What will tomorrow bring?

In another time in my life, when I was domiciled in Grand Cayman, I wrote a musical about the early beginnings of development in that country (the 1950s) when the first major tourism hotel, financed by UK money, was going up on the island’s now famous Seven Mile Beach.  One of the songs in that show dealt with the concern among some Caymanians back then for what changes lay ahead.  For a variety of reasons outside of me, the musical was never staged in Cayman, but going through it in recent days, it struck me, with oil revenue looming here, that the concerns being expressed by Guyanese now are eerily similar to the ones being raised in another time, in another place, by another people; the parallels are so vivid.

As Guyana is now, the Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman) was a poor country at the time.  With no sugar estates, or major agricultural potential, most of the country’s male population became seamen working on the high seas for international companies.  The money they sent home went to maintain households, and to gradually build homes, in a time when the Cayman was a dependency of Jamaica, under the domain of the English Governor ruling Jamaica.  Apart from some thatch rope used in the fishing industry in the Caribbean, Cayman had no exports, and times were very hard.  With no drainage, and a swampy interior, the place was a mosquito haven.  Bonfires had to be kept going all night in the rainy season to control the insects which were a menace to the country’s cows and other animals, and even in the daytime schoolchildren sometimes went to school carrying a home-made smoke-pot.  The burden of this lean and very difficult period in the country’s history only began to lift in the 1950s with the stirrings of tourism, drawing on the islands’ astonishingly clear seawater and alluring beaches, plus its location only 500 miles away from the USA with that market of eager affluent travellers. ….

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Laughter as medicine

As a voracious reader going back to my school days at Saints (Stanley Greaves had introduced me to the British Council Library to my delight), I remember once being struck by a comment from then US President John Kennedy which went something like this: “Mankind has two things he can draw on to deal with life’s many problems: one is God and the other one is sense of humour.

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Calypso contortions

With Mashramani in the air in Guyana and Carnival winding down in Trinidad, the subject of calypso is once again in the air. 

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A long way to go

I cannot recall who invited me, but approximately a year or so ago I was in the audience when Trinidadian Dr Keith Nurse gave a sterling presentation here dealing with regional issues relating to Caricom. 

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We can’t pick and choose

More and more that’s how I feel: that the traumas besetting mankind around the globe that we complain about are not about to abate.

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Bright spots in the gloom

Anywhere we live, mankind has pressing issues to deal with – it’s not just Guyana – and everywhere as well, there are bright spots in the gloom. 

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