“I love meeting people. From my years at sea I have met so many different people; I think I know how to handle all of them.”
Alfred Hydes is a familiar face around Camana Bay, having been a Town Centre Ambassador for over five years now. As Ambassador, Mr. Alfred is based out of the Camana Bay Visitor Centre, where he can assist guests with finding their way around, providing them with interesting information about Camana Bay and Cayman as a whole, and ensuring everyone’s visit is a pleasant one.
He turns 82 on Monday, and is showing no signs of slowing down. A born and bred Caymanian from West Bay, Mr. Alfred began his working life aged 15 as a student teacher. He then went on to spend 30 years at sea, working his way up to the position of Chief Engineer after starting out as a wiper. Once he retired from the ocean, he worked with the Holiday Inn hotel, managing the front desk until his boss saw a different opportunity for him.
“My colleague made the boss know I was Chief Engineer on the ships and my boss said they wanted to open up a purchasing department. I purchased everything for the hotel until they sold it in 1998,” he explained.
From the Holiday Inn, Mr. Alfred joined Island Companies in George Town, collecting and processing its imported stock. After more than a decade in the role, he considered retirement but when the opportunity came for him to move to Camana Bay and become an Ambassador in 2011, he resisted the urge to put his feet up, embracing the Town as his second home.
“The design and development of Camana Bay is always growing – it’s hard to pinpoint one thing I like the most, but The Observation Tower – that was a great move. People can come here, scout around and see the whole island from the top so they can spread the news about Cayman,” he says. His favourite part of the job is the people he meets and works with.
Young at heart, Mr. Alfred married his partner Virginia on 10 September, and shows no signs of slowing down. With nearly seven decades of working years under his belt, he has a valuable perspective to share:
“I realise I really like to see people be honest with their work. That starts with not being late, and not leaving early,” he said. “But now that I am 82, I also realise I am pretty peaceful and content.”