By Alan Ebanks
It was standing room only when through the Ministry for Culture, Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage, Minister Bernie Bush and Parliamentary Secretary Isaac Rankine hosted a Valentine’s Day Party at the William Allen Mclaughlin Civic Centre in East End that also showcased the work of Cultural icon Mrs. Carmen Conolly “Miss Carmen”.
The occasion also marked the farewell visit of His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper and Mrs. Roper whose term expires in March. He was presented with a whelk-like sculpture by East End Member
of Parliament (MP) Isaac Rankine. The momenta was the work of artist Horatio Estaban of Estaban Gallery.
As it turns out, there is a special bond between the Ropers and Miss Carmen. Mrs. Elizabeth Roper, on observing Miss Carman while she was quilting, expressed an interest in learning the craft, The rest as is said, is history.
Miss Ca rmen’s artistic work features the silver thatch palm and embroidery in addition to her quilting and she has been preparing souvenir items for many decades. The crowd expressed great delight upon seeing her miniature Queen Elizabeth II doll amidst the sample items on display.
The audience, drawn from all of Grand Cayman’s five districts and clad in Valentine red, enjoyed presentations from the Cayman Folksingers, Cayman’s poet Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, East End Primary School Acting Deputy Principal Troy Rogers, a select group of the East End Primary School choir and Alan “Obama” Ebanks, one of the original cast members of the “Rundown” comedy series. Mrs. Marge Quinland, daughter of the legendary fiddler, Radley Gourzong, reminded listeners of the rich cultural . traditions of East End and expressed a desire to see them revived, promising her efforts specifically in the area of the quadrille.
Miss Carman was lauded for her talent, vision, painstaking patience, creativity and called a “prayer warrior’’ in testament to her godly life of 85 years.?
It was evident that the huge crowd was thoroughly delighted with the day as Miss Carman’s many friends and family members enjoyed their meal while mixing and mingling with persons they had not fellowshipped with for some time.
And, in his brief remarks, MP Rankine promised that similar-type events would be a part of his agenda in office.
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