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With John you had ‘a friend for life’

Former Bermuda resident and businessman John McCauley has been recalled by local associates as a generous friend to the island.

James Watlington, who founded Osprey Investment with Mr McCauley in 1997, said his former business partner had come from a strong Jesuit background in the Bronx that left him with a strong work ethic.

“There was a great deal about John that was likeable, including a keen sense of right and wrong. He came up the hard way; he was one of those people who studied while working.”

Mr McCauley, who died last month at the age of 69 after a lengthy illness, became acquainted with the island through his work with Marsh & McLennan.

A corporate tax lawyer at a time when international business flourished in Bermuda, Mr McCauley served as senior vice- president of Sotheby's insurance company from 1987 to 1994 and as tax director of Global Crossing Ltd from 1998 to 2006.

“It was a heady time for international business and John did quite well here,” Mr Watlington said.

Grace Young, a close friend who knew Mr McCauley from her time in private banking for Butterfield, said she had grown acquainted with him while managing his portfolio for him during his treatment at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre.

“He adored Bermuda — it was the place where he recovered. He was very comfortable here. When he left Bermuda in 1998 he was cancer-free, and he attributed that to living here,” Ms Young said.

“He loved the peace here, the slow pace of life, how friendly and hospitable Bermudians were. He helped a lot of people on the quiet here, too. Nobody in this island came in contact with John who didn't feel they had a friend for life.”

Although Mr McCauley sought a different life in the US after 1998, she said he later regretted leaving the island, but was devoted to his daughters Kerry and Kathleen, as well as his grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Ms Young recalled him as a devout Irish Catholic who enjoyed accumulating air miles that he could give away to people who could not afford to travel.

“If he doesn't make it to heaven, nobody else will,” she added.

Peter Card, who knew Mr McCauley from his work at Marsh & McLennan, said he had come to the island to set up a captive insurance company for Sotheby's at a time when local business was “taking off”.

“He was a real character, really smart as a tax lawyer with a real streak of the stubborn Irish,” Mr Card said. “He was very religious but didn't proselytise; he had a very strong faith but liked to have a good time.

“The thing I remember John for is his smile. If you ever needed help, he was always there. He was just a very loving person.”

Mr McCauley, who is also survived by his former wife Virginia, died on January 10.

Loving person: former resident John McCauley is warmly recalled by Bermudian friends. (Photograph supplied)

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Published February 02, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated February 02, 2016 at 12:50 pm)

With John you had ‘a friend for life’

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