Government ministers yesterday paid tribute to former politician and lawyer William Warren Conolly who died on Wednesday night.
Mr. Conolly, 87, served in politics for more than three decades, from 1944 to 1976.
He was awarded an OBE in 1975 for his contributions to the islands’ development.
Arden McLean, East End MLA, extended condolences to Mr. Conolly’s family on behalf of the government and the people of East End, thanking them for sharing a man who had helped shape the Cayman Islands.
Mr. McLean, speaking at a press briefing on Thursday morning, said: ‘I have known Mr. Warren as an ever present uncle. My father and Warren were very good friends and I grew up recognising his children and stepson as siblings.
‘On many occasions, I have been called Warren Conolly’s political prodigy. I am indeed proud to be called that.’
Leader of Government Business, Kurt Tibbetts also paid tribute to Mr. Conolly, saying: ‘He can be considered a man wise beyond his years. Many of us will have had an opportunity to listen to his sage advice at one time or another.’
He entered politics in the mid-1940s when he was elected to the East End District. He founded the short-lived Cayman Vanguard Party in 1958 and later was deputy president of the National Democratic Party.
Throughout his political career, he served as vestryman, elected and nominated member, and was one of the first people to serve on the Executive Council. He was also the first minister of tourism.
Mr. Conolly helped found the Cayman Islands Law Society and was also a founding member of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Conolly set up the Conolly & Ritch law firm with his stepson David Ritch.
Mr. Conolly is survived by his wife, Islay, his son Burns Conolly, daughter Jackie Smellie, and stepson David Ritch.