December 2, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Messages of hope, help, love and Ezzard.

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We have had our share of Christmas and New Year’s messages from HM Queen Elizabeth II, HE Governor Duncan Taylor, Premier McKeeva Bush (2), Opposition Leader Hon. Alden McLaughlin and our Publisher, Joan Wilson. All the above were shown on CITN-Cayman 27, albeit when I watched the Christmas ones from the Governor, Premier and Opposition Leader at 12 noon, it was sound only as the video I was watching was of something else being repeated ad nauseam!

All the messages had a common thread – “hope” and “help”. HM The Queen centred on hope in times of adversity and Governor Taylor’s on ‘time’ and ‘helping others.’ Premier McKeeva Bush mentioned “love” and his UDP party giving “hope to our people in uncertain and hard economic times” in his first message. In his second message (on New Year’s Day) he also talked of “hope” and “turning it into reality” but it required “work” and “God helps those who help themselves.” There was certainly much to hope for as he gave a long list of all the projects that would hopefully come to fruition during 2012 and the groundwork and achievements Government had had in 2011. Alden McLaughlin believed the “birth of Christ still represents hope and promise and renewal.” He also spoke about helping others. Joan Wilson also spoke about helping others, never to give up and to make living a real blessing. She punched home the point that “leaders should lead” and “work together.” “We must put our “different opinions” aside.

Mrs. Wilson’s message was the only one that dwelt on the problems of crime and fear that has enveloped our society here over 2011. She asked these questions. “Is this really Cayman?” “Is this the country where I was born?”  She said she really wanted to cry when she saw what has happened to her beloved Cayman Islands.  She blamed it on us. “It is years of neglect and lack of moral teaching,” she opined. “Family life has almost disappeared. We are all so occupied with others above us on the money ladder.” And, children “mostly being cared for by a nanny and not taking enough time to talk to them. “Do we ever wonder what they are really doing with their time?” She said she  “even hesitated in preparing this Christmas message.”

Finishing, however, on an upbeat note, she believed 2012 would “herald in a new beginning” and mentioned all the good things that happened in 2011 e.g. beautiful weather (no hurricanes), blessed with a “beautiful blue ocean” and “our beaches are rated number one in the world.”

It is difficult for me to say this because Joan is my wife and it sounds as if I am biased. However, other people have remarked on it, too. Of all the speeches I heard, hers was not only the most passionate in content it was her delivery of the words. Her voice showed so much emotion. Her final words left all of us sitting at home watching in tears. She said:

“I love Cayman, my home and family and I love you all.”

Note: the reason Joan Wilson gives a Christmas Message on the local TV station each year is she was the co-founder and chairman of CITN-Cayman 27 and has given her message since CITN started broadcasting in 1992.

Another Message

Independent North Side MLA, Ezzard Miller, also gave his own New Year’s message saying, he believed that the major task for 2012 was getting “Caymanians who are unemployed to work and not creating more jobs for imported labour through the approval and selective solicitation of huge projects that will by their very nature provide limited job opportunities for Caymanians even if it provides great profit to the foreign investors.” Commenting on the premier’s New Year’s speech he also said the increase in government revenues over the last year is down to the investment of Cayman based firms in local development and not external investors. “Cayman’s economic recovery would depend on local developers and local businesses, which government should be encouraging. Whatever gains the treasury made in the last few months were down to Caymanians.

“With more than 19,000 people on work permits Cayman did not have a shortage of jobs. The problem is Caymanians are not considered capable of holding these jobs by the boards, which continue to grant work permits in the face of rising unemployment among Caymanians.”

I cannot agree with him on his comments in the last paragraph. What jobs is he referring to? A large proportion of work permits in the statistics are for jobs for domestics and the service industry. Jobs that a HUGE majority of Caymanians do not want. In every country there are natives of that country who do not want to work. They are unemployable. The same applies here. Believe it or not, we do have lazy, badly educated youngsters and even the more mature in our society who lack the necessary work ethics to obtain a job.

As an employer in a new business where every single dollar counts why would I employ an ex-pat with all its restrictions, additional costs and huge work permit fees over a Caymanian? I keep hearing of all these qualified Caymanians who are out of a job. Tell me who they are and what are they qualified at? Joan Wilson was a qualified Trust and Corporate Officer with Barclays and CITCO/Ansbachar and despite being a Caymanian rose to a managerial position and she was and is not the only one.

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