Percival [Will] Jackson, a prominent local figure, business owner and cultural ambassador whose popular newspaper columns and longtime service to the Cayman Islands community endeared him to generations of Caymanians, died Saturday at his home in East End in Grand Cayman. He was 89.
Throughout his life, Mr. Jackson was honoured with several awards and recognised as a historian who held the pulse of Cayman Islands culture close to his heart.
Mr. Jackson’s articles on Cayman’s heritage became regular features in publications such as the Nor’Wester; the Caymanian Compass, and later the Cayman Net News.
He received the medal of an Officer in the Order of the British Empire; and his biography sets out a career that included service in the Home Guard and as a policeman. He also worked 20 years at sea, rising to the rank of chief steward, before later serving as a farmer, insurance agent and coproprietor of Will and Sybil’s Economy Store.
Mr. Jackson and his wife, Sybil, were married for more than 40 years and lived in the house he built about 50 years ago on the site of his grandfather, Simpson “Stonewall” Jackson’s home.
Mr. Jackson, born 12 December, 1922, told stories of old Cayman and these gradually took the shape of newspaper and magazine articles and then books, including “Up from the Deep” and “Smoke Pot Days”. He also wrote two manuscripts, “The Settlers” and “Down by the Sea”. He was awarded long and faithful service as an Elder at the East End Seventh Day Adventist Church by the Cayman Islands Mission of Seventh Day Adventists and also named Outstanding Caymanian of the Year. Mr. Jackson also was presented with the Custos Edmund Parsons Memorial Paul Harris Fellowship Award for distinguished service and contribution to the culture and heritage of the community.
He was made a Quincentennial Cultural Ambassador and Water Authority-Cayman recognised his contributions for being a founding member of the board of directors.