Local pioneer passes after long illness

| 20/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, Captain Charles Kirkconnell(CNS): Captain Charles Kirkconnell, an icon and pioneer in the Cayman Islands, died on Thursday evening 18 February after a long illness. Captain Charles would have turned 88-years-old this December. The Kirkconell family is one of the country’s founding families and Captain Charles left his mark in many ways on the country’s business and commercial landscape as well as its political one as a former EXCO member. His family said that Captain Charles died peacefully with his loved ones by his side. Funeral arrangements are still pending.

Captain Kirkconnell spoke to Cayman 27 in 2003, and recalled his life as a seaman and what old time Cayman used to be like. Click here for the video.

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  1. Robert Rutty says:

    Our prayers are with the family! Capt. Charles will be missed and his memories will live on.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Capt. Charles was an honest, upright and steadfast man. His integrity will forever be embedded in the ‘walls’ of this country.

    With his passing to a greater land, it is now time for the Government to step up to the plate and name him along with others as the builders and architects for the growth we have today. Some names that can join Capt. Charles are:

    Capt Edlon Kirkconnell

    Capt Mabry Kirkconnell

    Mr. Warren Connolly

    Mr. Thomas William Farrington

    Dr. Roy McTaggart

    Mr. Haig Bodden

    Mr. Vasell Johnson

    Mr. Dalmain Ebanks

    Mr. Garston Smith

    Mr. Benson Ebanks

    Miss Annie Bodden

    Mr. Lee Ebanks

    Mr. Spurgeon Ebanks

    Mr. Harry McCoy

    Mr. Craddock Ebanks

    Mr. Trevor Foster

    Mr. Ashton Reid

    Mr. Ducon Merren

    Mr. Anton Bodden

    Mr. Berkley Bush

    I know that there are many other names but the above is an idea of where we need to go in order to honor these person.

    So let us begin………my suggestion is that for National Heros Day 2011, each of the above and any others that built this country as statesmen and politicians be FORMALLY recognized albeit than in many instances it will be posthumously.

  3. CYB says:

    I couldn’t even begin to finish reading all of the lovely comments about Capt. Charles as they brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for making such a positive contribution to my country Capt. Charles. You are loved and greatly missed by us all.

  4. Burnard Tibbetts says:

    A man who fulfilled a great purpose in life.

    On more than one occasion, Capt. Charles told me that he felt that God had given him riches for the purpose of supporting His work and helping others and his homeland and that he continued to receive blessings as he fulfilled this purpose.

    From back in the 1960’s I had much dealing with Capt. Charles and admired his charitable deeds, his desires to help his homeland and its people, and his outstanding generosity.

    When Cayman Brac-ers were struggling to get a hospital on the island and had formed a committee to spearhead the project, very little was accomplished until Capt. Charles joined in, bought land with his own money and contributed the property for the Cayman Brac Hospital which has met much of the greatest needs of our island.

    As Capt. Charles became a politician he used his influence and position to improve the infrastructure of the islands, providing the Aston Rutty Center where large numbers of people could be accommodated for special occasions, be it weddings, funeral, political meetings, concerts or religious services etc. in addition to serving as a Hurricane shelter. He is also to be remembered for the role he played in getting a proper berthing facility for ships bringing supplies to the islands, road improvement, airport and air terminal improvement, upgrading poor relief, salaries for police that had been paid below average wages and giving all of his wages as Executive Council Member to various needy people. In that position he was known and respected for his wisdom, integrity, able leadership and un-selfish attitude and activity. He set standards of honesty and leadership that serve as a great challenge for others to follow.

    Capt. Charles gave land and made significant contributions for the Cayman Brac Nursing home, played a vital role in the success of the Cayman Brac Power & Light Co. and made many other charitable and commendable contributions to our islands and people.

    Seeing the small church on Little Cayman to be inadequate for the era, Capt. Charles purchased land and with the encouragement of his wife, built and gave a beautiful church building at a cost of over $600,000.00 to further the work there, and paid the pastor’s salary for 10 years, from his own pocket. In addition he paid for extensive repairs to the building after it was damaged by two hurricanes in 2008.

    While Capt. Charles has never preached a sermon orally, he has shown his commitment to the Lord by his deeds and has assured me on many occasions of his dedication to Christ and determination to fulfill the purpose that God had for him.

    He leaves a great void in our country but I am absolutely confident that he has laid up great treasures in Heaven, and that our Lord has welcomed him to his eternal home with a “well-done good and faithful servant.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Reading the above commentsmakes me feel happy that my views of him were not in isolation.

    He truly earned the respect of the people he came into contact.

    I suuport one of the readers suggestionthat he made a national hero.

    Politicians please wake up and honour thisgreat man, even if he is not with us anymore.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “…With out God as the centre of life there is no meaning…” thank you Capt. Charles.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think another statue in Heroes Square is in order.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Captain Charles was a son of the soil of the Cayman Islands – well respected and loved by all.  He was a mentor and friend  during my working years with him as a Civil Servant.  His personality , leadership and kindness spoke highly of him as a MLA and Exco member.

    He will be sadly missed by the people of these Islands .

    RIP Capt .Charles you are a true "Hero".


  9. Caymanian says:

    R.I.P. Capt. Charlie.. What a Great man you were, loved and admired by so many, including myself.  Condolences to the whole Kirkconnell Family.

  10. John Fleming says:

    A true hero of Cayman  a name to be remebered in the history of Cayman. I think God must have broken the mold after he was born! We don’t have anyone to compete with him today and I can only hope that God may relent and find us a repacement to step up to the plate!

    My family and I grieve with Carol and family.

    John Fleming

  11. Anonymous says:

    A great man, who offered me words of wisdom and kindness during one of life’s lowest moments.

  12. Jim Diamond says:

    A gracious and truly class act, Charles Kirkconnell was loved and admired by all of my family. My Grandmother, Granddad, my Aunts and Uncles and myself also had such fond memories of when he would come to see us. We are saddened by his passing, may God bless each of you in this time of sorrow. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Capt. Charles Kirkconnell served the people of the Cayman Islands with intelligent, honest dignity and I salute him. May your soul rest in peace Captain, you did your country well and we will always thank you and honour your memory.

  14. sam says:

    May he rest in peace

  15. Bobby Anonymous says:

    A man of outstanding character who gave me many words of wisdom. I will miss your smile and warm handshakes.

    Condolences to the family.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A great man with vision and was the last true leader this country has seen since his time in Govt. We are losing all the people of his caliber who are the true heros of this country, who are really responsible for building and developing Cayman as a nation. Capt Charles and Vassel Johnson should both be enshrined in our history as our national heros and we should celebrate their lives.

    A wonderfulman and great loss to the country. Our sincere condolences to the Kirkconnell family. May he rest in peace.

    • Rorschach says:

      "Capt Charles and Vassel Johnson should both be enshrined in our history as our national heros and we should celebrate their lives."

      I could not agree with you more, having known both men, but you know that is never gonna happen because neither one was a "Real" Caymanian as Capt Charles was from the Brac and Sir Vassel was from Jamaica…

      • Fuzzy says:

        To Rorschach ,Did you just say that Capt. Charles is not a "real" Caymanian because he was from Cayman Brac? Shame on you.

        • Rorschach says:

          Sorry Fuzzy,

           I have only just seent his comment…Having known both of these great men formany, many years, I truly respected both of them…my "real" Caymanian comment was only a dig at those persons who live on Grand Cayman and look down on Brackers…it was in NO WAY meant to insult or diminish the reputation or accomplishments of Capt. Charles…Sorry if my comments were unclear…

      • Anonymous says:

        To poster 15:49,Contrary to your  opinion I believe that both of these real Caymanians will be named as national heroes.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I very dignified, honourable and practical man in real life. He had the same virtues even in his political life, which seems a scarce commodity now a days.

    A good role model for the younger generation and also the politicians that you can live and succeed with these qualities.

    It is sad the elders of our society who built thiese islands, from scratch, are fading away. Let us all honour them.

    Thank you Captain, for playing your role positively in thr growth of these islands.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I bareley crossed this mans great path, but I am hounoured to say I have done in Little Cayman and Grand Cayman and am thankful for the honour and the memory. Our thoughts are with all his family. S & B

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well done, good and faithful servant of God and country. Rest In Peace.

  20. Anonymous says:

    A man of dignity. A political leaderfrom an era that Cayman will not see again: men of vision and unconditional integrity. A true statesman. R.I.P.

    Condolences to the family.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A national hero and model for future generations.  The country has lost a true patriot!

  22. Anonymous says:

    A great man Indeed.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace my friend. And give my love to my Mom and Wife that preceeded you in death. You were a great comforter in my time of sorrow.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for all the good that you did for our Islands. We miss your smart leadership in these difficult times. Cayman has loss a valuable son of the soil.

  25. Anonymous says:

    A true national hero and the best MLA ever from the sister islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Never we will see the likes of this Statesman again originating from  Cayman Brac. It would take no less than a man like him to take us out of this mess that we are in. Condolences to Carol and all the rest of the family . May his beautiful Soul rest in peace.