MACI forsakes Christmas party, gives to Brac seamen

| 17/02/2009

(CNS): Last December, the staff of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI) collectively decided to take funds allocated for the organisation’s annual Christmas party and instead donate the funds to the Veterans and Seaman’s Association of Cayman Brac, whose Hall on the Bluff was severely damaged by Hurricane Paloma in November. (Left: Jaris Poldervaart, MACI representatives Krista Dixon and  Kenrick Ebanks, Holroy Walton and Arlin Tatum)

Last week representatives of MACI, Mr. Kenrick Ebanks, Director – Global Operations, and Krista Dixon, Maritime Officer and MACI Social Committee Chairperson whose family is from the Brac, travelled there to present a cheque in the amount of CI$10,000 to representatives of the Cayman Brac Veterans and Seaman’s Association. Accepting the donation were the organisation’s President, Holroy Walton, and retired seafarers,  Arlin Tatum, George Walton and Jaris Poldervaart.

MACI CEO, Joel Walton, himself from a seafaring Brac family, said, “A number of us here at the Maritime Authority have been closely impacted by the devastation caused to the Brac and our families there. The entire staff of MACI felt the funds earmarked for a Christmas party would be far better spent in helping those affected on Cayman Brac, and we feel blessed to be in a position to be able to help during the Brackers’ time of need.”

On accepting the donation, Holroy Walton said, “I must tell you the truth, that I am very proud and happy to know people of such character to present such a generous amount to our recovery.” H. Walton, who spent 31 years at sea, is the grandson of a Master Mariner, and he noted that the late father of  Joel Walton, Mr. Japheth Walton, was one of the pioneers in the Brac’s shipbuilding heritage.

“We take great pride in the sea,” explained H. Walton, “and that’s why we built the Seaman’s Hall, and to help keep the legacy of those who’ve gone before us.” He said he wished to thank all those at MACI, and, especially his cousin, Joel Walton, for the generous donation, adding that he was “overjoyed for the consideration”. He hoped they would be ableto realise even more financial resources to enable them to preserve the Hall “for those younger ones coming up.”

Dixon said she was particularly pleased to be able to personally participate in the presentation. “So many of us at MACI Headquarters in Grand Cayman have close connections to people here on the Brac and it makes me particularly proud to work for an organisation that contributes to the ongoing tradition of all things maritime in the Cayman Islands.”

In an additional spirit of holiday giving, MACI also, in December, donated a considerable amount of furniture to John Gray High School. The presentation was made to the school’s Deputy Principal, Allan Hewitt by Glenda Dilbert-Davis, MACI Head – Human Resources and Administration (left). This was a result of the organisation’s move to new office accommodation at Strathvale House on the waterfront.

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