Prison boss found dead

| 12/12/2009

Cayman Islands News(CNS): Updated Tuesday 15 December –  Following a post-mortem that  was carried out yesterday afternoon (Monday 13 December), the RCIPS has confirmed that Dr William Rattray’s death was as a result of natural causes. Police said Saturday that the 57-year-old man found dead in a swimming pool in North Side was Dr  Rattray, the Commissioner of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs said on Sunday it was shocked and saddened by his sudden death. 

"On behalf of the whole Civil Service, and especially Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to Dr. Rattray’s wife Margaret, who has become a much loved and respected school Principal in North Side and Savannah, to his two children and his brother, and to Dr. Rattray’s many friends here and in Scotland", said Acting Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.

Police said Sunday that at about 2.30 pm on Saturday afternoon they received a report that a man had been found apparently unconscious in a communal swimming pool.
Police and paramedics attended the scene and CPR was delivered while Rattray was rushed to the hospital in George Town, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Rattray, who is a native of Scotland, came to the Cayman Islands in 2006 to take up the post of commissioner of corrections and rehabilitation following a 30 year career in the Scottish Prison Service. The post was created to oversee the strategic direction of the islands’ Prison Service.

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  1. Square Shoulders says:

    My sympathy goes out to the Rattray family at such a difficult time.

    To the poster at 21:04, I couldn’t agree with you more in relation to a stressful job. I work in a certain Government department and it would take me a few pages to write about the effects of stress on the human body over a period of time. It’s bad enough when the job itself is a demanding one but, when you’re faced with supervisors or human resources managers who couldn’t care less about their staff, it puts truth to what an old man told me some time back; he said that people like them don’t give a damn but will be quick to buy a huge floral arrangment and come to cry at your funeral.

    Some people that are aware of my situation will ask, why stay in an office environment that might lead to your death? And they’re right, I’ve been foolish enough to stay because I love my job and there are still some staff members that are a pleasure to work with but, after many pleas from my doctor to get out of the office where I’m at, I’ve finally made up my mind to move on and forget about trying to show a few ignorant females that they didn’t win. I have a son to live for and my life is important.

    I encourage anyone who has discovered their health has changed due to work related stress to get out now before it’s too late.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a position that was created because John Public do not think that the Director is capable. Government at this time can save some money by not filling Mr Rattrys position, but instead replacing a capable Director. That way there will be only one person to pay. GOSH dont we need to cut back. I had the priveledge of meeting him and he was a good man, at this sad time I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER MY CONDOLENCES TO HIS FAMILY. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

  3. Anonymous says:

    An underlying medical condition that is mis-diagnosed or unknown, combined with a stressful job that has you working almost around the clock, is a sure recipe for an untimely death.

    In fact, death can become reality not even having a medical condition. Stress releases very powerful toxics in the body which ultimately effects many of your organs particularly your heart and brain.  

    I lost a very good friend in March of the year through circumstances related to stress, which resulted in a bloodclot that obstructed blood flow and oxygen to the brain, thereby causing his untimely death from a stroke. 

    He was only 39 years old, never smoked, drank only occasionally, was full of energy, hardly saw a doctor in his short life and probably never spent a night in hospital except at birth.

    We all remember the amount of persons that died of heart attacks and strokes in the three months following after Hurricane Ivan.

    Was it stress ???  Absolutely !!!!!

    So when someone says to you tomorrow or the day following or sometime in the future that they are stressed out big time, have the compassion to listen to them, support them in every way possible to ease and help their illness, which is really what it is.  

    RIP all those whom have passed on to the other side and GOD BLESS their families and friends who are in our hearts and minds during this holiday season.


    • Anonymous says:

      Stress most certainly kills as do lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking and lack of proper diet and exercise.

      We should all take heed and try to life better healthier lives and seek out happy relationships that bring us joy and happiness.

      RIP Dr. Rattray!

  4. David R. Legge says:

    Dr. Rattray was a gentleman and an enlightened professional. Ironically, our first contacts were somewhat contentious (but never acrimonious). Rather than continue our dialogue through escalating e-mails, I called to inquire if he’d be willing to meet over a nice lunch at Grand Old House. He agreed and by the coffee course, I felt I had made a new friend.

    I will miss him as will so many of us in Cayman. My sincerest condolences to his wife and family . . .

    —Dave Legge

  5. Anonymous says:

     My sincerest condolences to the Family.

    No surprise that the stress of dealing with the directors at northward would cause anyone to roll over and die.



  6. Andrew says:


    No signs of foul play??? 
    Since when we became experts without an autopsy?
    • Anonymous says:

      Quote:  "Police said they are currently investigating thecircumstances surrounding the death but there were no obvious signs of foul play."

      Can you read? It says "obvious". Just relax and let them do their investigations without starting this already…my gosh.

      May he rest in peace and my sincere condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you.  Some people only see what they choose to see.  I saw obvious but other chose not to.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is a very good point.  Only an autopsy can confirm if Dr. Rattray died from a heart attack.  If it proves to be true, I’m sure that stress played a large role, as other posters have been saying.  My sincere condolences to Margaret and the family.

    • Anonymous says:

      My wife passed away a few years ago after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, She wanted to spend her last days at home surrounded by her family so she passed away at home. In order to remove her body from my home to the Hospital for pronouncement of death and then to the Funeral home, I had to first call the Police.

      Two officers from the RCIPS attended at my house, and one armed with a six cell flashlight and a pair of rubber gloves proceeded to examine her body lifting her head and looking at the back of her head  and the rest of her body etc.

      It was such a painful site to see what was going on that I asked the officer why he was doing all this. He replied that he was looking for "FOUL PLAY" I then asked the officer if he really thought that the family standing around her body would do something to take her life, to which he replied that what he was doing was standard Police proceedure when someone died at home.

      So since Dr. Rattray died outside of a Hospital where he would have passed under medical supervision it is normal Police proceedure to investigate for the possibility of foul play. Suspicion of foul play would only be considered if the Police had found questionable marks etc that would require confirmation by Post Mortem examination.

  7. Richard Wadd says:

     May I offer my sincerest condolences to the Family and friends of the late Mr. Rattray.

     While I have certainly been in disagreement with his ‘relaxed’ Management approach to the Prisons, at least he did something, which is far better than doing nothing. 

     Let us remember him for the Positive contribution that he made, and instead of placing blame for the short-comings, take the lessons learned, so that they do not have to be repeated.

    May he Rest in Peace. 

  8. Watchman says:

    While I did not agree with the slash and burn approach of Dr Rattray’s appraoch to prison reform, I liked him as a person and admired his enthusiasm. My condolences also go out to family. Perhaps now the Director will revert to tried and true polices which have been systematically dismantled and not repalced over the last 4 years.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know Mr. Rattraybut I do know his wife and my sincere condolences go out to her and all the family.

  10. Anonymous says:

    My sympathies to his wife and family.  He was a good man trying to achieve good things in his life both before he came here and once he came here.  This is a real loss to us all.

  11. A Parent says:


    My sympathy goes out to his wife and family members. So close to Christmas and so far away from home I can’t imagine what she must be going through right now. May God bless and comfort her. Mrs. Rattray, sorry for your loss. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    CONDOLENCES to his family. He was a very good man, and was trying very hard  to improve the Prison situation. I know that other Caymanians who knew him will too join with me in giving sympathy to his family.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow is all I can say.  WOW… 

    How ironic that death takes this man at this point in time.  He was under alot of fire for the handling of the prison and had been the focus of many articles.  I guess the stress of everything took its toll.

    My condolences to his family no matter what.

  14. Anonymous says:

    My heartfelt and sincerest condolences go out to Mrs Rattary and the rest of the family. My thoughts are with you all.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sad-as all such sudden deaths (or any deaths) are. Condolences to the family. He must have been under huge stress recently. Cayman is not the sleepy backwater that many think.

  16. Anonymous says:

    this is tragic, a great man trying to do his best for northward prison and cayman, im so sorry. my thoughts with his family at this time,

  17. Anonymous says:

    My sincere condolences to his family at this dreadful time – it must be all the harder as they are so far from Scotland where id imagine their family are

    Please can any posters remember that this man is someones father , husband , brother , son 

    Our prayers are with you  

  18. my condolences says:

    my condolences go out to his family and friends!!