Cline Glidden Sr. remembered for service and faith

Cline Glidden Sr., center, oversees order in the House during Queen Elizabeth's visit to the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly in 1994.

Cline Glidden Sr., a merchant marine and a boat captain for more than 40 years and who served as Serjeant at Arms of the Legislative Assembly for 15 years, passed away Monday at his home in West Bay. He was 91.

Cline Glidden Sr.
Cline Glidden Sr.

Friends and family remember Mr. Glidden as a humble man, dedicated to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in West Bay where he was an elder.

He was the longest serving Serjeant at Arms for the Legislative Assembly, supervising security, order and ceremony in the House from 1987 to 2002.

“This man is truly, personally, a man of impeccable character,” said longtime family friend Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush.

Mr. Bush was present when Mr. Glidden led his son, former Deputy Speaker for the Legislative Assembly Cline Glidden Jr., to take his seat as Speaker. “It was a unique event in the life of the family and the life of the legislature,” Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Glidden Jr. remembered that day. “It gave him an extra sense of pride,” he said of the time he spent as a Member of the Legislative Assembly while his father was Serjeant at Arms.

He was Serjeant at Arms for another unique event at the House, the ceremony for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1994.

“He lived and died in a very respectful, quiet, humble manner,” Mr. Glidden said of his father.

The senior Mr. Glidden was married to Eula Glidden for 62 years. She cared for him in their West Bay home until he passed away, as he suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease for several years.

Mrs. Glidden said her husband loved his work at the Legislative Assembly.

“He took great pride in giving tours and telling schoolchildren about the Legislative Assembly,” she said.

She said he was also proud of his time as a merchant marine and captain. She said he kept his master mariner certificate over the head of his bed, licensing him to captain ships of any tonnage. He spent 42 years as a merchant marine.

The couple married in New York City in 1954. Most of their courtship, Mrs. Glidden said, was by post and phone calls when her future husband was in port.

From the time of that courtship until he lost the ability to speak, Mrs. Glidden said, “He had this little saying he used to tell me: ‘I love you more today than I did yesterday, but not half as much as I will tomorrow.’”

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Glidden is survived by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Services are planned for July 10.