By Christopher Tobutt
The new Cayman Islands Premier, Hon. Wayne Panton was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday 24 April to join in the clean-up at Newlands, just by the ICCI parking-lot, with the Chamber of Commerce Earth Day Clean-up team. All over the Cayman Islands, hundreds of little teams, some just threes and fours, others as many as 30, gathered to make sure Cayman remains beautiful. There were beer bottles, plastic bottles, cans, plastic bags and all kinds of other trash to be fished out of bushes at the side of the road and all over some of the beaches. Many hundreds of big black and green trash- bags started growing in stacks by the side of the road, waiting for the Chamber-of-Commerce pickup in trucks. Black trash bags were for non-recyclable trash, but green ones were full of recyclable items like glass bottles, aluminum cans and certain kinds of plastics.
Mr. Panton was elected under the banner, “community creates country,” so he was very busy, showing the way forward: “It’s absolutely essential that we take care of our communities we’ve got to have nice clean roads, we’ve got to have nice services, we’ve got to have a beautiful community,” he said, “This is what makes people feel that they’re at home, and it’s their paradise. Let’s keep it that way; let’s keep it beautiful,” he said. “We have lots of volunteers – it’s amazing to see the people from the community that come out and get involved. This is what community spirit is all about.”
More than 30 Butterfield Bank employees and their children came out to clean up a big area at the end of South Sound Road. Steve Burrows “We were allocated an area by the Chamber of Commerce and its South Sound Road including Old Crew Road,” he said. Down at South Sound Dock the whole Remax group was cleaning up. James Bovell of Remax said: “We’re out here with the whole office – the agents and their children and some administrative staff too. Everyone was on time and we’ve started cleaning up here and now we’re going to go to another spot where we know there’s also a lot of garbage.”
Down at Consuelo’s Beach, Heather Huizinga was cleaning up with her two adult daughters, Alia and Kenzy: “We’re cleaning up the island, setting an example, trying to do the best we can,” she said. Cayman’s number one beauty spot, Smith Barcadere was being beautified by three groups. There was one large group from Walkers, and then another large group from Deloitte. In the wood were lots of members of the Cayman Islands Garden Club, who had not only been cleaning up but had been getting a talk on one of the extremely rare-and-endangered trees that grows there, Club President Berna Thomson Cummings said: “The garden club is very aware of keeping our environment safe and clean and for the need to regenerate. We wanted to do Smith Barcadere because it needs to be cleaned constantly, and there are also several special, endangered trees here that we want to save and protect.”