Several hundred seniors came together at the First Baptist Church for the annual Rotary Club Senior Citizens Christmas Party on December 26. It was a great time of fun, food and fellowship, plus a chance for people to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the seniors who have done so much to build the Cayman Islands and make it what it is today. Of course, many people helped Rotary by giving things or giving their time, so that the occasion became a truly wonderful community success.
“More than 20 different restaurants have donated food,” said Stephanie Wight, Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s Service Co-Director. “We have real fresh turkey, ham, rice and beans, vegetables, cranberry sauce, cornbread, rolls – a really proper Christmas dinner. All the food is being served by Rotarians - it’s the ‘Rotary Family,’” she said. “We also give them gift bags, there’s a food gift bag and a health and beauty gift bag. In the food gift bag they have coconut milk and beans and rice and cookies – enough for another meal, and the other gift bag has items like shampoo.
“This event has been going on for 52 years and it’s the signature event for our club,” Ms Stephanie continued. “Rotary across the world is all about giving back and serving your community and making sure that you take care of the community and the people that are in it. Senior Citizens are the ones who have built our community and it gives us the opportunity to give back to them and tell them: ‘Thank you for all you have done for us over the years.’ Another big part of it is fellowship, so we are hoping to create an environment for fellowship for these senior citizens. They don’t get out very often and they don’t get a chance to see their friends as often as they used to, and so this event brings them together.”
Cayman’s Governor, Mrs Helen Kilpatrick was there serving up food: “I think this is a fantastic occasion for the whole community coming together to have a party for the seniors. We’re very grateful to everyone who has donated this amazing meal and I really hope that everyone enjoys it,” she said.
Up on stage were ‘Sea ‘n’ B’ – Chuck and Barrie - were joined by daughter Terry, and also with ‘Bugs’ on bass and Mark on drums and they were singing some jolly holiday favorite songs. But everyone was invited to come up and share a song or a story or a poem so that it was really like a great big family all together at Christmas-time.
Mr. Colin Wilson sing a song by Chris de Burgh – and his wife, Joanne read one of her many wonderful poems which describe in verse her fond memories of Christmas in Cayman-gone-by.
Ms Zelma came next, to tell us the story of how the originator of candy cane sought a candy that would be a Christian witness: “He began with a stick of pure white hard candy to show the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus…he made it in a letter J to represent the precious name of Jesus…” she said.
Seated on one of the many tables which filled the hall, Myrtle and Oswald Thomas where enjoying their Christmas Dinner together. “I’m feeling better at 81 than when I was 41,” said Myrtle. “I’m enjoying it. Every year I come here and I really enjoy my lunch. What I like about it is that I don’t have to do the washing up after or prepare it, because it’s ready.”