The Cayman Islands Real Estate
Brokers Association recently honoured Mr. Alfred Lawrence Thompson, Sr. for his
contributions to the development of the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Thompson, who began his career
as a policeman, subsequently worked for the U.S. Government during World War II
as a carpenter in the Canal Zone.
After his return to Cayman, Mr.
Thompson used his carpentry skills to build a boat with the intention of using
it as a commercial fishing boat.
However, he traded the boat for a
load of lumber from Honduras, a deal which gave the impetus to A.L. Thompsons
In the late 1950’s and early
1960’s, Mr. Thompson contracted with the Cayman Islands Government to build
houses for overseas employees. At the same time, he was selling lumber from his
lumber yard at Smith’s Baccadere and manufacturing and selling solid mahogany
furniture, some of which is still in use today.
In 1960, Thompson purchased 200
acres of land on West Bay Road, recognising the potential of what at the time
had very little value.
He cultivated and farmed about 20 acres of
this land, from which he sold tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, peppers, bananas
and citrus fruits. Today, these 200 acres encompass the Marquis Plaza, the
Islander Complex, Andy’s Auto, Dean’s and Camana Bay.
In 1974, Mr. Thompson undertook a
new investment as one of the founders of Cayman National Bank.
He has since been involved in many
development projects throughout Grand Cayman, such as the Thompson Building and
the Village, both built in 1967, the Cayman Islander Hotel, the Golden Pagoda
Restaurant and the Islander night club and also Valley Gardens in Lower Valley,
built in 2006.
Ever with an eye to the future, Mr.
Thompson recently purchased 44 acres of land and has already undertaken steps
to turn this land into a subdivision.
Mr. Thompson has proved time and
again that, as he always says, “Good land only goes up in value.”