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Bequia Sailing Academy receives donation from Mustique Trust

Bequia Sailing Academy receives donation from Mustique Trust

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The Bequia Traditional Sailing Academy has received a much needed boost from the Mustique Charitable Trust (MCT) in the form of a donation that will help with the repair and restoration of the oldest whaling boat, ‘The Iron Duke’, on Bequia.{{more}}

Last week Wednesday, administrator of the MCT Lavinia Gunn handed over the first installment of EC$10,892.33 to Lincoln Daniel of the Bequia Traditional Sailing Academy during a short ceremony at the office of the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust on Granby Street.

Administrative officer of the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust (The National Trust) Lavern Bentick-Phillips, speaking at the handing over, said that the Sailing Academy was established with an aim to keep the sailing and boat-building tradition alive.

She said that the group has in its possession two old whale boats, which are used to teach youngsters in Bequia how to sail, and the oldest whale boat, ‘The Iron Duke,’ is in desperate need of repairs and restoration.

“The St Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust has received funding from the Mustique Charitable Trust, which will be used to restore The Iron Duke, so that she can continue to sail for another 50 years,” said Bentick-Phillips.

The National Trust administrator said that the boat “is living maritime history” and the Bequia double-ender design was born based on the design of The Iron Duke.

Bentick-Phillips also added that the donation from the MCT will not only help restore The Iron Duke, but it was also help the Bequia Traditional Sailing Academy keep the sailing tradition alive in Bequia.

She said that currently, the group has some 20 children as members and, “when the kids are out of school, they sail, rather than drink alcohol and engage in other negative activities.”

She noted that apart from sailing, the Academy has a sail repair shop and the children are being taught about sail repair.

Daniel said that the Academy is very grateful for the assistance.

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