Dr Vance Lannaman a visionary in Jamaica's shipping industry - Part 2
The first part of this article was carried on September 20. As a graduate of Kingston College, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers - London (FICS) and a Fellow of the Institute of Arbitrators-London (F.I.ARB), 90-year old Dr Vance Lannaman, pioneering member of the shipping industry in Jamaica, still believes in lifelong learning and endeavoured to exercise this personally and with others throughout his career.
His foresight is reflected in his many correspondences to the Ministry of Transport seeking support for the Caribbean Maritime Institute in its early days when it was known as the Jamaica Maritime Institute (JMI). In one of a series of letters he outlined that "the art of navigation as well as the great majority of seamen received all or most of their training on the job and usually in a haphazard fashion. Those aspiring to be officers have taken correspondence courses from overseas". His concept of a local training institution would offer initial modest training opportunities for deck, radio and engine officers, deck and engine room ratings as well as nautical cooks and caterers. This training facility became a reality in 1980 and a corporate body under the JMI Act of 1992. Later in 2001 JMI changed its name to the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), operating under the Ministry of Transport and Mining with offices located at Norman Manley Highway, Palisadoes Park, Kingston.
Today the Institute offers masters, bachelors and associate degrees, as well as a host of customised courses in seafaring and related areas such as logistics, engineering, security, immigration, freight forwarding, customs processes, among others. It has also won many awards for quality, received multiple accreditation, attained ISO certified and international recognition.
With the establishment of the CMI, Dr Lannaman set his sights on creating a national merchant fleet. He wrote to then Prime Minister Edward Seaga explaining the benefits of such a development for the economic growth of the country. In response, the prime minister wrote to Dr Lannaman detailing the establishment of a task force to manage this development. Members of the task force included Anthony Hylton, chairman of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Lucien Rattray, general manager of the PAJ, Ismael Robertson, general manager of NewportWest Cold Storage, and Vance Lannaman, among eight other persons from three ministries and corporate Jamaica.