Mr. Norberg Thompson passes

Businessman Norberg K. Thompson died at Florida Hospital in Orlando Thursday morning. He was 81.

‘Mr. Thompson passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, in Orlando, Florida at 10.33am on Thursday, March 30, 2006 after a brief illness,’ states a press release from the family.

Memorial Service and funeral arrangements are pending.

Mr. Thompson suffered a severe cerebral haemorrhage 19 March and was rushed to George Town Hospital. He was later transferred to the Orlando hospital.

Mr. Thompson leaves a rich legacy on Grand Cayman.

In 2002 he received the Order of the British Empire during Queen’s Birthday honours.

The honour was paid Mr. Thompson following a lengthy career in many ventures.

Mr. Thompson was born 28 March, 1925 in George Town and married Mary V. Thompson nee Merren on 22 May, 1965. They had two sons.

He was educated in the Cayman Islands Government school.

Mr. Thompson was a seaman for 10 years and started Wholesome Bakery on the George Town waterfront in September 1954. It remained a favourite of office workers and tourists until it closed in 2000.

Mr. Thompson said in a 2002 interview in the Caymanian Compass that he conceived the idea for a bakery while working as a merchant seaman. He also operated Captain Rackham’s Rum Cake Factory until it was sold in 2001.

Outside the service industry he demonstrated his flexibility working extensively in construction and real estate. The list of Thompson Realty’s notable projects is extensive and begins in the 1960s with the tourist resort Winterhaven Homes. Other developments followed such as the Aristocrat, Emerald Beach Club, Royal Reef Resort, Grand Pavilion Commercial Centre and Galleria and West Shore plazas.

He estimated in 2002 that his company had built 200 apartments and single family homes. He acquired the Century 21 franchise for the Caribbean and expanded with offices in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

While he was a successful businessman, Mr. Thompson also had a sense of community service.

He was a two-term president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce in the 1970s and was a charter board member of Cayman National Bank where he served as director.

He spent eight years on the Caymanian Protection Board, the body that previously filled the function of the Immigration Board, and was a founding member of the Rotary Club.

In the 2002 interview Mr. Thompson credited God with his good fortune and said he also received invaluable assistance and support from his wife Mary.

He said then that his family was the achievement that he is most proud of.

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