Much has been said in recent months about the West Bay Beach (Seven Mile) due to the erosion problems and the blame game. I have been lucky to have lived on the beach at the north end for over 40 years and had the privilege for many years of living next door to the famous American bandleader, Mitch Miller.

Round about 1964, Mitch and his wife and her sisters and their husbands acquired 500 feet of beachfront property. Subsequently, the families built three homes and two guest cottages. One such family member was Lear Grimmer, a veterinarian who treated everyone’s pets for free daughter quotes . He also made gold jewelry which he sold, donating proceeds to charity.

It was a time when people gave back to the community because they wanted to. It was a quiet place to be, with no other buildings on the beach for miles. Traffic was at a minimum and a dirt road prevailed from West Bay to George Town. Those were untroubled and tranquil days.

Mitch would come for various periods of time to relax with the family quotes . He always cared about Cayman and where it was headed. This is illustrated in his interview with the Northwester in March 1972, almost 50 years ago. Remember, at that time there were only a few hotels and one condominium complex, Harbour Heights, none of which exceeded three storeys. What Mitch had to say was prophetic.

He was concerned that sound planning for the future would not accompany the rapid growth taking place then, and he expressed misgivings about the danger of not passing the enabling legislation to protect Seven Mile Beach from the possibilities of pollution, etc. He stated that if that stretch of peerless beach is lost, then the Cayman Islands would have little to offer the vacationer, and he was concerned about the direction the island was moving.

So, almost 50 years later, have we actually learnt anything? It took just two storms to cap the damage already done to the beach over the years. Consecutive governments are to blame, not just one.

The speaker of the House certainly changed the look of WBB. While his forefathers determined it should not look like Miami Beach, he hoicked the build heights up to seven storeys and then to ten. Perhaps that is required to maintain the unabated growth demanded by the politicians, where we are heading for a population of 100,000. So it be. We are no longer the island where time stands still.

WBB is a problem and will continue to be so. I doubt it can be fixed but there is a message to the Central Planning Authority: do not willy-nilly pass everything as before. Review carefully the older condos being demolished and their setbacks. For those in the know, the CPA has a huge discretion on setbacks, which in the past they have used unwisely.

In conclusion, we are fortunate to have had such a person like Mitch amongst us and I do suggest you read the article in full. It is unfortunate his words of wisdom fell on stony ground.