Looking back in time: Beauty queens and pirate kings

From left, Chief Pirate Mike Lockwood, Miss Cayman World 1988 Melisa McTaggart Thompson, and Pirate King Hurley Merren. - Photo: Supplied by Melisa McTaggart Thompson

Everyone talks about the ‘good old days’ when times were simpler. Take a look at this picture from yesteryear and see if you can spot places, people and scenes you recognise.

Pirates Week (1988)
It was only recently that I posted some images from Pirates Week of yesteryear in this nostalgic section, but I couldn’t resist publishing these ’80s pics, with kind permission from Melisa McTaggart Thompson.

Melisa McTaggart Thompson as Miss Cayman World in the 1988 Pirates Week parade. – Photo: Paul Buford

Melisa was Miss Cayman World in 1988, which also meant she was an official participant in the Pirates Week Parade. In that same year, Hurley Merren (yes, the same legendary entrepreneur for whom Hurley’s supermarket is named) was the official Pirate King.

Pirates Week had only been going for 11 years by 1988, but it already had a strong fan base of local and international buccaneers. It only grew from there, with Chief Pirate Mike Lockwood leading the charge.

Hurley Merren as the Pirate King with Melisa McTaggart Thompson in a matching regal outfit.

Since the early days, many new events have been added, such as the Cardboard Boat Race, but there is no doubt that the Pirates Landing and Parade are two highlights of the annual festival, still going strong after all this time.

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Pirates Week 2021 starts in Cayman Brac on 5 Nov., moving to Grand Cayman on 11 Nov. and ending in Little Cayman on 21 Nov.

If you have some old photos that you’d like to submit, we’d love to see them to consider them for publication. Be sure to include the credit for the image and any information you have about it. Email to [email protected].

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