19 January 2021
Those who know renowned Grand Cayman resident Derek Haines know that he can tell many stories — and some of them even in mixed company. Now, Haines has put one of his greatest and most inspirational stories to paper in a new book.
"Coast to Coast, a trundle along the Pyrenees" recounts the trek he and friend Michael Burcombe made in 2019 to raise funds for Inclusion Cayman, formerly the Special Needs Foundation. Their 600-mile "trundle" from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea along the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain took 53 days to complete as the pair traversed the rugged terrain.
Burcombe and Haines, who was already a septuagenarian when they made the trek, raised nearly CI$800,000 in donations for the charity by their efforts.
Derek Haines is well known for his many community efforts. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and a former long-time president of the Cayman Rugby Football Union. He received the Queen’s Police Medal for his leadership as a member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service in response to the devastation caused to Grand Cayman by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Then in 2014, Haines ran six marathons in various places in the world while raising US$1.3 million for a new care facility for Jasmine, formerly Cayman Hospice Care. For that effort, he was awarded an MBE in 2015.
The word "trundle," by definition, is a verb describing something moving "slowly and heavily, typically in a noisy or uneven way."
The book delves into the mishaps and inspirational anecdotes that Haines and Burcombe experienced on their nearly two-month adventure.
Those seeking a taste of the outside world while our travel abilities are limited will find that Haines's book quenches the thirst for adventure.
"Coast to Coast a trundle along the Pyrenees" can be purchased at Books & Books in the Camana Bay Town Centre. As could be expected by Haines's history of philanthropic endeavours, 10% of the proceeds raised from the sale of the book will be donated to Inclusion Cayman.
This article originally appeared in the January 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.
About the author
Alanna Warwick-Smith is a Senior Marketing Communications Coordinator supporting the business development and real estate marketing team for Dart. Alanna has worked in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay for the past eight years, when she began her career working at the town’s bookstore, Books & Books. A lover of the written word, Alanna reads and writes poetry in her spare time, and has written content for a range of platforms in the past, including her own blog and Camana Bay Times.