50 years ago: Strike halts airport work for three days

In the Jan. 25, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, news from George Town included:

“A labour walkout of 90 percent of the staff at Caribbean Asphalt Co. Ltd. last week halted the company’s operation [at the Airport] for three days, the Caymanian has learned.

“The walkout stemmed from the refusal of management to demands for higher wages for labourers and plant operators, according to Fred Cartwright, Director of the firm.

“The men, he said, were earning 5 shillings 5 pence per hour, or 2 pounds 3 shillings 4 pence per day, which is a standard wage for such labour in Grand Cayman. Most of the men, it was pointed out, earn more than this with their overtime salary.”

Other news included:

“A few member hotels connected with the Cayman Islands Hotel Association have – as a result of the visit here last week of a number of tourism promoters – decided to admit tour operators on a trial basis, the Caymanian has learned.

“The Hotel Association, a spokesman said, has in the past adhered to a policy of not dealing with tour operators because of ‘communications difficulties.’ Some Association members now feel that these difficulties can be overcome through more extensive use of North American hotel representatives.

“This could be a boon to tourism here – and to Cayman,’ the spokesman said.

“The Hotel Association also announced that a new President was elected at last week’s meeting. Mr. Bob Brenton, Manager of Cayman Kai, succeeded Mr. John Hatch, Beach Club, as President of the Association for the next year.

“Vice President elect is Mr. Ted Henson of La Fontaine, Secretary, Mrs. Jeanne Brenton who was re-elected to the office, Treasurer, Mr. Tony Le Grice, Royal Bank of Canada, and Parliamentarian, Mr. A.J. Scott, of Jacques Scott and Co. Ltd., Imports ….

“The Coral Caymanian Hotel will have its grand opening next Monday, offering theatrical entertainment featuring Prince Zamba (from Nassau) and Lord Bromo, better known as ‘Mr. Calypso’ and a dance with music by the Infernaires.

“Mr. John Zullo, agent for the hotel, said the entertainment will also include a charming lady named ‘Estrelita’ the Calypso Chorus Girls and Brendon n’ Patricia – adding up to an enjoyable evening in thatch decor.

“The troupe, known as ‘Calypso Island – the most exciting show in the West Indies’ will be at the Coral Caymanian two nights, opening night and on Wednesday, with the dance beginning at 9 p.m. and the show scheduled for 11 p.m. Cover charge will be 12 shillings. Dress – white shirt for the gentlemen.

“The five year old hotel, now under new management, is presently being renovated, but Mr. Zullo said rooms are available. Dinner will not be served at the hotel this season, however.”

In the same issue, George Town correspondent Frances Bodden wrote:

“Please note that sodium chloride treatment for children may be obtained from the dental clinic. Parents are urged to have the bottles refilled at their earliest convenience as this treatment is not only essential but most beneficial. Mrs. Hebe Massias, the dental nurse is on duty at the clinic daily as from 8 a.m. until 12 noon …

“Mr. Ethon Lowe, student of the University of West Indies, arrived on the 20th to collect lizards for Harvard University. He will visit Cayman Brac and Little Cayman before returning to Jamaica. We welcome this zoologist and hope that his mission will be successful and that he will enjoy his brief stay here.

“We note with pleasure the repairs being made to the highway leading up to George Town and do sincerely trust that an effort will be made to repair the awful potholes near the Royal Bank of Canada, Mr. Fossie Arch’s store and outside Miss Amy Bodden’s house on South Church Street. Thank you in anticipation …

“Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Joyce left for Jamaica on the 21st by jet, also Miss Cynthia Jackson.”

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