To some, the Terpsichorean muse – the mythical Greek goddess that inspires dance – beckons almost irresistibly. “Dancing policeman” Fabian O’Connor may be one of those fortunate souls.

Indeed, Officer O’Connor has boogied into the hearts of tourists and residents alike, with his lively traffic direction ensuring smooth flow of pedestrians and automobiles on George Town’s busy waterfront intersections. (We know, it’s not, by definition, dancing, but it sure is cousin-close to choreography.)

With his crisp white gloves and good-natured disposition, Officer O’Connor is upbeat and unflappable (a survival quality for someone standing in the middle of George Town intersections). May we be the first to nominate him as a worthy ambassador of these islands?

“Instead of shouting at them, you have to give them the action, a little flavor and a beautiful Cayman smile,” he told the Compass of the flocks he safely shepherds across the lanes of traffic. “They love it, and they proceed with the instruction.”

His self-described philosophy, of “safety first, entertainment second, and respect for everyone at all times” is good advice for all of us: People are attracted to, and respond to, positive people. Genuine smiles are among the most underrated tools of success.

If only Officer O’Connor could bring his whistle, white gloves and “people moving” skills a few paces inland to the Legislative Assembly, where the Compass is encouraging Cayman’s lawmakers to address our antiquated and obsolescent Music and Dance (Control) Law.

Who can forget (we know Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell would like to) this past New Year’s Eve, which fell on a Sunday, and, therefore, fell afoul of the above-mentioned statute. The result, of course, was that thousands of tourists in Cayman for the holidays were relegated to sitting on the sidelines of many a dance floor, waiting for the clock to tick 12:01 a.m. and the rock and rollin’ to begin.

Local restaurateurs, hoteliers, club owners and musicians on what should have been one of their busiest nights of the year were victims as well – financial victims.

Now is the ideal time for legislators to act, while the issue still is fresh in people’s minds, but with plenty of time (four years, 10 months, two weeks and a day – to be exact) before the no-Sunday dancing rule again threatens New Year’s Eve festivities.

We have heard the Cayman Ministers’ Association’s concerns about the potential disruptions to Cayman’s traditional Sabbath day. We have heard the wistful nostalgia of those who fondly remember quieter “olden times.”

While we respect those views, allowing entertainment venues to – well, entertain – their guests on Sundays need not infringe on anyone’s choice to spend their Sundays in peaceful religious reflection – or in euphonious choral celebrations in church. It simply recognizes the rights of everyone else.

For example, Cayman’s robust community of Seventh-day Adventists observes the Sabbath on Saturday, with no perceivable ill effects from the lack of governmental restrictions on music, dancing or alcohol among the general public on that day.

It also acknowledges the evolving nature of our islands. When the law was instituted decades ago, Cayman did not play host to millions of visitors each year. Nor did it serve as a home to residents of all faiths and backgrounds from all over the globe.

Any remnant concerns about the dangers of dancing on Sunday could be addressed in carefully crafted legislation. There is no reason that dancing and worshipping cannot peacefully coexist on Sundays, as they do in so many places around the world.

But that is not the note we want to close on. A far better one is to applaud Officer O’Connor and acknowledge the extra ray of sunshine he brings to those who visit our shores.

1 COMMENT

  1. Go one, then roll back the state. Allow bars to open when they want and dancing to take place 7 days a week, 24 hours a day – because business rules and the dollar is God.

    And when you do, you go to hell in a handcart.

  2. Please help me to grasp the correlation between a police officer being commended for his ambassadorial qualities and investment in the tourism product and safety to your bombardment of the legislated laws restricting alcohol/loud music Sunday activity?

    The Police Service has taken some serious hits recently and you finally have a story that shows there is good in there, that it’s not all bad and that there is a great official attraction added to our tourism product; your contribution to this in your editorial is to pollute it with your own agenda for revelry against established Christian and customary beliefs.

    Yes, please, maybe he is the one to go into the LA – from my recollection he said he went home and prayed to God for direction and came back to work as the greatest attraction in a long time. Maybe he is the right speaker for this motion.

    You have taken the positiveness of this editorial and shredded it.

  3. It is now the 21st century and at least in Cayman as in most civilized people have a right to believe in whatever god they want in whatever way they want or not believe at all. It is not really in the best interest of the country or the churches in it to impose values on people New years eve is new years eve and people want to celebrate and dance. We are not talking about Sunday morning in September. We are talking abour NYE. Get a grip The government should wake up and move into the 21st century and allow music and dancing on every NYE

  4. The connotation towards civility, Christianity and gods are somewhat uncorrelated.

    Nowhere can you associate partying to civilization. Nor can you associate Christianity with uncivilization .

    Please have a look at how many years in between that a NYE falls on a Sunday and you’ll see that it averages about every 5 years. During this time there is no impetus placed on the government to restrict the celebrations; it’s a free for all. Once every five years it falls into a give and take – you take 5 years of loud celebrations and give me one on Sunday to quietly enjoy- and at that juncture it becomes uncivilized? The only apparent lack of civility is that uncompromising approach.

    The issue is not that government has banned NYE celebrations; it’s that there is a wanton desire to have the secular presentations relentlessly and selfishly, regardless of what others may appreciate.

    I think the 5-1 is a pretty good deal. Any argument to that fact would only serve to say that there’s no will to compromise on the serving gods of alcohol, drugs, sex and other revelries of NYE celebrations and Jesus Christ, the constitutionally recognized God of this Cayman Islands and who will remain so, now and forevermore.

Comments are closed.