A Caymanian seaman celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday with his Caymanian and Panamanian families.
McNeil DaCosta Connolly, who moved from Cayman to Panama when he was 14, but kept up close ties with the Cayman Islands over the years, laughed and chatted with his Caymanian family over the phone as his Panamanian family sang and cut his birthday cake.
Mr. Connolly is the brother of Clarissa Bird from Walkers Road who passed away in September 2010.
Mr. Connolly and his brother Edison went by ship to Panama with their father when he was a teenager. He worked in Panama to earn a living for their mother and sister who continued to live in Creek on Cayman Brac. Mr. Connolly visited his sister and her children in Grand Cayman on several occasions, and his Cayman relatives traveled to Panama often to see him and his family.
His Caymanian family said they were pleasantly surprised to see him still up on his feet and walking with a stick he carved himself when they visited in the summer.
They said he still recalls his days at sea and his childhood in Cayman childhood.
Mr. Connolly married in his early 20s and he and his wife had two daughters, Olga and Clara. He has four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; they all live in Panama.
In Cayman, he has two nieces, a nephew, four grand-nephews, five grand-nieces and several great-grand nieces and nephews.