By Flynn Bush
It seemed like October 7th, 2020 was a day like any other. The sun came up, and people starting on their regular routine; work, school, or whatever, just as they have so numerous times before. Surely, there was no indication that by the end of the day, the Cayman Islands would be minus one of its icons. Regrettably, however, that is what would transpire on that day as Bob Daigle went home to his eternal rest.
Mr. Daigle was already an established martial artist when he graced these shores for the first time in the eighties. He was already a world class caliber fighter and well on his way to becoming one of the most influential personalities in this region. It is needless to say, because it is so often the case for visitors to these islands, Bob fell in love with the country and the people. He made the decision to make it his home as well. It was not too long before he had established his own dojo here. Over the years, he would end up having literally hundreds of students enter the doors to his training facility. Those who took his classes and learned from him, were all the better for it as he taught about life, in addition to martial arts.
Bob might have started his karate career in Boston, but he built a life here in Cayman. He was a true citizen. It was here that he started a family, and where his children reside. It was also here where he trained for his multiple world championships; the last one coming in 2015 at the age of 55. He was truly at home in the Cayman Islands.
Every once in a while, as we go through life, we are blessed with having a special person in our midst. We get to see them at work, to learn from them, and to emulate them. It is up to us whether or not we take advantage of these opportunities while we have them with us. Sadly, we no longer have a chance to do with Bob Daigle. His time on earth has come to an end, but the life he lived will forever resonate with those left behind.
I trust that each of you who, in any way, came into contact with Mr. Daigle will recount with fondness the experience. Bob was a special person who made others feel special as well. He contributed much to the betterment of this society and he will be truly missed. To his family, we pray God’s comfort and peace for you. For those of you who never met him, unfortunately, you missed a great deal. Rest in Peace, Mr. Bob Daigle.