50 years ago: Holiday church programs celebrate the yuletide season

In the Jan. 4, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Cayman Brac correspondent Lillian Ritch wrote:

“The Yuletide season in Cayman Brac passed quietly and peacefully with a general air of thankful contentment. A new note in the spirit of giving fell gently on the ear as some very needy ones in our midst received a Christmas package made up by local welfare thinkers. We are told that the merchants contributed generously and a group of ladies under the leadership of our District Commissioner’s wife, Mrs. Reba Foster, assisted by Mrs. Maud Jervis and Mrs. Vernice Tibbetts distributed the gifts.

“Programmes were given in all the churches and were refreshing and inspiring.

“On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus was in the Eastern District at K.P. Tibbetts’ store, and the children really enjoyed getting close to him. He threw them candies. For the adults he had value prizes, first 3 pounds’ worth, second 2 pounds’ worth. During Friday and Saturday, customers received a ticket for every 20 shilling purchase. The winners drawn by Santa Claus were: Ladies – 1st place, Mrs. Estella Brown of Watering Place; 2nd place, Mrs. Ellen Yap of Creek. Gents – 1st place, Dwaine McLaughlin of Spot Bay; 2nd place, David Bryan of North East Bay.

“To complete the evening, Christmas music filled the air, floating down from the deco of the Trial, Capt. Keith’s newly constructed boat resting on her stocks on the northern side of the road. Mr. Teddy Tibbetts of St. Petersburg, who is best known for his talent in church music, was expressing his happiness in being ‘home’ on the piano accordion.

“On Monday, 26th, Spot Bay enjoyed an all day birthday party in which nearly everyone in the island seemed to have partaken. The Christmas birthday party of Mr. Daniel Lewis has become traditional. ‘Uncle Dan,’ as he is affectionately known, attained his 74th year. Of the old rugged stock, he is as active as ever as fisherman, farmer and cattle rearer.

“The fishing boats Foster Ranger and Foster Runner came home for the holidays. Owned by the brothers Capts. Curwin and Lewis Foster of West End and Kingston, and mastered by the brothers Capts. Joseph (Jerry) and Orin (Shae Shae) Allenger of Spot Bay. We give a greeting to the owners and captains and their families, all of whom spent the Christmas here.

“The Ranger in coming from Jamaica brought some ground provisions, season and green vegetables to add to the Christmas fare, both vessels are fishing around home waters, offsetting the negation of the Northeasterly winds. The boats scale fish on the Mosquito Banks for the Jamaica market.

“We greet our youngsters who attend school overseas and who came home on holiday and encourage them to press on with their opportunities of secondary education. Students of the Secondary Grammar School are Sharon Brown, Barbara Bodden, Daphne Porter and Carolyn Tatum of Spot Bay and Marilyn Ebanks of Watering Place. Home from Tampa, Florida and vacationing with their grandparents, we have been glad to see Julie of the Edson Tibbetts’ family, and Donald Bodden with Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hurlston, all of Cotton Tree Bay. We wish Karon Ritch and Jennifer Foster of West End a happy new term at Hampton, Jamaica. Best wishes also go with Shernette, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cleary Walton of Spot Bay, as she returns to school in Jamaica.

“Welcome ‘home,’ Nurse Gwen Service after spending a family Christmas in Jamaica and Dr. and Mrs. Roy Herram of Rochester, New York, who have come for their winter stay.

“‘Is your place a small one? Tend it with care! He put you there!’ – John Oxenham.

“Happy New Year!”

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