Clarence Flowers Sr., who died 29 April, was praised in the Legislative Assembly last week for his contributions to the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Flowers came to the Cayman Islands in 1931 at the age of 13 and eventually started a series of businesses that included a block factory, a water transport company, a water bottling company, and an aviation security and baggage-handling company.
George Town MLA Lucille Seymour began her contribution to the budget debate with a tribute to Mr. Flowers, noting that the funeral was like a state funeral.
‘I appreciate what immigrants have done for this country,’ she said. ‘He certainly was an innovator.’
Ms Seymour said many people in Cayman did not know a lot about what Mr. Flowers had done for Cayman.
‘If his family wasn’t so modest, maybe we would have heard more,’ she said. ‘But we need to etch his name in the annals of our history.
‘I hope the historians in our country will write about him.’
Cabinet Minister Arden McLean also honoured Mr. Flowers in his contribution to the debate.
‘Maybe those who are coming to join us can take a leaf out of [Mr. Flower’s] book,’ he said. ‘That is what you do when you’re trying to integrate.’
Mr. McLean talked about how Mr. Flowers came to Cayman as a young boy and worked cutting bush at first.
‘The gentleman built an empire out of nothing,’ he said, adding that the empire has benefited Cayman greatly.
‘Ninety per cent of the buildings in this country have been touched by his company,’ he said, referring to the block factory.
Mr. McLean also praised the sons of Mr. Flowers, Frank, Richard and Clarence Jr., and the fact that they have given up part of their property at the old block factory site on Shedden Road so that the road can be widened to accommodate a turning lane onto Eastern Avenue.
‘Those three young men are a reflection of their late father,’ he said. ‘Through them, Mr. Flowers continues to make a contribution to his adopted country.’
Mr. McLean said the turning lane would ease a lot of the traffic problem in the area, and he praised the three brothers for making a sacrifice for the good of the country.
‘I am very proud of those three young men and of [Mr. Flower’s] grandson Frank E. and granddaughter Dara.’