Frank Conolly of East End celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday, Oct. 8, surrounded by friends and family.
Mr. Conolly, who is an elder at Gun Bay United Church, is renowned in the East End district, so much so that the Morritt’s Tortuga Resort has made him its official ambassador. He greets, welcomes and entertains guests at the East End resort with his insights of Cayman’s history and traditions.
After a short tenure turtling in the Mosquito Cays, Mr. Conolly, like so many other Caymanians, went off to sail with National Bulk Carriers from 1953 until 1967. During that 14-year period, he returned home a few times to visit family.
On his final return visit to Grand Cayman, he worked with Suzy and Eric Bergstrom at the Tortuga Club (now the Morritt’s Tortuga Resort) and did some maintenance and painting. When Mrs. Bergstrom (now Suzy Soto) noticed his rapport with the tourists, next thing you know, Mr. Conolly was the official bartender.
During his time at the Tortuga Club, he served his popular rum concoctions to thousands of locals and visitors, including Prince Charles and Jacques Cousteau.
Boasting is not a Frank Conolly characteristic, so he’s forgotten just how many awards he’s received over the years, but those accolades include the Queen’s Medal and Appleton Rum’s Bartender Trophy.
Mr. Conolly feels a statue of the late Daniel K. Ludwig, owner of National Bulk Carriers, is way past due, considering he employed so many Caymanians before tourism and banking took hold in these islands.