Former Cayman Islands Governor
Thomas Russell, CMG CBE, celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday, 27 May.
Mr. Russell served as governor of
the Cayman Islands from 1974-1981, before taking up an offer to establish the Cayman
Islands Office in London.
From 1982-1990, he served as the
first Cayman Islands Representative in the United Kingdom.
At the same time, he has been
involved with the Royal Commonwealth Exchange Services League for almost 30
years, initially representing veteran from the Cayman Islands, then
additionally as Chairman of the Welfare Committee for 12 years, and eventually
as an honorary member of the Executive Committee.
The Duke of Edingburgh is the Grand
President of the Royal Commonwealth Exchange Services League and once a year
presides over a meeting held at Buckingham Palace.
This year that meeting was held on
Wednesday, 19 May, and the Duke of Edingburgh presented Mr. Russell with a gift
from the RCEL to mark the occasion of his 90 birthday.
It is said the Mr. Russell joked
with the Duke, telling him next year would be his turn.
The planned celebrations, to be
held near Mr, Russel’s second home in France, were almost abandoned due to the
sudden and untimely death of his son, Malcolm, on 21 April.
However, eventually it was decided
to go ahead with a gathering, which marked his special birthday but was also a
celebration of Malcolm’s life.
The event was organized by Margaret
Barwick and her daughters and husband. Mrs. Barwick celebrated her birthday on
the same day as Mr. Russell.
Caymanians, whom included Mary
Chandler-Allen, who was Mr. Russell’s former PA in the Cayman Islands from 1980
to 1982. She is now the Acting Head of the Islands’ London Office and her husband
travelled to France for the occasion.
Also present were former Commissioner of Police
Andrew Greiff and his wife, and former member of the Maritime Authority, Ship
Surveyor Brian Thompson and his wife, who now live in France.