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The Editor speaks: Norman, Cinema, Adverts

Colin Wilson

Last Friday (18) I received a PR from the Premier’s Office concerning the proposed cruise berthing facility. It had a message from one of our most respected Caymanians, ex leader of Government Business and Tourism Minister, Norman Bodden.

The PR we have published today in full. It is one of the best PR’s I have ever read from government.

“We have a tendency to resist change, but we need a progressive plan, if you can call it that,” he [Norman] says. “Development is necessary to keep the economy going, but we just have to be careful in our forward-planning. We need to retain the things that have attracted people here. And yes, we’ve lost some things along the way, but we can carefully manage what we still have left.”

One of the most interesting comments, for me, Norman Bodden makes is this:

“Cayman’s cruise port was upgraded in recent years, but still only small tender vessels are able to use the three passenger terminals, and any one of these are best known for their congestion on days when there are two or more cruise ships in town. The cargo port was built some 40-plus years ago to cater to modern steel-hulled vessels and Mr. Norman remembers that the facility was built, through the efforts of the late Berkley Bush, amid much national protests. That facility, however, has also endured the natural forces of hurricanes, storms, decomposition and heavy use but the vital lifeline for imports and trade also needs to be upgraded to meet the needs and demands of a rapidly growing population.”

“Amid much national protests”. Yes, the public is not always right. It is men and women with vision and resolve who are remembered and not the ones who follow the popular accord.

I am not going to edit out any proviso Norman Bodden has said in his support for the Cruise Ship berthing facility just to benefit the ‘Yes’ votes, unlike the people behind the ‘No’ votes.

“Many people today, through convenience or necessity, prefer getting off the cruise ships smoothly so the berths would be a plus but everything has to be well-balanced. IF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS (EIA) PROVE THAT THERE WILL BE NO DAMAGE TO SEVEN MILE BEACH, I WILL BE SATISFIED THAT THERE WILL BE NO ADVERSE EFFECTS. And I am not being political, just practical”.

“In our growth and development, we have just invested in a modern and attractive airport terminal and the waterfront should not be left behind. Having a berthing facility and an upgraded cargo port done together seems the practical way to go.”

I was at the Cinema last night with Joan and two adverts came on – one from the people behind the Referendum and the other from government.

The government one was longer, silly and beyond my belief how utterly senseless that they would contemplate putting something like it out. Aunt Sookie plus ANOTHER. I won’t embarrass him by saying his name. It was an insult to our intelligence and I won’t say any more about it.

The second one was also an insult because it was stating facts that were true but had nothing whatsoever to do with their argument that we don’t need the facility to be built. It was making an argument against what government had said that if we don’t build the cruise port less passengers will come here. They produced data to show how much the number of cruise ship passengers have grown dramatically over the past three years. They didn’t say anymore than that. Of course, anyone who has lived here during that time will surely know why. HURRICANES!! The Eastern Caribbean islands were hit very badly and so we have benefited from it. We were one of the few islands not hit. How stupid of this ‘NO’ group to think we would be taken in by that!

The movie we both saw, “Gemini Man” was silly but it was entertaining and did not insult our intelligence.

Thank heavens for Mr. Norman Bodden. You are much missed.


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