War veteran, former Serjeant-At-Arms and real estate broker Sibert Rudolph “Bert” Watler passed away Tuesday morning. He was 96.
Mr. Watler’s family said he passed away peacefully at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
Born Jan. 5, 1919, Mr. Watler was one of 10 children born to Alfred and Clarabell Watler. He grew up in Pease Bay in Bodden Town.
Mr. Watler served his country in World War II when he was stationed on a U.S. troop ship for three years. He also worked for 23 years on oil fields in Venezuela.
He married his wife Veleen in May 1953 and returned to live permanently in the Cayman Islands in 1969.
Mr. Watler received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour from Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 on her first official visit to the Cayman Islands. He was given the award for his efforts in setting up the “Mother Needs Your Help” fund, to assist Britain during the Falklands Islands crisis in 1982. Cayman donated a total of 500,000 pounds sterling to the fund.
Mr. Watler was the first full-time Legislative Assembly Serjeant-at-Arms, serving in that capacity from 1974 until 1986, before entering the real estate business.
After Mr. Watler retired from his real estate company, Hibiscus Realty, he continued to keep active within the community, visiting friends, fishing, assisting various church boards and enjoying the company of his many grandchildren. He was also a church elder.
“During his retirement, daddy discovered his greatest love in life was fishing, spending time with his grandchildren and feeding chickens in the afternoon with his wife, the late Veleen Watler,” said his son Emil, adding that his father would be remembered by many for his friendly wave.
Mr. Watler is survived by his five children, including sons Rudy and Emil and daughters Della, Jane and Emelita, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, and his sister Athelyn Miller.
Mr. Watler received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour from Queen Elizabeth II in 1983 on her first official visit to the Cayman Islands.