50 years ago: Flying foursome and a red-hot calypso show

In the Feb. 8, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, news from George Town included:

“An adventurous foursome landed their tiny Cessna Skyhawk at Owen Roberts Airfield a fortnight ago, marking the halfway point of a round-trip flight from Victoria, British Columbia.

“Aboard the green and white four seater aeroplane were Dr. and Mrs. Godfrey Paul and Mr. and Mrs. Al Rowat, all of whom would rather fly than eat, it would seem. Dr. Paul is a medical doctor in Victoria while Mr. Rowat is a commercial pilot in that city.

“The trip, they said, took seven days, entailing 30 hours of flying, during which they had to dodge a number of storms and a huge weather front which built up before then as they flew across the U.S.

“The Pauls, who own property in Grand Cayman, revealed they had a very special purpose – other than a lovely, warm vacation – in coming here this time.

“‘We have become the Cessna aeroplane agents for the island and, eventually, we’d like to see a flying school here,’ Dr. Paul said.

“‘Is there a call for such a school here? We don’t know – but we’ll find out,’ he added.”

In the same edition, Birney Jarvis reported:

“The hottest show to hit the Islands this season brought a standing ovation from a crowd of over 300 at the Coral Caymanian last week in the first of a three-show series.

“Wriggling and shaking to the music of the Infernaires, the Calypso Chorus Girls, three curvaceous showgirls from Jamaica stole the show with their renditions of calypso and limbo dances.

“Prince Al Bent, barechested and barefooted in calypso style, emceed the affair which began at 11 p.m. on both Monday and Wednesday nights at the Coral Caymanian, with a stopover Tuesday night at the Caribbean Club.

“Lord Bromo – ‘Mr. Calypso’ as he’s known to his friends – entertained the attentive audience with the latest in song and, not to be outdone, a painted fierce Prince Zamba, who was literally the hottest item of the show, leaped about the dance floor with flaming torches, pausing occasionally to swallow flame and light cigarettes with fire blown from his mouth.

“In his third evening of entertainment, Prince Zamba entranced the onlookers with a demonstration of walking on broken glass and topped it off by munching on a broken bottle of Red Stripe …

“Thoroughly enjoying the ‘Best of Jamaica’ was Mr. S.E. Nembhard, manager of Cayman’s Infernaires. Mr. Nembhard sat at ringside on the floor, along with the best of the Caymanian staff and encouraged the troupers with cheers and hand claps.

“Mr. and Mrs. Show Business (known locally as Brendon ‘n Patricia) garnered a cheer from the appreciative crowd with their specialty dances – darned good for a couple of youngsters, it was mutually agreed.

“At a back table, thoughtful but no less attentive, was Mr. John Zullo, agent for the Coral Caymanian, who brought the show – probably the first of its kind on the Island – to Cayman. Mr. Zullo, since arriving to take over the operation of the hotel, has had tremendous success with his tri-weekly dances, bringing in crowds of over 200.

“A surprise in the evening’s extravaganza was an unexpected door prize which put a donation from Clarence Flowers, Crewe Road blockmaker, in the charming hands of Miss Ethel Bush. The winning ticket was picked by a beautiful young lass named Sonja Wright, from Cayman Brac. A case of beer, donated by Oscar B. Webb, Tailor, was tossed into the willing arms of Mr. David Parchment, as well.

“Last act of the evening was a rousing limbo dance by Elaine Henry, Judith Mowatt and Princess Estralleta (the Calypso Chorus Girls) with the limbo stick ably held by Prince Al Bent, a man of many talents, and Lord Bromo.

“In a grand final to the limbo dancing, the audience was invited by the performers to participate and first under the stick was a young man from Cayman, Mr. Edgar Merren, who outdid even the entertainers with the stick held a mere 12 inches from the floor.”

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