Caymanians for Caymanians (CfC)

October 10, 2009

Heritage Corner

Filed under: Heritage Corner — CfC Unity @ 1:24 PM

The first person to introduce the concept of offshore tax haven to Cayman was James David Macdonald.

James David Macdonald, a native Calgarian, was born in 1922.

He received his early schooling in Calgary and graduated from Western Canada High School. In l937 he joined the Calgary Highlanders and went on active service with the unit at the onset of WorldWar II. In February, l940 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force and received pilot’s wings in May, l940. After 2 years as a pilot instructor he joined a Spitfire squadron in England. In l943 he volunteered for the Wingate expedition where he acted as air force liaison officer in charge of supply drops and casualty evacuation with a column dropped behind Japanese lines in Burma. After walking many miles through thick jungle, the survivors were air lifted to hospital in India, for 3 months in hospital recuperating from various diseases of jungle warfare,., He was then posted to the Calcutta staff of Lord Louis Mountbatten as Intelligence Officer (deception), with rank of Squadron Leader. He returned to the Spitfire squadron in England just before war in Europe was ended, and was discharged from the air force in December l945.

Back in Canada he entered the Law course at the University of Toronto. On graduation he was awarded the Beaver Club Trust scholarship, the equivalent of the Rhodes Scholarship but restricted to ex-servicemen, and entered the law school of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. During his two years there, he was awarded a scholarship to attend a course in International Law held at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Holland.

In 1951 he served Articles ,was admitted to the Bar of Alberta and practiced with a Calgary firm before establishing private practice in l955.

Mr. Macdonald was elected to the City of Calgary Council in l955 and re-elected in l957. He failed at his  attempt in legislative politics as a Progressive Conservative candidate for Calgary North in the provincial election of 1958.

His name gained prominence as a result of his successful law suit against two members of the Alberta legislature, John Landeryou and Roy Lee, who were sitting illegally.

In l960, Mr. Macdonald moved his family to Grand Cayman where he was the first qualified lawyer to live on the Island, and wrote the Companies Law (1961) which established the Island as a tax haven.

*More to come on James Macdonald.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: