May 10, 2021

Former Cayman Islands Governor Thomas Russell passes away

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thomas russellStatement on passing of former Governor Tomas Russell 

By Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of former Governor of the Cayman Islands Thomas Russell who died peacefully in his sleep in Scotland on Monday night at age 96.
He had been in hospital for the past few months.

I knew Former Governor Russell very well and I have always held him in the highest regard. I am extremely saddened by this loss.

Mr. Russell served as Governor of the Cayman Islands from 1974 to 1981 and then took up the offer to establish the Cayman Islands Government Office in London where he served as the Cayman Islands Representative in the UK from 1982 until 1990.

He was by far one of the most respected and favoured Governors of the Cayman Islands. He returned to Cayman often, visiting with friends and renewing acquaintances.

Many Caymanians will remember Mr. Russell with great fondness from his time here as Governor. The Cayman Islands is one of the many overseas areas where he served the Crown subsequent to his release from active military duty following World War II.

Mr. Russell was also a long-time Veterans Association’s representative at the Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League Headquarters in London and in November 2012 was honoured by the League’s Grand President His Royal Highness The Prince Philip with the appointment as Vice President for Life of the RCEL.

Since retirement he served the Cayman Islands Veterans Association and the RCEL with distinction in several capacities.

Mr. Russell was awarded the OBE in 1963, the CBE in 1970 and the CMG in 1980.

In 2003 Mr. Russell published an autobiographical account of his years in the Colonial Service, I Have the Honour to Be.

With his passing the Cayman Islands has lost a true friend.

May his soul rest in peace.

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