Creek, a daughter, 6 1/2 pounds and to Mr. and Mrs. Hulroy Walton of Spot Bay, a son, 9 pounds.

“Nov. 22, to Mr. and Mrs. Lunsford Hurlston of Spot Bay, a son, 10 pounds.

“This month we have bidden ‘bon voyage’ to men joining National Bulk Carrier ships: Ordway Bodden and Basilio Christian of Spot Bay, Ernest and Layton Ebanks of Cotton Tree Bay who left to join the S.S. Rygja and to Morris Ebanks of Creek for the Universe Leader.

“We greet those recently returned on vacation, wishing them a happy homecoming. Among them, of Watering Place: Garston Watson (Ore Venus), Peter Sanford (Commonwealth), Vernon Smith (Ore Titan);

“Of Creek: Edward Myrie (Universe Defender), third engineer, Liberian 1963.

“Of Spot Bay: Berek Hilland, Dario Bodden (Ore Monarch), Evelyn ‘Princie’ Scott (Bulk Trader), Martin Jervis (Universe Defiant).

“On the 17th a large company of the Christian brotherhood were at the airport to bid farewell to their workers, Miss Florence Mahood and Miss Meryl Hutchinson of Jamaica who had spent nine weeks to refresh spiritual fellowship in the island.”

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