Cayman National Cultural Foundation hopes sprucing up Miss Lassie’s old house will get people in the spirit of Christmas and keep Cayman traditions alive.
On Friday, volunteers spent the day re-enacting the days of old by tidying up the home and yard on South Church Street, and enjoying a traditional breakfast of porridge and fish tea.
“Preparing for Christmas was a big part of the Caymanian traditions,” said Marcia Muttoo, CNCF managing director who was assisting volunteers.
One of the paintings Miss Lassie did was called “Preparing for Christmas in the Yesteryears,” she added.
“Since Miss Lassie passed, that inspired us to have a responsibility to come out and prepare the property just a couple of weeks before Christmas Day,” Ms. Muttoo said.
They cleaned, dusted and wiped down every little thing and washed all the curtains and linens, she said.
They also weeded the yard, repainted the old house and the cisterns, and replenished the sand in the yard.
“We just try to live by the spirit of exactly how people used to get ready for Christmas in the yesteryears,” Ms. Muttoo said.
Volunteer Deston Powery helped sweep the yard and arrange conch shells to make the yard more attractive. He said he felt happy cleaning up Miss Lassie’s old house and helping to preserve some Caymanian history.
The late Gladwyn Bush, lovingly known as Miss Lassie, was a fourth generation Caymanian who owned and lived in the house built by her father between 1878 and 1881.
An intuitive artist, Miss Lassie began painting at the age of 62, after what she described as a visionary experience. She would mark her visions on the walls of the house, which is preserved by the CNCF today.
There will not be an event for Christmas at Miss Lassie’s house, but tours will continue in January, according to Ms. Muttoo.