Tribute to notable residents who passed away in 2010

Richard (Dick) Francis 
31 October, 1920 – 14 February

Dick Francis was a best-selling British thriller writer
and a former champion jockey who lived in Cayman.

A successful steeplechase jockey, Mr. Francis turned to
writing after he retired from racing in 1957. 
He penned 42 novels, many of which featured racing as a theme.

His books were translated into more than 20 languages,
and in 2000 Queen Elizabeth — whose mother was among his many readers —
honoured Mr. Francis by making him Commander of the British Empire.

During his writing career, Mr. Francis won three Edgar
Allen Poe awards given by The Mystery Writers of America for his novels Forfeit
(1968), Whip Hand (1979) and Come to Grief (1995).

He also worked for years
as a racing correspondent for Britain’s Sunday Express, and retired in the
British Caribbean territory of the Cayman Islands.

 

Captain Charles Leonard Kirkconnell  6 December, 1922 – 18 February

Charles Kirkconnell was a pillar in the Cayman Islands
business community.

He helped launch Cayman Brac Power and Light, and he sat
on the board of firectors of British Caymanian Insurance during Hurricane Ivan.

Mr. Kirkconnell sat in the Executive Counsel of the
Legislative Assembly and was responsible for the development of roads,
infrastructure and schools in Cayman Brac.

He was a leader and
innovator, and described by many as one of Cayman’s great men.

 

Michael Bradley  11
June, 1933 – 22 February

Michael Bradley was the Cayman Islands Attorney General
from 1982 to 1987.  His legal career spanned
46 years, including public sector roles in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean.

Mr. Bradley advised the Cabinet to establish the Cayman
Islands Law reports, which build case histories for reference purposes.

Mr. Bradley was also Cayman’s first Law Revision
Commissioner, from 1994 until his retirement in 2009.

 

Roger Stanley Johnson 
29 April, 1929 – 2 May

Roger Johnson was a physician and attorney who was
instrumental in building a hospital on Cayman Brac 40 years ago.

Over the years, Dr. Johnson helped out Caymanians in
education and training in hospital studies.

Dr. Johnson was a Fellow of the American College of
Surgeons, receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University
of Minnesota.  He was a chief surgeon at
the hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Philip Pedley  11
January, 1952 – 16 May

Phil Pedley first arrived in Cayman in 1971 and had a
great impact on the islands.

He first took a job as a lab technician at the old Cayman
Islands High School, but soon a local sailor and businessman by the name of
Captain Charles Kirkconnell had taken an interest in the young man — having
seen his obvious talents and intelligence.

Although he excelled in both civil service and as a
teacher, what Mr. Pedley will most likely be remembered for in Cayman is his
founding work with what has become the National Archive.

After earning his PhD in English literature in
Pennsylvania, with the assistance of Captain Charles, Mr. Pedley was asked in
the late-’80s to start the National Archive.

Mr. Pedley is probably best-known for the publication of
Founded Upon the Seas: A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People,
written by Michael Craton.

 

Urban Myles  24 May
1910 – 9 June

Urban Myles was best known for his delicious cooking on
the Gold Medal, one of the ships on which he sailed during his years at sea.

Mr. Myles celebrated his 100th birthday at the Seafarer’s
Hall in George Town, and he was also honoured by the Seafarers Association and
received an award for his efforts on behalf of all seamen.

Mr. Myles was Cayman’s oldest seafarer.

Samson “Sam” McCoy 
16 September, 1930 – 9 June

Sam McCoy was a tourism pioneer and icon on the Sister
Islands.  He was one of the first to
promote the diving industry of Cayman.

He was born in Spot Bay, Cayman Brac.  He helped expand the Southern Cross Club,
which became a world famous members-only club for fishing and duck hunting.

He established Sam McCoy’s Fishing and Diving Lodge Ltd,
which had the reputation of never disappointing its clients.

 

Robert Cecil Munn 
12 February, 1924 – 27 June

Robert Munn was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved
to Jamaica at an early age.  He served in
the US Navy during WWII.

He then returned to Jamaica and founded and operated two
businesses — Yellow Cab and Yellow Trucking. 
He was instrumental in bringing the first double-decker buses to Jamaica
for the Montego Omnibus Co., which he and his partners, Murph and Mercedes
Dullum, started.

In 1979 he moved to Florida where he worked as plant
engineer at Reddy Ice in Ft. Lauderdale for 10 years.

In 1989, he moved to
Grand Cayman, and along with his wife Mary founded Every Bloomin’ Thing, a
garden centre, tea room and flower and gift shop.  In 2006, he retired and moved back to
Florida.

Mr. Munn was a long-standing member of the Jamaica Rotary
Club and was well known in Jamaica and Grand Cayman for his dedication to those
less fortunate.

Desmond Seales  3
November, 1938 – 3 July

Desmond Seales was one of 11 children.  He followed his father into the printing
business, working at Yuille’s Printery in his late teens and eventually at
Camps’ Printery.

Mr. Seales was involved in publishing and media in the
Cayman Islands for some 40 years, starting the Nor’wester magazine in the
1970s.

He set up the Net News as an online publication in 1999
and launched it in print the following year.

The summer of 2010 marked the 10th anniversary of the
print edition of the Cayman Net News, which in June launched a new format.

 

Rick Alpert  1949 –
2 October

Rick Alpert was the TV station manager for Cayman 27.  He joined CITN from Atlanta 15 years ago.

Mr. Alpert was an alumni of the NYU film school, and he
was an Emmy Award-winning director and producer.

He had a passion for broadcast, and he advocated using
the television medium to benefit the community.

He was a part of the creative team for the Young
Caymanian Leadership Awards, and he produced the post-Ivan Raising the Roof
telethon which raised over $2 million for the National Recovery Fund.

 

Peter D. Ribbins 
31 August, 1947 – 12 December

Pete
Ribbins was drafted out of Ottawa with the fifth overall pick in the first
round by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1971 Canadian Football League
draft.  The 1971 draft class for the
Bombers was considered one of their best.

He wore number 73 in his five seasons with Winnipeg.  In a 17 August, 1972, game against BC, he
tied the CFL record with four interceptions in the game.  He held that record for 18 years.

In the Cayman Islands in the early 1980s, he was active
in the inception of the Flag Football Association.  He also worked many years at the Consolidated
Water Company in Cayman.

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