(CMR) There will be NO Pirate's Week North Side District Heritage Day this year because the committee has not produced financial records for several years now.
The announcement was made that the event schedule for Thursday, 14 November and all events associated with the North Side District Heritage Committee have been canceled for this year. The Pirates Week Office assists committees in the various districts with hosting of events as part of the festival.
The Office issued a statement that:
“We regret that we have had to arrive at such a decision, but this was done after consultation with the relevant stakeholders. The North Side District Heritage Committee, which is responsible for making the necessary arrangements, has become inactive. As such, we have decided to adjust our calendar rather than hurriedly attempting a haphazard event at this late stage that does not meet the standards that have become associated with the North Side District Day event,”Pirates Week Executive Director, Melanie McField.
Due to the absence of a functioning committee in North Side, the district will not be represented in the Float Parades or the District Heritage Ambassador Heritage Costume Competition. Among the stakeholders with whom discussions have been held was North Side MLA, Ezzard Miller, who agrees with the decision.
“I am understandably disappointed that there will be no Pirates Week events to attract people to the wonderful district of North Side this year. However, having been briefed on the situation, I appreciate that a call had to be made. “I am hoping that coming out of this situation, we will be able to attract people with a genuine love of our Caymanian heritage from our district to stand up and be counted to ensure that North Side is represented in all aspects of the national festival going forward.”MLA, Ezzard Miller
Each district committee receives CI$3,000 for their heritage events which includes float, district heritage day, night parade and district queen competition. We received several complaints that the funding is insufficient to fund all of these evens. We understand from exclusive CMR sources that this is not the first year that such accounting statements were not presented but in the past the committee was bailed out by others who wanted the district to participate in the annual Pirate's Week festival. However, this year no one will be bailing them out. We understand there is a requirement that all district committees provides accounts of how that money is spent and for at least 3 years now North Side has been unable to do so.
CMR understands the last committee chair is Debra Miller. We understand she resigned this year and there is no current chairperson. Jay Ebanks former chairman indicated that he provided records back in 2016 but was informed by the Pirates Week Committee that they had misplaced the documents. They were informed at the time that they had been provided with original documents. Ebanks explained that when he became chairman in 2014 and the committee had an $11,000 debt. He was able to successful raise funds to pay that debt off in 2015. He shared that they were able to do fundraisers to contributed to several community events. When he resigned in late 2016 the committee was debt free. He is unaware of what the current fiscal position of the committee is.
The rest of the Pirates Week calendar remains unchanged. Pirates Week Events Schedule you can see by link: https://bit.ly/36klgI8
The District Days are a much welcomed element of the Pirate's Week calendar of events.