A wonderful story in the Caymanian Compass today.
The Bergstrom family, who ran the original Tortuga Club, spearheaded a tremendous community effort to rebuild Miss Cleo’s house from scratch.
The story in the Compass details everything, but Miss Cleo is indeed a highly respected and valued pillar of the East End community, and also with her literally thousands of friends who visit her at Morritts every year.
For the last several years, Miss Cleo has had the role of greeter at Morritts. She loves being around people and is a natural storyteller. After The Reef opened after the Hurricane, one of our community efforts was to work with the East End community officer on feeding the old folks, so one day Miss Cleo was in our restaurant with that group. We asked her if she would like to bring her talents to The Reef for the time being to greet our guests, as we thought she would like to be out and about… but she showed admirably loyalty to her place of work of the last 40 years and politely declined, saying she would wait for Morritts to re-open
BTW, re the Bergstrom family, that is some extended family ! On numerous occasions they have had family dinners out at The Reef, and I swear the group table is approaching 30 people ! They have been there all the way in the tourism industry, and are still totally involved to this day. A few examples :
- Eric Bergstrom – the late (of Cayman, I meant to say, he is still very much alive ) Mr. Bergstrom was the first head of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
- Karie Bergstrom – Karie is the President of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association
- Suzy Soto – the matriarch ! Prominent personality and owner of Cracked Conch restaurant. Her children keep trying to get her to retire, but that seems not to be in her nature, she ain’t the retiring type !
- Barrie Quappe – not directly working in tourism, but runs a popular radio talk show every morning (on Rooster 101.9 (see their website here), and occasionally is seen on backing vocals playing with the Barefoot Man, as well as being very involved with promoting the local music industry.
- Chuck Quappe – Barrie’s husband, and keyboard/side man (and comedy straight man!) to Barefoot every Tuesday and Thursday at The Reef.
- Kris Bergstrom – long time Cayman Airways captain and entrepreneur, running Edgewater Development, who are rapidly building a great reputation as building contractors, and did a marvellous job assisting us as the Thompson Group in renovating our blue chip office building, the Grand Pavilion, after Ivan
I could go on (there are lots more in the family!), but you get the picture… Cayman has a number of prominent families like this, and the family nature of the island is definitely one of our strengths !