He may sign “Derrington Miller” on the dotted line, but everyone … and we do mean everyone … knows him as “Bo.”
Even though he has never held elected office (he did run, twice), the well-respected businessman has been as active as any member of the Legislative Assembly on matters of public policy.
Long ago, Mr. Miller championed the idea of creating a public beach on Old Robin Road just east of the junction with Frank Sound and North Side roads. He never contemplated its bearing his name.
Nevertheless, last Saturday more than 100 people – friends, neighbors, politicians, Caymanians all – gathered to honor Mr. Miller in a public naming ceremony that will forever stamp his imprint on this special plot of North Side sand. It is, fittingly, the same site where Mr. Miller’s forefathers (he traces his Cayman ancestry back to the 1700s) built sailing ships.
Mr. Miller, who has been fighting cancer in recent months, has long played an outsize role in his community and these islands. A fierce advocate of Cayman and its people, he has often stood in public forums, on platforms and behind megaphones and microphones, reminding his audiences – acolytes and adversaries alike – to think creatively about opportunities and solutions to enhance the homeland.
The founder of the Young Caymanian Businessmen’s Association, Mr. Miller’s causes are too many to mention in this limited space. A staunch proponent of government transparency and stewardship of the natural environment, he has been keenly interested in promoting local leadership and ownership. His idea for a Cayman Infrastructure Fund would allow residents to invest in major public-private partnerships to fund (and thus own) major capital projects.
Even while he has fought his personal battle with cancer, Mr. Miller has continued to fight for solutions for the broader public. In a letter to the editor published in this paper last September, he urged government and the public to embrace alternative and emerging therapies for patients with cancer.
“As a cancer patient, I am continuously researching and discussing with my doctors and other experts on what miracles are on the horizon that would benefit me,” he wrote.
In reminiscing, our publisher recalls giving Mr. Miller a ride home years ago after an evening event. They became so engaged in conversation (wine, women, song and politics – always politics) that they did not stop talking until more than an hour after they had pulled into the parking lot.
On another occasion, Mr. Miller invited our publisher to take a personalized tour of North Side. “Bo’s Tour” was not just through the side roads and unmapped back bush of his district but also a tour of its history and heredity – a firsthand “who’s who” of North Side, its families and, of course, just enough “secrets” and “gossip” to keep a listener transfixed.
Plans for the beach named in his honor include a paved parking area, cabanas and possibly a small maritime museum. For generations, Bo Miller Public Beach will be a reminder of Mr. Miller’s fierce dedication to Cayman and its people.
If we were empowered, say by our new governor, to hand out new titles, we would indeed bestow upon Mr. Miller the honor of forever being known as the Prince of North Side. It would go nicely with a title he already indisputably holds – a prince among men.