The Bahamas Maritime Cadet Corps (BMCC) 5th Graduation Ceremony was held on June 5 at Mangoes Restaurant.
This year, there were 12 graduates: Charles Bethel as top student; Jerome Coakley; Renard Sawyer; D’Shane Knowles; Andrew Bootle; Antonio Roland; Davonte Scott; Makayle Jones-Stuart; Jaleel Johnson; Kerry Fleuridor; Tony Knowles; and Keivaugh Lakeman. The students represented Forest Heights Academy; Long Bay; Cyber Learning Centre; and S.C. Bootle High School.
The graduation ceremony was opened by Kimberly Butterfield, program moderator, and complimented by the singing of the National Anthem by Akeem Adderley. Cadet D’Shane Knowles gave the welcome address before Anthony Hanna, BMCC instructor, addressed the audience. He spoke to the cadets on the key points of determination.
Marques Williams, Abaco’s Port Administrator, was the keynote speaker. He illustrated how the shipment of goods and communication has changed the world significantly, and the importance of people being ability to change, to adapt and to evolve.
“Things change or evolve constantly; we must be able to adapt to the changes. The maritime industry is no different,” he said. “At this very moment there are 20 million containers moving across the world. There are about 1.5 million seafarers in the global fleet.
“We must evolve to better ourselves. As you leave this place ready to embark on your future endeavors in this industry that changes with the tides, embrace change. Explore our global village and challenge those that oppose change. Ride the waves of success to your amazing future.”
Toward the end of the ceremony, cadets were presented with awards and their BMCC graduation certificates.
Glender Knowles, BMCC Coordinator, gave closing remarks. Assisted in the classroom by BMCC Instructors Paul Miller, Leroy Whylly, Anthony Hanna, and Torrey Forbes, Knowles shared that they had experienced yet another successful year with the BMCC program.
She was delighted that so many parents were sensitized on how big the maritime industry is, and the opportunities available to their children.
“The Bahamas currently has the fourth largest ship registry in the world, so students graduated with the knowledge of the vast amount of opportunities available for them to pursue,” she explained. “I would like to thank the Bahamas Maritime Authority, and the Bahamas government for their continued support and for continuing to sponsor a wonderful program like this.”
Additionally, students going into Grade 7 and 8 for the 2014-2015 school year have the opportunity to sign up for the Maritime Summer Camp, which will be held from June 30 to July 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS). The program is sponsored by Campbell Shipping and Lowell J Mortimer Academy.
Knowles said that because so much competition exists in the maritime industry, they want Bahamian students to be introduced to maritime early on, so that they too are more competitive.