Tributes pour in as former fire chief dies

| 30/04/2018 | 22 Comments
Kirkland Nixon, Cayman News Service

Kirkland Nixon

(CNS): Kirkland Nixon, the Cayman Islands’ first local chief fire officer, who headed up the service for more than 40 years, died this morning after being ill for several months. Nixon (73) was a popular public figure who was as well known for his passion for orchids as he was for his long public service. Government officials lowered the Cayman Islands flag at all government buildings Monday for the long- serving civil servant, who was also member of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman and served on a number of government boards and committees, most recently for the airport authority.

Tributes poured in all day Monday on social media about the well-liked community leader.

Paying tribute to Nixon, Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was a personal friend and mentor.

“On behalf of the government I extend sympathy to his widow, Melba, his daughters Tammy
and Lorrie and the entire family,” he said. “Kirkland epitomised the best of Caymanian values: patriotism, hard work and diligence, honesty, integrity and fairness, frankness, common sense and judgement. These values endeared him to a wide cross-section of people in these Islands and beyond and shone through in the many roles he played in the development of these Islands and our
people and the preservation of ‘things Caymanian’.”

McLaughlin added that his service to the country spoke of a commitment rarely seen.”Despite
his illness, he continued to chair meetings of the authority’s board until March this year,” he said.

“On behalf of the government and people of these Islands I pay tribute to a man whose lifetime of selfless service will endure long after his passing and will continue to benefit Cayman for generations to come,” the premier stated, describing Nixon as “a true leader and visionary”.

He added, “Now he rests from his labours, leaving an incredible legacy of service and achievement. He is deeply loved and greatly respected and will be missed by all those who knew him and by the countless others whose lives he impacted.”

Officials said that this year’s hurricane exercise, which is taking place on Wednesday, will be named after Nixon, who also pioneered the development of disaster management in the Cayman Islands. He helped establish the National Hurricane Committee (NHC) and was pivotal in the creation of Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

Nixon received an MBE in 1979, and in 1989 he received the Queen’s Fire Service Medal (QSFM) and the Distinguished Service Award (IDSA) at the National Hurricane Conference.

In May 2013, in recognition of his contribution to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, which he was instrumental in building, its visitors’ centre was renamed the “Kirkland Nixon Visitors’ Centre”.

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Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Rest in peace Kirkie. I will miss our long chats and your opinion on many matters. Glad to have known you over the years and had the benefit of your wise counsel.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Nixon.
    Thank you.

    – Who

  3. Anonymous says:

    R I P

  4. Spotts says:

    I have known this family for years. Ms. Melba for years attending the Seventh day Adventist Church. I can imagine that she must be taking this very hard. Her daughters as well – Tammy and Lorrie ann. I love these people, and it pains me that more is added to their grief. But … God is watching.

    Love, M

  5. David S. says:

    Seems like Cayman is losing all the good ole pioneers and pillars of Cayman society. No wonder things are falling apart as others neglect thir duties as public servants, elected or hired.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If any man or woman on the island deserved a statue it was him.. I saw put one in front of the GT firehouse or in the courtyard of the courthouse with all the other national symbols.

    • Anon says:

      Please, please …. let’s not replace the humanity of this man with pompous speech. You know very well when you speak that, you are inviting politically motivated comments. Please … a father, a husband, a man well known to the community has passed away ?

  7. Donnie says:

    Blessed to have known him, honoured to have served with him and devastating to have lost him – way too soon.

  8. Eternal Flame says:

    Rest in Peace Chief Kirkland Nixon and I know you would not want these facts to be revealed no other way but in the PPM’s eagerness to celebrate your life and accomplishments they same to have omitted the truth that Chief Early James Miller was in fact the first fire Chief of the Cayman Islands and followed by Chief Wilbur DaCosta and then you. May your soul rest in the truth always. My Condolences to all family members

  9. Anonymous says:

    Truly a gentle giant. We will miss you at the Orchid Society. I know if there are orchids in heaven you will be busy taking care of them.

  10. Anonymous says:

    RIP Chief Kirk.

  11. Anonymous says:

    RIP Mr Nixon

    such a nice humble person, it was a great pleasure to have worked with him.

    may his soul rest in peace and God grant strength to the family

  12. Sad T says:

    I am not Caymanian but crossed paths with this great man through professional endevours while he was chairman of the airport authority. Despite his seniority, and my status as a relatively young, foreign and junior professional, Mr. Nixon was not only respctful but was also genuinely warm, humble and kind. I pay tribute to him as a great Caymanian and human being and console his family for their great loss. May the Spirit of God comfort you as only he can in this time of difficulty.

  13. Anonymous says:

    An inspiration gone.

  14. Mr. D says:

    We need more people like Mr. Kirkland Nixon in the Cayman Islands. Great Man.

  15. Anonymous says:

    A rare breed of person who lived with honesty, integrity, empathy and ethics.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Kirkland Nixon certainly lived his Lions Motto – “We Serve.” He served his country and the greater region with dedication and perseverance. His contributions to the many boards and society organisations leaves a legacy that will be hard to follow. Let us pause and give thanks for the life of a dedicated public servant who will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. Take rest now in the loving arms of your Lord and Saviour, good and faithful servant.

  17. You will be sadly missed says:

    A man of great character who contributed positively to Cayman society. I wad honour to be one of the person to nominate Mr. Nixon for his 2017 Tourism Pioneer Award which was well deserved. I am glad i gave him flowers while he wad alive to let him know he was appreciated.

  18. Anonymous says:

    RIP Mr. Nixon

  19. B.Smith says:

    A gentle and string person whose humble nature is like no one else.

    Thanks for everything you have done.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Rest in peace old friend.

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