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Statement on Governor Russell

Former Governor Thomas Russell

His Excellency, the acting Governor Franz Manderson, joins the people of the Cayman Islands, United Kingdom, Scotland, France and around the globe in mourning the loss and celebrating the life of former Governor Thomas Russell, CMG, CBE, OBE.

Mr Russell, who was aged 96, was an exceptional man and model leader, who served the Cayman Islands faithfully and tirelessly for many years both here and in the United Kingdom.

Throughout his life, his thirst for excellence and passion for achievement were readily apparent to all those who knew him.

Mr Russell took up his post of Governor of the Cayman Islands in 1974 after years of service South Pacific where he served in numerous posts including Chief Secretary and Financial Secretary. By the time he left the post of Governor of the Cayman Islands in 1982 he had been named a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (C.M.G.), which he received in 1980. He had already been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen with the award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1963, and Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 1970.

In the 35 years since he left these shores his kindness and empathy for his fellow human beings are still widely remembered by past and present civil servants.

Yet his good works also extended to members of the community who found themselves in need, from Caymanian students, businessmen and travelers during his two decades spent serving the Cayman Islands in the United Kingdom, to local and overseas veterans throughout the Commonwealth over the course of his life.

Mr Russell was fearlessly committed to helping others, and, in particular, to helping them to better their circumstances.

His warm-hearted personality ensured his welcome wherever he went, and we in the Cayman Islands were always extremely pleased to welcome him back during his frequent visits.

After his retirement he turned his focus from public affairs to supporting veterans in Britain, the Commonwealth, and the Cayman Islands. In 2012 he was honoured by HRH Prince Philip with appointment as Vice President for Life of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League (RCEL). I know his loss will also be felt deeply by members of the Cayman Islands Veterans Association whom he represented for years at RCEL Headquarters in London.

I would like to express my condolences to all of Mr Russellís remaining family members, his close friends, and all those who benefited from his contributions over the decades.

We know how deeply you must feel his loss and we share in your sorrow. The Government and people of the Cayman Islands have lost a great friend.

Flags will be flown at Half Mast for the next two days in honour of Former Governor Russell.

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks