Misses the fountain and benches in Heroes Square

| 21/12/2016

I work in the downtown George Town area and pass by Heroes Square on a daily basis. I notice that the fountain in Heroes Square is never on and I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen it on. Is there a reason this fountain isn’t run? Is it in disrepair or just a maintenance issue? It seems to be a popular cruise ship attraction, so the addition of a running fountain may be a joy to those who visit.

 Also, is there a plan to install benches in Heroes Square? As it is now, there is no seating available to sit down and enjoy the area, and I often see visitors sitting on the ledge of the fountain. Surely a few benches wouldn’t cost much and would enable both tourists and downtown workers to enjoy the area.

Auntie’s answer: I am so glad you asked about the fountain. I for one would welcome seeing that up and running and agree with your assessment that tourists would like it as well. After a bit of searching, I discovered the Protocol Office was the right place to ask your questions.

Unfortunately, the water will not be flowing as soon as you might like. Here is what a representative of the office said: “We recognise Heroes Square is a popular locale and are pleased many residents and tourists enjoy the location. The fountain has been turned off because a maintenance issue makes it extremely costly to run.

“The Protocol Office has limited funds and is unable to carry out full repairs at this time but will continue to monitor the situation and hopes to have the fountain running again soon.”

As far as the benches go, several were placed around Heroes Square at its inception, but have since been relocated. The Protocol Office pointed to a sad reality, explaining that over the years vandals damaged the benches and those had to be removed. Some of the ones that remained in good condition were moved to the front of the George Town Town Hall.

The official does understand the appeal of having benches in that area, saying, “Heroes Square is envisioned to be a place of sacred reflection, which made the benches such an integral part of the original design.”

But at this point no decision has been made on once again installing benches in the square.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, no one thinks about ongoing maintenance when these things are built. Whilst politicians often take credit for building memorials with lavish opening ceremonies etc….., the maintenance costs are not taken into account.

    Just wait until we all start paying for the lovely landscaping on the new highways.

  2. Paving tile says:

    Remove the statues and replant trees.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a friend who is a construction engineer (in another jurisdiction) who swears blind that the worst items to make problems in any development are fountains. Just for the record!

  4. Local business owner says:

    What is the maintenance issue and what is the estimated cost to repair?

  5. MM says:

    With all the surplus funds PPM keeps bragging about you would think they could afford a few benches…

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Prison makes good stuff.
    Mind you the ripped out all the shade trees, paved everything and ruined what was there to put up some silly statues.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sacred reflection? Have we gone pagan?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have always been pagan. The post service sex parties are better than other religions.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What is needed is more statues. I think there is a need for a statue to commemorate the brave statue builders of Cayman.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Heaven knows why this would be a Protocol Office matter but, then again, why does a small jurisdiction like Cayman, struggling to keep control over the size of its civil service, need a Protocol Office at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll give you a few reasons:
      1) They maintain the order of precedence which dictates how people are treated and seated at events. This has changed as our constitution has changed, along with many other things that have changed with our constitution.
      2) They handle all requests from foreign officials and diplomats to receive protection and assistance while they are here. I have seen a Protocol Office car with a Cuban flag on it parked outside a restaurant and confirmed with someone who used to work in the office that these requests are regular.
      3) We now have what will probably be the strongest form of government the UK will ever allow, and the Governor has delegated several areas of international affairs to the Premier or to Ministers. As a consequence,
      4) They are partly responsible for events hosted by the Government which the public can attend, such as Heroes Day and the Queen’s Birthday. These take advance planning including determining details such as the order of events, the availability of dignitaries and participants in the programme, the possibility of ‘doing something different this time’, etc., and then, of course, coordinating the installation of temporary stages, shading, seating, decorations, etc. These events require them to get extra help.
      5) They deal with other things that Auntie often has to ask about, like state funerals for example, as you’ll see if you press the back button.
      6) They deal with the fountain the question was about! Which happens to be in the place that Caymanians consider to be, yes, sacred. If you have been around at all in life, and by that I mean if you’re old enough, when you go there you do reflect on many things. The emotional power that the space has is considerable for its size. If they deal with the fountain, they deal with the square too. Much of which was damaged by Ivan, and as you can see from the answer given, has issues that require managing.
      7) They manage the use of a fleet of vehicles.
      8) Basically, if it starts or ends with the word ‘official’, the Protocol Office deals with it.

      I could go on, but needn’t. We have many bodies public and private here whose purpose is to host one event a year. The Protocol Office does all those things that people think just happen, that we are either required to do as a country, or choose to do for the public benefit. That’s the reality. When one was established, many responsibilities that were out of place and had been hard to discharge collaboratively and were spread out across Government were put under one office, and everything the Protocol Office was given to do from other departments has improved since.

      In fact, since it was established, its remit has continually increased and the office in fact achieves quite a lot with not very much. And the reason it doesn’t have much to work with is that there are enough people here with your attitude about us expressing national pride and status, or even being entitled to have any at all. We also didn’t have a lot of money for a while there, and the Government is making its way through the list of priorities that piled up during that period now that it finally has some cash. The fountain and benches, as much as clearly people do want them, don’t come before the mentally ill or the indigent, to give two examples. Also, I’m sure one Cabinet minister thinks ‘all this protocol business is just silly’. They all have to make the case for the departments and offices under their ministries, and if that case has been made, it was not acted on; if it hasn’t, then perhaps it should be. But that is what the Protocol Office does, and why the fountain is off for now.

      No I don’t work at the Protocol Office, but you can see from the way I have answered your question, that I do know about it. I like this sort of stuff. Lots of Caymanians do. This is Cayman. So, we have a Protocol Office.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps local companies could sponsor the benches?

    • East End Resident says:

      Good idea, perhaps the local coffee shops and snack or lunch stops could sponsor benches so people could buy their lunch and enjoy it in the square. It’s a nice central place to sit and I’d like to see it kept looking nice and welcoming too.

      • Abrana Banks says:

        What had been a concern for me was that the benches in Heroes Square were always filled with the local bums. I observed them on numerous occasions with their brown paper wrapped drink of choice.

        They seemed to have the normal working hours of every one else. I feel sure there presence there was not interrupted by the police.

        While I agree, aesthetically, it is a nice place to sit and have lunch, the presence and language of the aforementioned daily occupants were not desirable.

        Perhaps they were seeking employment.