Captain Casey and the Kids of Mayreau

August 13, 2009

The late Captain Casey, of Windjammer Company, gave the seed money to start this school on Mayreau, a small island in the Caribbean with one road and 300 residents.

The late Captain Casey, of Windjammer Company, gave the seed money to start this school on Mayreau, a small island in the Caribbean with one road and 300 residents.

Samanda Dorger, our treasurer, brought us a new opportunity to support education on another island, this one in the Grenadines. The story comes to us through Samanda from her friend, Anne Stanley. It’s a chance to carry on a worthy cause and a seafarer’s tradition.

Capt. Cornelius “Casey” Plantefaber died last month after a long and happy career as a tall-ship captain in the Caribbean. Here’s a bit of the story about his work for the school children of Mayreau.

“Casey always seemed to have a love for the water and his career was certainly a reflection of that passion. Initially, Casey ran the Miami Beach Marina for many years until he became involved with Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, working as a Fleet Captain, having been at the helm of every one of its sailing vessels.

This leisure cruise line was based out of Miami. Its ships were former yachts and commercial vessels, refurbished as cruise vessels to accommodate 60-100 paying passengers and 20-40 officers and crewmembers at a time. Casey’s job was a main component in his life as he was truly happiest on the open water. He remained with Windjammer for nearly 30 years, working hard to help others enjoy a relaxing and unique vacation experience.

One of the things that made Casey so special was his gigantic heart, coupled with his spirit of compassion. As a Fleet Captain, Casey insisted that every ship’s captain “adopt an island” to sponsor. Casey chose the very poor and desolate Caribbean island of Mayreau, the smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, with an area of about one-and-a-half square miles, and a population of about 300.

At the time, this island had virtually no commerce and the only school available was off-island for children who had the means. Casey was instrumental in raising funds to establish a local school. Each year, he challenged passengers to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for the local children. He became a legend on the island and passengers delighted in seeing the children run down the hill to the harbor yelling, “Captain Casey! Captain Casey”!

A scholarship in his name has been established to continue providing educational opportunities for the children of this island.”

Isis Initiative, Inc. promotes healing, communication and connection through education and the arts. We currently offer scholarships to women in the Philippines who have the desire but not the resources to pursue a college education.

We are excited to expand our outreach and honor Captain Casey’s legacy helping the school children on Mayreau.

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