September 28, 2021

The Editor speaks: The revamp 40th celebration to Davy Jones’ Locker

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As all Pirates of the Caribbean enthusiasts know (and there are millions) Davy Jones’ Locker is an “idiom for the bottom of the sea: the state of death among drowned sailors and shipwrecks. It is used as a euphemism for drowning or shipwrecks in which the sailor(s)’s and/or ship(s)’s remains are consigned to the bottom of the sea (to be sent to Davy Jones’s Locker). – Wikipedia

Davy Jones is a fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, portrayed by Bill Nighy. He appears in the second film, Dead Man’s Chest and returns in the series’ third installment, At World’s End. He is the captain of the Flying Dutchman (based on the ghost ship of the same name).

The computer-generated imagery used to complete Jones was named by Entertainment Weekly as the tenth favorite computer generated film character in film history, only behind King Kong in 2007.[3] The work on Davy Jones by Industrial Light and Magic earned them the 2006 Academy Award for Visual Effects for Dead Man’s Chest.

The character is based on the superstition of Davy Jones’ Locker. In contrast to the historical legends, the film’s Jones is a villain. – Wikipedia

When I first arrived here on Grand Cayman 35 years ago, Pirates Week was the most exciting event of the year. For months people were talking about it. And from its supposed “7 Day Week” it actually was 9 days. 39 years later the event spread to 12 days.

So in 2017 we have now reached 40 YEARS! Wow! And to celebrate this milestone the Pirates Week office have announced a complete revamp!!

Of course. Forty years is something special. And with a general election before the event and the District Days brimming with revamped old blood and some new blood from the newly elected MLA’s I was looking forward to a new look when I did my annual crusade to these parts I rarely visited the rest of the year.

With eagerness I looked through the Pirates Week Office announcement to see what the revamping was going to be….

“It’s hard to believe but Pirates’ Week is 40 years old this year.  Four decades of celebrations have seen this event grow from an initiative, conceived to give tourism a boost in 1977, to becoming the country’s largest national festival, attracting countless guests from all over the world.

“Celebrating the colourful history, culture and heritage of our three beautiful islands, this festival provides the perfect backdrop to showcase our true heritage, tradition and display our unique ‘Cayman Kind’ pride.

“Not content to stand still and regurgitate the same winning formula, this festival has constantly evolved and grown to provide guests, who make their annual pilgrimage to the festival from near and far, an opportunity to savour something new.  This year is no exception and for our 40th  Anniversary, all of the districts of Grand Cayman will come together in George Town to celebrate one mammoth Heritage Day on Monday 13th November.”

OK. So far so good. Read on:

“Spectators will have the opportunity to wander from West Bay to East End in just a few steps, while stopping off at George Town, Bodden Town and North Side along the way.  Food stalls, entertainment stages, traditional crafts and more will delight and dazzle as our districts compete for the top spot! 

“As a result of this Heritage Day Spectacular, this special anniversary festival will be marked by a new exciting FIVE day festival format, commencing on 9th November until the 13th November.” 

Over the past years, since Dave Martins departed, and the new brooms that came in to sweep away what remained from the Mike Lockwood years we have seen a steady decline in the quality and magnitude of the “WEEK’S” events, most notably the Pirates Week Landing, that in 2015 I thought couldn’t get worse until I saw last year’s, and some of the District Day’s events. It was apparent the planning was very last minute.

And why the Department of Tourism have not jumped on the colossal success of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” Franchise to push our own “Pirates Week” has made absolutely no sense at all.

And for the Pirates Week Office to tout a FIVE DAY celebration as a wonderful and exciting revamp, even the paid staff there must have been pushing their tongue in their cheek at this lie.

I blame successive governments for political appointments in pushing inexperienced persons to top paid positions to run the festival who have never even been part of it. It would be like electing a president of a country who has never held any political office. However, at least there this president has around him (or her) people with the necessary experience to guide.

Here, the new brooms sweep all the experience that does exist away.

And you see the result. The businesses do not want to be part of it anymore. And hopefully the visitors who do come are listening to what happened in the years before the new brooms came in. Now these brooms have less sweeping up to do to celebrate the 40 year anniversary.

They can sweep all of it down to Davy Jones’ Locker to finally die for good.

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