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The Editor Speaks: What did we learn from Public Meeting?

Last night (26) at The Family Life Centre, packed with a divisive audience that want the cruise ship berthing piers at any cost and the more noisy group that don’t want it even though it won’t cost the country anything when it comes to money.

In between there were some in the audience with an open mind who wanted to know the facts, as presented by government and the two representatives from Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.

What we learnt was what we, who have actually been reading all the documentation, readily available on the government website and in the media who also published their press releases, largely already knew.

At this present time, after staying up late to watch the proceedings courtesy of Cayman27 who thankfully carried the Public Meeting live, I cannot remember learning anything new.

It was good, however, to have it spelled out by both the cruise line representatives that all the cruise liners that visit our port will as time goes by be phased out to be replaced by the mega ships. This would seem a lot earlier than the pro-referendum group wanted to hear. Twenty five years from now would seem to be it.

What I did learn was exactly as I said in my Editorial yesterday, the persons spear heading the Referendum (to learn more) are 100per cent against the cruise ship piers.

One of them asked the question to the cruise ship representatives, after reading stats from his notes, would the cruise ships still visit Cayman even though they were building the mega ships?

His question had already been answered by both of these reps when each gave their presentation and as soon as one of them answered, “Yes, but -” the questioner said thank you very much amidst a cry from his supporters, “then, why do we need the piers/” Obviously none of them had been listening!

The cruise ship rep would not be put off and continued stating exactly as he had previously said, less and less cruise ships will visit Cayman because the new ships have no facilities for tendering!

When another of the detractors gave a long winded speech about how the cruise ship companies could live with themselves for damaging our reefs and our environment a member of the audience answered him.

“Why over all these years have you watched the cruise ships bury their anchors on the George Town reefs, tear up our coral, ruin our environment and say and do nothing? I’ll tell you why,” he said.” You have been too busy watching it all happening having a drink!”

The member was then reprimanded by the MC who appealed to the audience to direct all questions to the panel sitting up on the stage.

As the evening wore on and on the M.C. Quipped, “we still have plenty of time. The hall has been booked until 3am!”

Soon after that, just before 11pm, with over half the audience now had left. I turned the telly off and did the same.

I will, of course, write another Editorial on the meeting.

I don’t think the meeting harmed the government and the detractors probably are satisfied, too.



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