SIMPSON BAY – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs attended on Saturday morning, February 20, the launching of the 27 ft. wooden boat Purple Heart built from scratch by 9 Milton Peters College (MPC) students at the St. Maarten Shipyard in Simpson Bay.
This initiative was a cooperation between the Marine Industry partners headed by Garth Stein, Kidz at Sea program and the technical sector of the school. In previous years, groups of students had made smaller boats from kits provided.
Minister Jacobs was quite impressed with the workmanship displayed during the building of the boat, and was in awe of the finished product with rigging and masts at the ready. The boat boasts a smooth white finish with assistance from professionals at the Shipyard.
The team made up of builders and sailors, comprised students of MPC and 1 from St. Dominic High as part of the Kidz at Sea program. They will also be taking part in this year’s Heineken Regatta, which the Minister considers an historic feat, especially for the first time builders.
Jacobs thanked the various businesses in the Marine Industry, which sought to educate and involve local youth in many aspects of the industry to peak their interest in finding meaningful employment as well.
The MPC teachers, management and staff were also commended for making use of this opportunity to learn through experience, which benefitted the students. Several students expressed an interest in working in the industry, and one young builder, Busby, also has dreams of owning his own shipyard.
Students also told of ex-MPC student Shaquille Walker, who is currently studying and working on rigging and masts overseas, an interest that was fostered as part of the Kidz at Sea program.
All involved in making this a success were congratulated, and they are looking forward to seeing this homemade boat sailed by its young crew in the upcoming Regatta.
This is a shining example of community cooperation, which is key to the country’s continued progress.
Source: 721 news Minister Jacobs attends Purple Heart boat launch