50 years ago: Queen’s Badge for three; New Year’s Eve parties

This week in Cayman

In the Jan. 4, 1968 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the following brief story appeared on the front page:

“In the name of Her Majesty the Queen, His Honour the Administrator has been pleased to confer the award of The Queen’s Badge and Certificate of Honour on Waide Taylor Foster, J.P., Joyce Sybil Hylton, and Ira Loradine Thompson.

“We heartily congratulate these recipients who all well deserve the acknowledgement of their service which this award represents.”

The edition also included a front page article titled “New Year’s roundup,” which detailed the parties and events that occurred over the new year holiday.

“At the hotels and nightclubs, residents and visitors combined to eat good food, enjoy and dance to gay music, and generally to greet 1968 in jolly mood with laughter and gaiety.

“Galleon Beach Hotel’s ‘International Night’ with its wide variety of gourmet dishes set the merry pace with which their many patrons greeted the New Year. The hotel was overcrowded with happy-go-lucky revellers and the dance really ‘swung.’ There was never a dull moment.

“The Tornadoes played lively music and for most of the night, tables and chairs were continually left empty as the dance floor became crowded.

“La Fontaine’s guests joined in ‘Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot’ to the strains of Lord Tiger, the resident entertainer, on his guitar, and Edgar Merren entertained with a demonstration of the Limbo.

“At Coral Caymanian Hotel, there was a private party arranged by Paul Harris and Geoffrey Kennedy, where the New Year was greeted in a jovial manner and the birthday of Peter Ball was celebrated.

“The Caribbean Club had a happy celebration for the guests in the villas and those who had made dinner reservations. After a cocktail party from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., a buffet dinner was served and as midnight struck, there was the usual New Year fanfare with noisemakers, singing and general conviviality.

“Visitors to Club Inferno had a riotous time, with dancing to the Kiemanaires, whistles, favours and all the trappings associated with this occasion. However, what will be especially remembered by all who attended was the marvellous spectacle when, at midnight, petroleum oil which had been poured over the cliff known as ‘Hell’ was set alight and there was a mighty conflagration, which was very impressive and quite exciting to see.”

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  1. Thank you Cayman Compass, for regularly publishing examples of Caymanian life from fifty (and more) years ago from the the Caymanian Weekly. While such excerpts are historically interesting, they prove that life in Cayman was active, relatively prosperous and contemporary fifty years ago, dispelling the belief of many who presently reside here or visit, that we were living in grass huts and eating nothing but fish, and that our “progress” is solely based on relatively recent “contributions” by that demographic!

    I was a pre-teen in the late 1960’s and I recall a Cayman which was never boring for children, safer for everyone, more community oriented and generally a happier place to live than we presently experience.

  2. Kerith you are so correct. I arrived in 1968 when life was so much simpler. We all got on well, expat or local and we helped and respected each other. The 70s were good and 80s were not bad , then greed crept in. Cayman has never been the same since. Unfortunately we cannot turn the clock back but at least my memories of those happy days are still imbedded in my mind.