Benson Ebanks passes on
By: Flynn Bush
We are are less that a fourth of the way through 2022 and we have lost another Caymanian icon. Mr. Benson Ebanks, OBE, passed away on Tuesday, 29th of March. To say that he contributed greatly to this country would be an understatement of the greatest magnitude. To say that he will be sorely missed does not quite capture the essence of the moment. Nevertheless, the task at hand is to adequately describe the significance of his life, and his service to his country and people; all in a mere 500 words.
In the public service vein of his life, Mr. Benson served as a member of the Legislative Assembly for decades. He was also a member of the Executive Council (equivalent of today’s Cabinet) and served as Minister in various capacities, in various terms. He was principally responsible for the enactment of the Caymanian Protection Law in the 1970’s, sparked advances in education for the islands, promoted careful and calculated development of the country, and stood watch over the country’s prosperity as Leader of Government Business. In addition to those achievements, and many others, he was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and he was the first Chairman of the National Council of Voluntary Organizations (NCVO). Thus, he contributed greatly to the stellar work those organizations have done in our community.
In business, Mr. Benson was just as accomplished. He was the Chairman of Cayman National Bank for the first 36 years of its existence, after being a founding shareholder for the corporation. Moreover, he owned several successful businesses of his own, employing dozens of Caymanians in the process. He was a staunch proponent of entrepreneurship and advised many others to do likewise.
regards to his personal life, Mr. Ebanks was fiercely devoted to his family, his wife and children. He would often say that whatever he did, he did for their benefit as well. Although his wife, Bessie, preceded him in death, he leaves behind his beloved children Gina, Judy, and Janet, and his grandchildren as well. Undoubtedly, they will always cherish their memories of time spent with him; and they will carry him in their hearts forever. Also, many extended family members and friends are encumbered with grief at his passing.
The Premier’s Office has announced that, upon announcement of the funeral date, the flags at all government buildings will fly at half mast out of respect for Mr. Benson Ebanks. The country will grieve one of its native sons and devoted defenders as he reaps his eternal reward.