Emotions run high at shipping event

Much emphasis was placed on training young people, but the emotions stirred among participants at the 48th Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Shipping Association were a surprise.

They were caused by the story of a young third-year student of shipping and logistics at the Caribbean Maritime University of Kingston, Jamaica, Horatio Mclean.

Horatio accompanied the Jamaican delegation to Panama. He began his story by explaining how his ambitions as a poor student in secondary school could easily have been dashed if he had not had the perseverance and help of the association.

He lived in a Kingston shelter for the poor and tried every way he knew to get a job that would allow him to study a career in shipping and logistics.

Horatio Maclean at the MIT offices.

Horatio Maclean at the MIT offices.

The rejections were enumerable.

He knew that it had something to do with his social stranding by living in a shelter, and felt that the color of his skin was also involved, because in his address he placed emphasis on two of his obvious heroes – Nelson Mandela and Barak Obama.

It was at this point, as he spoke against discrimination and used his experience as an example to other young people that he broke down in tears.

The reaction from the packed hall of members and guests of the Caribbean Shipping Association was a standing ovation.

After a few minutes, he finished his story thanking those who had faith in him, the association and members and friends who had helped him gain the scholarship to university.

He again received a final standing ovation from the emotional audience, stirred by his story of perseverance.

As a token of esteem for his fight against adversity, a software company presented him with a specialized program on shipping and logistics.

Several times during the opening ceremony emphasis was placed on the importance of training young people by the regional members of the Caribbean Shipping Association.

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