Cayman Icon and Matriarch, Olive Miller, passes
By: Flynn Bush
On Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the Caymanian community was dealt another blow as one of our heroes passed on to her eternal reward. Although she never quite made it to her centennial birthday, Mrs. Olive Miller packed a few centuries worth of living into her time on this earth. Originally here as a missionary, she met and married her Caymanian sweetheart and, after a short time away, returned to Cayman. From the moment she set foot on our soil she embraced this country.
Mrs. Olive had so much ambition and drive to get things done and improve conditions for others. She drew on her faith and believed that it was a privilege to serve. Her nephew, MLA Mr. Ezzard Miller, remembered her response when someone asked her if she thought she was working too hard. “It’s not work,” she replied. “I have been called by God to do this.” That was the essence of her spirit.
So much can be attributed to her in this country. Undoubtedly, the Girls Brigade, the NCVO, the Pines Retirement Home, the Cayman Island High School (later to become Cayman Prep and High School), the Pink Ladies Volunteer Corps, the first newspaper, and the establishment of childcare centers can be attributed to her. However, this is not an all-inclusive list. She also worked behind the scenes in so many ways, often preferring not to take credit for her contributions.
Upon news of her passing, The Girls Brigade sent out a tribute to her. One statement sums up Mrs. Miller’s life nicely. “Ms. Olive impacted the lives of thousands of people in this country in so many ways and for those of us in GB we are so very grateful for her life. She lived her life with a steadfast faith in God; she was a leader in every sense of the word.”
Ms. Olive has received recognition and accolades during her lifetime. For instance, she has received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour (1967); the Golden Apple Lifetime Achievement Award (2009); The Member of British Empire (MBE, in 1997); Order of the British Empire (OBE, in 2018); and was one of the five Distinguished Women in History (2003). That is quite an impressive list. However, anyone who knew her would tell you that, even with all those awards, it is not even close to the true recognition and respect that is due Ms. Olive.
Today, as we remember Mrs. Olive Hilda Miller, the world is a little less bright. Her light is no longer here, but her memory remains. While she lived, however, she left plenty of examples of to truly live a life dedicated to service. She will be greatly missed. May her soul rest in peace; and may her legacy continue to grow.