50 years ago: Inaugural phone call connects Creek to Brac grid

In the April 12, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, Cayman Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch wrote:

“‘Hullo … Yes, Mr. Foster, Constable McLaughlin here, sir, at the police station … Yes, congratulations! … It is a pleasure to speak by telephone … giving you the first call … a very vital service!’

“At four minutes to 12 noon on Thursday, March 31, this conversation recorded the connection of subscribers in the Creek area into the local telephone system.

“Over the past month, on the road, the line gang of Cable & Wireless (W.I.) Ltd., under linesman Hinton Connolly, has been working daily up through the eastern district erecting the cable, and are now in Spot Bay. Following behind are workmen Steve Bodden and Joel Scott jointing the cable, and this expedition has enabled complete installation as far as the Creek area.

“Similarly, Mr. Peter Forestal and Marconi Development engineers Dudley Currah, Michael Haygreen and Edward Satchell have been working on the Tropospheric Scatter System …

“Constitution modifications: On Tuesday evening, March 28, Captain K.P. Tibbetts held a meeting at the Spot Bay School House. In the chair was Capt. Mabry Kirkconnell who ably carried out his duty of inviting the opinions of the audience. Captain Tibbetts explained the proposals and related them to existing procedure …

“The chairman’s call for a show of hands for the decision brought a unanimous response to ‘All in favour that we should remain in the present constitution.’

“Funeral services were held for Mrs. Adona Dilbert at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Creek, on Tuesday afternoon, March 21. A full church of relatives and friends paid their last respects …

“Mrs. Dilbert was born Aug. 23, 1884, Adona Hazel in Lucea, Hanover, Jamaica. She came here as a young nursemaid to Captain Ely and Mrs. Anna Ritch. May 3, 1904, she married Theophilius van Buren Dilbert and bore seven children. She is survived by her husband, daughters, Elethea Solomon of Brooklyn, New York, Mrs. Cynthia Roche of Kingston, Mrs. Mildred Scott of Grand Cayman and three sons, Erlington at sea, Gladstone and Gleniston of Watering Place, 33 grand and 11 great-grandchildren …

“Olive, Mrs. Kitchener Conolly, died at her home at the Creek surrounded by her children and faithful friends on April 3. She had been ailing for a long while and it was on Easter Sunday that she became suddenly worse and the family were advised medically that her condition was grave. She was a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the funeral service was led by Rev. Lee King assisted by Mr. W. Taylor Foster and Rev. Randall Douglas.”

“Olive Carolina Conolly was born in Nassau, Bahamas on Sept. 6 1915. She was united in marriage to Henry Kitchener Conolly on Oct. 5, 1934 at Creek, Cayman Brac. To this union were born eight children. One daughter preceded her in death. She leaves to mourn her loss her husband, who is on the Baretta at sea, six daughters – Sybil, Mrs. Frank Jackson, Idalee, Mrs. Eddy Scott, Patricia, Mrs. George Jackson, Carrie and Pamela, two sons – Hinton of Cable & Wireless (W.I.) Ltd. and Mansfield (at sea), 17 grandchildren and other relatives in the Bahamas.”