50 years ago: Accolades for schools’ Christmas programs

In the Dec. 21, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch wrote in the special Cayman Brac Christmas supplement:

“Welcome home to our seamen Winston Watson Jr., engineer ex Ore Saturn, and Wellington Watson off Blister Trader, both of Watering Place, and Japeth Walton, also off the Ore Saturn. Happy homecoming!

“The Christmas Programmes given by the schools this week opened the season with very good entertainment.

“On Tuesday evening, Creek led the way. Off to a good start with a welcome song by Juniors 1 and 2, the spontaneity of the children’s performance right through the impish play ‘The Scarecrows’ made the programme very enjoyable. Maevylin Ryan, as the 4th Scarecrow, and Rollin Jackson, as kind Michael, won the prizes for acting. A prizegiving based on the work of the first term for the school year followed and Mrs. D. H. Foster graciously distributed the prizes assisted by the head teacher, Mrs. Georgine Lazzari.

“Chairman for the evening was the District Commissioner, Mr. D.H. Foster. Judges for the best performance were Reba Foster, Gwen Hayes and Martha Scott. Mr. Venetta Walton, treasurer of the PTA took the initiative in collecting the prize fund. The proceeds of 23 pounds 6 shillings go to the lunch room and canteen fund.

“Santa Claus made an early visit to the Brac, coming to the West End School on Thursday afternoon with sweet gifts for the children. Squeals of delight greeted him and there was a rush to shake his hands, and best of all, he recognised one little girl, Kay King, whom he had seen before in the United States. The children were truly happy.

“In the evening, a well rendered programme of classic items delighted a full audience. In choral speaking, folk songs and individual items, it was hard to choose the best, but I heard special mention of Sherry Dale Bodden’s poem of the silly ‘Matilda’ of ‘No John’ by Sherry Dale and Audley Scott, Jr. and ‘Soldier, Will You Marry Me?’ by Dave Christian and Betty Ebanks with Robert Hurlstone as narrator, and the folk songs.

“‘Well Done!’ is due to the older boys of the school for painting the floor and revarnishing the piano.

“Spot Bay School on Friday evening, the 16th, offered a fine variety in programme. To a usual packed-to-capacity audience for Spot Bay programmes, Mr. Trevor Foster was the chairman. Added to the concert items was a teenage dress parade, children’s costume parade and a prizegiving. Mrs. Shirley Ryan, wife of the head teacher of West End School, presented the prizes. Judges for the events were Reba Foster, Gwen Hayes and Sheila Ritch. Awards were as follows:

“Corrin McLean as ‘Judge’ in the mime ‘The Seven Ages of Man;’ Denzil Dacres as ‘Cobbler’ in the play ‘The Cobbler and the Shoes;’ Dress parade – Dian Dewdney, Model, and Evry McCoy, Seamstress; Costume Parade – the “Egg Plant,” Maxine McCoy and designer and her mother, Mrs. Sam McCoy.

“To all three schools, the public of Cayman Brac and of Grand Cayman and other friends in Jamaica have been extremely generous in their support with prize funds in kind and money, and all three PTAs wish to extend a very sincere ‘Thank You.’”

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