I had planned to write a real rip roaring blog exploring the Socio-Cultural and Economic Impact of the new Immigration (amendment) law and (amendment) regulations that were gazetted late last month. But, it’s Friday, and I thought I’d write something slightly more remarkable.
So, instead, please indulge in these 4 quite interesting facts about Cayman’s rich history and culture.
Ever wondered why Cayman is tax free? – The Wreck of the Ten Sail
Well, it all has to do with a convey of 10 British Naval ships and their passengers. The ships were traveling from Jamaica to Britain via the US. A day into the journey the ships ran into trouble, hitting breakers to the south of Grand Cayman and crashing upon the windward reef, causing them to become severely damaged and eventually swamped. Caymanians living on the East End and in Bodden Town came to the aid of the 10 ships and rescued the crews and passengers.
It’s believed that one of the passengers of the 10 vessels included one of the sons of Britain’s King George III. When the King was apprised of the bravery on the part of the Caymanians in saving the crews and passengers of the foundering ships, he decided to repay their bravery. The reward became a decree that the people of the Cayman Islands would thereafter be free from war conscription and taxes.
Cayman’s inextricable link with Turtles.
Popping up on beaches and bank notes everywhere, if Cayman has a mascot this is it. In 1586, Sir Francis Drake, Cayman’s first English visitor, reported that the Cayman Islands were “edible”. It was this abundance of turtles on the island that attracted many European sailors and pirates to stop by in search of fresh meat for their crews. Over fished to near extinction in local waters, turtles are now protected and Cayman is home to a world famous turtle farm which breeds them and teaches the many visitors about their important role in Cayman eco system.
Size doesn’t matter in Cayman – or rather accuracy.
Cayman’s famed Seven Mile beach runs from George Town to West Bay. But, don’t be fooled; contrary to its name, the beach actually only measures a distance of 5.5miles. Fortunately the entire stretch of beachfront is public property and offers ample opportunity for people to sun themselves, eat, drink and swim out in the clear waters to view the amazing array of tropical fish.
Cayman is a 100sq mile economic power house.
Although geographically small, the Cayman Islands are a major player when it comes to global economics. Boasting the 5th largest financial center in the world, Cayman, ranks behind only London, Tokyo, New York and Hong Kong.
By Mike Flynn.