November 25, 2020

Progressives to fight in West Bay

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boxing_giant Let the fight begin. “Are you ready to tumble?”

It seems the People’s Progressive Movement – “The Progressives” – (PPM) are in training in West Bay getting ready for the “punch up” on Wednesday May 22nd.

Members of the PPM West Bay Branch confirmed last Thursday (7) the nomination of three people to run in the district for the first time on the Progressive’s ticket.

The PPM announced that Woody DaCosta, Ray Farrington and Captain Bryan Ebanks were confirmed as the their candidates to fight for the four available seats in West Bay. The party is still hoping to field a fourth candidate but this last person has not yet been nominated.

With the United Democratic Party (UDP) in their stronghold of West Bay now split with two of its prominent members, Cabinet Ministers Ralston Anglin and Cline Glidden, leaving the party, it has left a door wide open for all comers to try and enter.

As the Star Trek commander announced, “To go where no man [or woman] has gone before,” the UDP leader and past Cayman Islands premier will be struggling to steer his ship without any intruders coming through the door.

However, if it were a straight fight between the UDP and the PPM, the door would have been open very wide indeed. However, the anti-McKeeva Bush vote will be divided between the PPM candidates, the two Coalition for Cayman candidates, the probable two sitting Cabinet Ministers and other independents.

The fight is going to be very difficult and the favourite is still the UDP. The door just isn’t wide enough to accommodate anyone else.

Profiles of West Bay candidates

Woody DaCosta Dec 2012webWoodward “Woody” DaCosta

“Woody’” DaCosta is a West Bayer to the core. Born and raised on the Bay, he learnt many of life’s lessons and values from the stalwarts of his close-knit community, but none more so than from his parents who owned the Silver Sands Cafe and Miss Inez’s Dry Goods Store.

Along with his siblings he learnt the value of hard work from an early age, working in his parents’ small businesses from the tender age of ten. The importance, learnt on the Bay, of knowing your customer is a lesson that he has taken with him throughout his working life.

Woody holds fast to the old adage “education is the greatest equalizer” his parents inculcated in to him and his siblings. He holds several certifications in the fields of Hospitality, Real Property and Project Management and now he is on the cusp of obtaining his Masters in International Business Law (LLM). Woody has diligently been an active Trustee of the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) in excess of seven years, and is a Founding Member and Director of the Cayman Islands Youth Development Consortium (CIYDC) pioneers of the afterschool programmes currently featured in all of the public schools, which was piloted right here in West Bay at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in 2010.

“Having been fortune to be exposed to so many facets of business,” he says, “from international relations to the art of negotiation.” Led him to open his own Property Management and Consulting Firm in partnership with his wife, Shirley. He has also branched out into Financial Services, Real Estate Sales and Development, Construction, Janitorial and Food Service.

As a true patriot, Woody has a deep and abiding desire to give back to his country and to his community. “I believe that public service as a representative of my fellow West Bayers is the best way for me to serve my country,” he says. “I want to make sure that my fellow Caymanians have opportunities to be gainfully employed to make a better life for their children and grandchildren for generations to come.”

“I have joined with the Progressives because I share their vision of creating opportunities for Caymanians to share in the wealth of our country. Education to meet the needs of the work place is going to be very important if we are to take our place alongside the many skilled workers who come here from all over the world. Caymanians too will have to realize that nothing beats honest work for honest and reasonable pay,” Woody asserts. “We cannot as a people sit back and let others come in to our country to work at all levels and then say we are being pushed aside. Any prudent, forward thinking Government must prepare its citizens to seize the opportunities available to them. The Progressives did start this during their last term in office and they have a clear plan to continue and accelerate the development of our human capital. We are a service economy. If we are to share in the wealth created by the service industries we must train and educate Caymanians to grasp the opportunities at all levels.”

Growing up by the sea, Woody is also passionate about preserving the environment for future generations. “We have a duty to make our environment sustainable. As a small island nation we are too vulnerable to the effects of global warming not to do all in our power to preserve and protect the place we live in today,” he says.

West Bay is in many ways a microcosm of Grand Cayman. Its constituents range from the well off to the less fortunate members of society and Woody can relate to all of them and their interests and concerns. He is passionate about giving a hand up to the less fortunate so that they can break out of the cycle of poverty. “It is important for people to be financially independent and not have to depend on handouts from politicians to survive,” Woody says. “I am a firm believer in the old adage that it is better to teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime than give a man a fish and feed him for a day,” he says.

“This is a new century,” he says, “and we need new ways of doing things efficiently and creatively if we are to be ready when the growth cycle returns.

Rayburn Farrington Jr. 2013Rayburn Farrington Jr.

Ray Farrington has been a member of the People’s Progressive Movement since its inception and has served the organisation in several capacities, including second Vice Chairman and he is currently the General Secretary. He was also instrumental in starting the West Bay branch of the PPM. He is therefore a natural choice to join the Progressives’ West Bay team that will be contesting the coming election.

Born  and  raised  in  West  Bay,  Ray’s  greatest  concern  for  Caymanians  in general, but the people of West Bay in particular, is the culture developed and nurtured by some politicians of converting people to dependence on political patronage  for  their  survival.  He  is  saddened  by  this  manipulation  of  his district and he is passionate about giving West Bayers the opportunity to help themselves through training, education and fair access.

“We need to restore a sense of pride in Caymanians and rebuild their self- confidence to be successful players in the economy,” Ray said. “It is wrong for politicians to take that away from them for the sake of a vote.”

Ray’s approach to problem solving is conditioned by the degree in data processing which he obtained at Sunderland University, and his subsequent experience in government’s Computer Services Department followed by a leading financial institution where he worked his way up to become part of the management team, first in the capacity of Information Systems Manager and now as head of the Premises department. He is a logical thinker and straight talker who believes that many of the residents of West Bay are being left out and left behind by a government that is only interested in its own survival.

True to his beliefs in promoting self-sufficiency, Ray was instrumental in initiating the ongoing National Mentoring Programme through the Chamber of Commerce; and also served as a mentor for a few years. He assisted the Cayman Prep and High School PTA in various roles, including president.

Ray was involved in the formation of the national squash association and various other voluntary committees.

“This government has gone about so many things in the wrong way,” said Ray. “They are an embarrassment. We are accustomed to a higher standard of governance than this. The Progressives will certainly return transparency and good governance to the affairs of state when we are returned to office.”

Ray is no stranger to commitment, he has been married to Jacqui for 26 years and they are the loving parents of one son.

Captain Bryan EbanksCapt. N. Bryan Ebanks

Capt. Bryan Ebanks is a man on a mission – a mission to bring proper representation to the good people of West Bay. “It has been too long since the little man and the working class have had good representation,” he says. “The people of West Bay have been taken for granted by their representatives for too long. Dispensing political largesse ever so often is not real representation. Where is the commitment to empower our young people, to strengthen families, to build our communities?”

As a man of the sea, Capt. Bryan knows the importance of teaching a man how to fish so that he can feed himself. He started his working life as a fisherman, which gave him the stake he needed to move into the restaurant business. For many years he successfully ran Capt. Bryan’s Restaurant in Georgetown.

The call of the sea was too strong however, and he eventually returned to his first love opening a fishing and snorkeling business catering to the hospitality industry that has grown to five boats.

Capt. Bryan strongly believes that our tourism product, which is supposed to be a Cayman experience, needs more Caymanians to be involved. “Let us concentrate on filling the available tourism jobs with Caymanians,” he says. “To do this we must provide the necessary training for our people at all levels to give them a stake in what is widely regarded as a world-class tourism product. Other destinations in the Caribbean have done so with great success and there is no reason why we cannot do likewise.”

Capt. Bryan is equally passionate about the future of the young people of West Bay. “We must develop programmes to train and re-train our young people so that they can take advantage of jobs they have not previously had access to. Gainful employment is the best way to keep our young people out of trouble. For those who have fallen afoul of the law we must implement progammes for first time offenders as an alternate to incarceration. Mandatory community service and training are viable options for decreasing recidivism and keeping our young people away from hardened criminals and the stigma of having a criminal record,” he says. “We must do better by our young people if our country is to continue to prosper.”

Capt. Bryan has a long record of protecting the environment for future generations of Caymanians. He championed the cause for Save Cayman with a small group of supporters and was successful in facilitating a change in the position of the Government that resulted in stopping the dredging and destruction of the North Sound.  He is adamant that we preserve this natural resource for Caymanians to preserve the job opportunities in an industry that was created by Caymanians and has become known as the North Sound Industry.

He also wishes to see the rights of small operators in the tourism transportation sector protected and further opportunities for expansion introduced.


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