John Bonwell McLean Sr., OBE, JP
Former Cabinet Minister, Cayman Islands
John Bonwell McLean was a politician and former Cabinet Minister in the Cayman Islands.
Early life and education
John Bonwell McLean was born in February 1950 to Vella and the late Berkley McLean. His father died when he was just 6 years old. He received his education at the primary school in East End and the Cayman Islands High School in George Town.
McLean said he owed his success to his brother Joseph McLean who supported him in school. When he graduated in 1968, he went to work with the Royal Bank of Canada as a filing clerk, rising to the post of assistant accountant. In 1973, he joined the staff of Northwestern Bank as operations manager, but left a year later to work in the accounting department of the Kirkconnell Brothers.
McLlean was the representative for East End in the Legislative Assembly from 1976 to 2000. When McLean held his first political meeting in Leanise Conolly’s front yard in 1976, he was 27 years old with an infant son. A powerful figure in Cayman’s politics in the 1970s, McLean unseated Warren Conolly for the district seat in East End in 1976 and went on to represent the East End constituency for the next 24 years. He served three times as minister and did six terms as an elected member.
In his district of East End, he is credited with the development of two civic centres, which have served the people in that District well during natural disasters. He also initiated the road, which bears his name in East End.
During his tenure in the Executive Council (now the Cabinet) he had responsibility for Agriculture, Lands, Natural Resources, Communications, Environment and Works.
McLean was also an avid farmer, being recognised many times during various Agricultural shows.
Honours and awards
In 1995, McLean was awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the community in the Cayman Islands.
McClean had three children with his wife Stephanie, née Miller. McLean later remarried to wife Denise and continued expanding his family. He was the father of six - John Jr, Shannon, Reagan, Priscilla, Britney and Catherine.
McLean died on Saturday, 24 August 2019. He was 69. He was accorded an Official Funeral on 10 September 2019 at Cayman Islands Baptist Church in Savannah, Cayman Islands.