Garden’s visitor centre named for local orchid man

| 16/05/2013

PR 4 (194x300).jpg(CNS): Botanist, orchid enthusiast and retired long-serving Chief Fire Officer was honoured last week at the Queen Elizabeth Botanic Park in a ceremony that saw the Visitors' Centre renamed for him. A large granite sign now proclaims the Kirkland Nixon Visitors' Centre which was unveiled by his wife. The renaming of the Visitors' Centre was proposed by Tourism Attraction Board's CEO Gilbert Connolly last year in "recognition of Nixon's connection and contribution to the park. Nixon served as the first chairman of the steering committee created in 1994 to establish the Botanic Park and as Chairman of the Tourism Attraction Board since 2002.

The naming comes in the wake of several buildings that were recently named for civil servants including the weather radar which has been named after Kearney Gomez and the MRCU hanger after Dr. Bill Petrie.

Nixon has deep associations with the Botanic Park as well as being something of an amateur botanist and orchid grower.  During the ceremony tribute was paid to several other individuals who had been instrumental in the Park's development. In particular special mention was made of the Consuelo Ebanks, who served on the original committee to develop the Park, and who died last week.

Acting as the Master of Ceremonies for the unveiling ceremony, Connolly said the Botanic Park is a success story and the product of 21 years of hard work, commitment and sacrifice by several individuals.  "It is that hard work and sacrifice that we acknowledge and it gives me a tremendous sense of pride to know that we are making this effort and taking the time to honour our own Caymanians who were dedicated to the development of the Botanic Park. Mr. Nixon provided the leadership for the development of the Park from its inception," Connolly stated.

In a message read by the local independent MLA Ezzard Miller for the Tourism Minister, Cline Glidden he said it was a positive message not just to us who live here but also to the thousands of tourists who visit this very popular attraction.

Nixon thanked the many volunteers who made the development of the Parkpossible and recalling some difficult days at the beginning of the project, he said when asked by Joanne Scott, wife of the then Governor how he intended to build the Park he said: "By doing it the Cayman way — one brick at a time."

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