Flags fly at half-mast for Olive Miller

| 20/05/2020
CNS Local Life
Olive Miller

(CNS Local Life): Cayman Islands National Flags ares being flown at half-mast today at all government buildings to honour Caymanian cultural icon, Olive Miller, OBE, who passed away on Tuesday, 19 May, aged 98. Mrs Miller filled her long life with service to others, as a missionary, a pioneer in the news media in the Cayman Islands, and as a Justice of the Peace, serving in Juvenile Court and as Chairman of the Bench, as well as helping to organise numerous charities and community events.

Olive Hilda Miller was born in Essex, England on 9 November 1921. As a young lady she came to the Caribbean to establish her roots.

At the early stages of her career in England, she was a youth organiser, and in 1946 sailed to Jamaica as a missionary youth worker for the Church of Scotland. During this time she also worked in Grand Cayman, visiting six weeks at a time. 

Mrs Miller answered the local Presbyterian Church’s request for a mission worker, and in 1949, she became a teacher at the new Cayman High School.  On the weekends she worked with district churches. 

She met the late Mr Ray Miller of North Side and married in 1953 in England. The couple later returned to Grand Cayman in 1957 with their young daughter Kathryn. Their son Nigel was later born in George Town.

While in England Mrs Miller maintained her interest in youth work, serving as the Girls Guildry organiser. On her return to Cayman she took up work with the local Girls Guildry that she had founded in 1946. This movement became the Girls Brigade in 1965, and has influenced hundreds of local girls. From 1983 to the present Mrs Miller has served as Vice-Patron of Brigade International. She was awarded the Queen’s Badge and Certificate of Honour in 1967 for this work.

In the mid-1960’s she helped Mr Billy Bodden establish the country’s first newspaper, Trade Winds. Later, she helped him found its successor, The Caymanian. This experience made her a natural choice in 1971 to be the first Government Information Officer.

In 1982, Mrs Miller was seconded as a government Youth and Community Service Worker with the then National Council of Social Services, now known as the National Council of Voluntary Organizations. During her tenure with this organisation, she helped organise programmes and facilities such as the Pines Retirement Home, Pines Villas, Caring Cousin Scheme, and the Nadine Andreas Children’s Centre. Mrs Miller continued to serve on the NCVO Executive Committee, as a Pines Retirement Home Director, and as Deputy Chairman of the Children’s Services Board. 

From 1978 Mrs Miller was a Justice of the Peace, serving in Juvenile Court and as Chairman of the Bench. Also in the 1970’s, she organised annual International Nights for several years, to encourage harmony between the people of different cultures living in Cayman.  In 1980 she founded the Pink Ladies Volunteer Corps for the George Town Hospital. As a grandmother and great-grandmother, she organised the first annual Glamorous Granny competition in 1994.

Olive Miller was rewarded in 1977 with a Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal. In April of 2003 she was the only living recipient of the Quincentennial Distinguished Woman Award. Her contributions were again recognised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2018 when she received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal.

Cayman Flags will also fly at half-mast on the entire day of Mrs Miller’s funeral (date to be announced).


Category: Local News

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Rest In Peace Mrs. Olive, you have well earned your rest and Cayman will not forget your contributions.

  2. Alastair Paterson says:

    She was a national treasure and sadly they don’t make them in her mould any more. She spent her life helping others. The Pines retirement home should be named in her honor and memory. The ‘Olive Miller’ retirement home would be a worthy legacy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My country is much better for having had Ms. Olive in it. Many years from now persons will still be discussing her awesome contributions.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A truly great expat, who did great things for the Caymanian community

    • Anonymous says:

      Olive Miller was no longer an expat. She was very Caymanian and identified as such.

  5. A Real Cayman Patriot says:

    Having worked with Mrs Olive on many things I can tell she was an inspiration to me and to this day I still donate furniture water toys and gifts because of her. Once dealt with a very sensitive matter at the Pines for her involving staff I was touched by her humility and kindness towards others. Once when Mrs Olive was been awarded and honored for one of many contributions she seem a bit surprised about the fuss and said in her acceptance that she was merely doing what she was paid to do. We still have a good laugh to this day about it.God bless you Mrs Olive and I know I will see on the other side this a terrible loss to these little islands. My condolences to her family and friends at this time.

  6. anon says:

    She has more than earned the right to be honoured as a National Hero, but I would be very unhappy to see her in the company of our first one.

  7. Patrick says:

    One of the best individuals I have ever met, personally or professionally. Ms. Olive was humble, gracious and committed to others. A great example of servant leadership. An excellent model for young Caymanians. She will leave a huge gap in these Islands. Catherine and family, you have my heartfelt condolences. The Cayman Islands have lost a great patriot and nation builder. R.I.P. Ms. Olive.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A lady of honour, humility and filled with God’s spirit. A true national treasure. RIP “Miss” Olive. Condolences to her family.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Miss Olive was a truly amazing lady! Condolences to her loved ones and may her soul rest in peace… she has earned it. A couple of years ago our youth group was singing at The Pines and Miss Olive told the teens “Always think beyond yourselves… think of others…do whatever you can to lead a life of service!”. Certainly all of us can take this advice and do something for other to honour the life of Miss Olive. I hope, that at the appropriate time, some building or some roadway might be named in her memory.

  10. Anonymous says:

    She sounds like a remarkable women. Sending love to her family and friends at this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      A great legacy, a great lady, an honest to goodness Caymanian.condolences to her family.