9. Grand Cayman 50 Years Ago - The Journey Begins
Resources > Parish archives > 50th Anniversary Magazine
In 1950, the population of the Cayman Islands was about 8,000. This figure did not include the hundreds of seamen ages 20 to 50 away from home, serving on tankers and freighters around the world.
There were 50 miles of motorable roads. Telephone systems were in operation in both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, but there were no private subscribers.
Caribbean International Airlines, which also served Tampa, Belize and Jamaica, operated a weekly seaplane service to Cayman.
Economic news for the year featured the highest export figure on record: 2,120,750 fathoms of rope, manufactured from the salt-resistant thatch palm in a primarily "cottage industry". The country’s revenue that year was 36,936 pounds; expenditure was 38,958, but there was a Reserve Fund of 31,650 pounds.
The Presbyterian Church was well established in every district of Grand Cayman, with the first missionaries coming in 1846.
While other churches were already organised, there was no Roman Catholic Church and few Catholics.
It is against this background that the Catholic Church came to the Cayman Islands.
George Town nearly 50 years ago.
This aerial view of George Town taken in 1952 for the Annual Report shows little development. Catholic Church services were held at a rented dance hall or the home of Arthur Webb, which would have been somewhere near Shedden Road on the lower left corner of the photo. The post office is at the lower left and the Town Hall at the lower right.