By Christopher Tobutt
They were there in bright yellow T-shirts, each with the message, “Together we still can,” frying fish and fritters opposite Hog Sty bay on the waterfront. All Kenneth Bryan, MLA for George Town Central’s Committee members had come out in force to make sure that everything went with a big Splash. It wasn’t just an ordinary family fun day, it was very nostalgic for many who remember the days when Hog Sty bay was the public beach, where families had fun at the weekends and after church, and where generation after generation of Caymanians learned to swim. The idea was to get people back in the water there again, at least for a day. The idea was, “Together, we still can.”
First one into the water was Craig Merren, ex Olympic cyclist. He made a great big splash, bicycle and all, sailing into the water from a wooden launching ramp at the side of the harbour. Then the real fun started – as Mr. Bryan helped supply the kids with big old fashioned style black rubber inner tubes – just like they had for their hog sty bay fun back-in-the-day. Lots of kids started bobbing about in the waves in their tires, and you can see why it is such a fun place. The waves come in fast and swirl you around and around.
Reminiscing, Kay Ebanks said, “I come here to celebrate with Mr. Bryan who is running for the next election, because I believe in him and I believe he will do something good. I was born just down the road, across from the Post Office in 1942. Lots of people used to enjoy swimming there. When I used to go to the little primary school up by Goring Avenue, our teacher used to take us here and teach us to swim.”
Kirk Roderick Smith was making a splash, too: “this is where we used to come on Sundays instead of the public beach, this was our public beach. We didn’t have cars we didn’t have buses, we didn’t have the luxuries that we have now. We used to throw mangoes out there and dive them up and swim and enjoy,” he said.
One of the committee members, Omeria Gordon was very hard at work cooking up delicious mahi mahi and festival and snapper, too, for the long line of people waiting: “Kenneth is an excellent young man. He’s a hard working politician and we are hoping and praying and we feel very confident that he will be reelected. We appreciate him for all the work that he does for his people. He takes care of his people. He sees to it that they are OK, and when they call he answers and he is always there for them and I think that’s why they love him so much
Down on the beach, Mr. Bryan joined the others in the water: “I used to swim here almost every weekend, as a kid. This was my place to play. This is just about my people having fun. 2020’s been a rough year, and it’s good to remember what we are really about, you know? Even though we are under the pressure of the pandemic, if we remember that we are in this together, then everything should be alright,” he said.