50 years ago: Ham operator helps urgent international search

In the March 15, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, West Bay news included:

“A U.S. Air Force radio operator in Ecuador sent out an emergency radio call for aid in the location of the father of a 12-year-old leukemia victim stricken in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“‘Diver’ Delps, who has a powerful radio station at his home on West Bay Beach, intercepted the call and promised aid from the world fraternity of ‘hams’ (amateur radio operators).

“He marshalled operators together from Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Texas, Ecuador, Colombia and several ships at sea. Through the combination of efforts by hams from these localities, the father was traced at a mountain resort in Ecuador where a ham operator rattled the father’s door at 2 a.m. with news of his daughter’s illness.

“The final message from Ecuador to West Bay was that the Air Force would pick up the father at 6 a.m. for connection with a jet liner at Quito.

“Mercy missions such as this are commonplace among amateur radio operators. We are pleased that ZFICF of West Bay, Grand Cayman, shared in this particular mission.”

In the same issue, West Bay correspondent Leila Yates wrote:

“Mr. Jadon Ebanks and baby, who live in New York, left on the 10th after spending four months here.

“Mr. Carl Powell has returned to Tampa. He has bought a home here and was busy working on it in his vacation time.

“Miss Elerey Bodden arrived on the 6th from Jamaica where she accompanied her sister Brindell for medical aid.

“Mr. Leith Ebanks has returned to his job in the U.S. having spent a long vacation at home. His mother went along with him to visit his children in the U.S.

“We regret to warn the people of this district of the daring thieves around. Clothes and other articles were stolen from a line in Mr. Stafford Ebanks’ yard a few nights ago. Chickens have also been stolen recently.

“Arrivals within the past few days have been Messrs. Lee Ebanks and Stanley Orrett, and Mrs. Mack Ebanks from Jamaica, where she received medical aid and feels much better.

“Their sixth child and third son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Georgie Ebanks of Boatswains Bay on the 9th, weighing 6 pounds.

“Mr. Solomon Ebanks returned from Jamaica on the 11th. He has obtained his visa for permanent residence in the U.S. Elwart Ebanks of National Bulk Carriers has arrived on vacation.

“After spending six months in the U.S. with her children, Mrs. Panton Hydes arrived on the 12th and reports an enjoyable visit.”