50 years ago: Final Pacific Western flight takes off

In the May 3, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, news from George Town included:

“The Pacific Western plane made her final call for the season last weekend.

“She flew back to Vancouver with the last batch of tourists who had been staying at the Galleon Beach Hotel on Saturday.

“This brings to an end another series of package deals arranged by the airline in conjunction with Grand Cayman Hotels Ltd.

“It has been good to have Canadian friends – many of whom visited us before – making return visits, including Bob Hutton – Top Dog – the morning man on Radio CKNW in Vancouver who interviewed the Caymanian editors for his programme, and also to make new friends from the cold north …

“The medical staff in the island has been enhanced this week with the arrival of Dr. Philip T. Smith, M.A. M.B. B. Chir. who comes from Bristol, England. He was trained at Cambridge University and at the University College Hospital in London and has been in the West Indies previously, having served one year in Montserrat.

“Dr. Smith, who took up duties soon after arrival, is working with Dr. Husband.

“Mrs. Smith, David aged 11 years and Simon 9 years, are due to arrive at the end of May.

“We welcome Dr. Smith and trust that his term of office here will be a pleasant one …

“Farewell to Jock – one of the friendliest and jolliest expatriates ever to come to work in the Cayman Islands [who departed] for Britain last Thursday morning.

“Mr. A.J. Grahame (Jock) came to Grand Cayman 15 months ago as Inspector of Works, working with Mr. S.G. Cook, resident engineer, for Scott and Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners, the consultants engaged in connection with the reconstruction of the Owen Roberts airfield.

“Within a few days ‘Jock’ had made many friends and endeared himself to the people of Cayman who appreciated his keen Scottish brand of humour and his jovial personality.

“He was born in Edinburgh but when he left he was headed for London and did not know where his next assignment would be.

“His farewell message was typical of him: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. The Caymanian people are now very dear friends of mine. I would like to say that I do not feel that I could go away without saying thank you to all the MLAs, government officials and to the people of the Cayman Islands for the wonderful way they took ‘our Jock’ into their hearts. It is with sadness that I now leave and would just say, in good Scots, Haste me back.’

“Mr. Stewart Cook, at present working … on our airport reconstruction has accepted the post of Director of Public Works for the Cayman Islands.

“Mr. Cook will not be able to take up this appointment until after the completion of the airport project and a short period of leave in Britain.

“He is expected to take over from Mr. Esterley Tibbetts, who will become Deputy Director, later this year.

“In view of the rapid development of the islands, the need of a qualified Civil Engineer in charge of our Public Works Department has long been acknowledged. Mr. Cook and his wife have made many friends here and it will be good to have them back after their holiday.”

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