50 years ago: Winter guests warmly welcomed

In the Feb. 1, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Cayman Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch wrote:

“Mrs. Bertha and Mr. Alton Ritch … are the guests of their sister–in–law and aunt Mrs. Gladys Ritch of Creek. Mrs. Bertha with her late husband Bismarck and their family went away to Jamaica 25 years ago. Planning now to join her children in the USA, she is here for the winter. She is the mother of Mr. Cyril Ritch of National Bulk Carriers Inc. Alton, in the family trade of shipwright carpenter, has been gone 27 years. He has served with Belmont Dry Dock building sub-chasers during World War II, and for 10 years in British Guiana first as assistant and then as Dock Master for Sprostons Ltd. He has also been a seaman with National Bulk Carriers Ltd. Latterly he has been building boats in Jamaica. He greatly admires the advances that have been made in the island.

“The tourist winter season at the Buccaneer’s Inn began Jan. 15. Back again for their second visit were Mr. and Mrs. Holland V. Williams of Buffalo, New York.

“‘We love the Brac, love the quietness and we have never seen such cleanliness. We have received nothing but friendliness from all the islanders. Your problem is – How far do you want to progress?’

“Sunday 15th through Friday last was a time of revival for the Church of God (Holiness) with a visit by Rev. I.C. Holland of the Swope Parkway and Brooklyn Church of Kansas City, Missouri. Morning meetings at 10:00 were uplifting and inspiring. The evening evangelistic services were packed. Pastor Holland’s bass added much to the service in song. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the church, and he brought greetings from the Watkins family to all the friends of Cayman Brac.

“Miss Barbara Ebanks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Ebanks of the Point, returned looking very happy after eight months visiting with friends Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Smith of New Canaan, Connecticut, USA. Asked what she enjoyed best, Barbara quickly replied, ‘The goodness of my friends, and I loved going to New York, the big city – and the snow.’

“Mr. Vendrize Foster of St. Petersburg, son of the late Capt. Wade Taylor and Mrs. Magdalen Foster, is a retired Panama Canal employee, U.S. Government. History conscious – I found it interesting that his given names, Vendrize Edginton, date the occasion of a British survey of the island by Judge Vendrize and Mr. Edginton, an engineer assisting him. They arrived here from England via Jamaica en route to Grand Cayman. The Master/Owner of the vessel, Captain Taylor, brought them ashore to his home. They found his newborn son, one hour old. The visitors asked that he be given their surnames. The date – Dec. 1, 1893.

“P.S. In connection with the Graduation at Spot Bay School, Mrs. Otis Christian made a gift of pencils and rulers to the graduating class.”

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