November 27, 2020

Major Joseph Rodriquez Watler (better known as Mr. Roddy) remembered

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joan & Roddy-1The surviving daughters of the late Roddy Watler, Helen Merren and Joan Wilson, remember his wonderful life on the anniversary of his birthday last Sunday (3).

We will never forget you, dearest father.

Helen and Joan

Major Joseph Rodriquez Watler was born on 3rd March 1880 in the District of Red Bay, Grand Cayman.

He died at age 75 in April of 1965.

He served as Inspector of Police for some 33 years. He also served as light house keeper, foreman of public works, boarding officer of vessels,  and warehouse keeper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe was appointed Officer in Charge of the Cayman Islands Company of The Jamaican Home Guard on 01 October 1942 until 31st March 1945 when the war ceased.

In the raging hurricane of 1932 Major Watler exhibited much bravery in rescuing 20 people who were marooned in Red Bay. For this service he was awarded the King George V and Queen Mary  Silver Medal for Bravery.

Major Watler was also an Elder and Manager of Elmslie Memorial United Church for many years.

He was a stalwart citizen, a fine man, a dear friend to all and respected by all.  A restraining influence on the reckless and rebellious, yet a man of reverence;  a thinker with a reflective mind and a tender hwatler family 1
eart. His chief joys were centred around his home and family.

Incredibly, there is no mention of this truly great Caymanian in the official “History of the Cayman Islands” book.

Your family will always remember you, Papa, and your contribution and sacrifice you made to the country you loved.

 

roddy pic crRoddy

By Joan Wilson

Roddy – that’s what they called him

From birth, right to his grave.

He was six foot six inches tall

So big and strong and brave.

 

He was one of the finest fathers

And he loved us all so much.

He always had time for others

And he had that special touch.

 

He tickled our toes in the morning

Waking us to a brand new day,

With fruit from his own garden

“Come and get it my darlings,” he’d say.

 

He was such a good provider,

He always farmed his land.

Our cupboards were never empty

All stocked by his very own hand.

 

He taught us from early childhood

To respect others above ourselves,

To cherish what God had given us

Our freedom to enjoy our wealth.

 

And wealth didn’t mean money

For there was little of that.

It was our sunshine, sand and warm blue sea,

All ours to enjoy, and it was totally free.

 

He swam with us off the iron shore

I tell you, we enjoyed it all so much.

Swimming and diving with our father

In those days we were never got bored.

 

Work hard and plan your day

Was his fatherly and friendly advice

As the sweat poured from his brow.

 

“Hard work never kill nobody

Take a look at me – Inspector Roddy.”

 

He was serious but also very humorous

And he loved to chat a while

With friends under our plum tree

And a fresh brewed cup of coffee.

 

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