Who we are
DELROY EARLE (AKA DUDU)
WARDEN LEADERBorn and brought up in Exchange, Dudu has been fishing since he left school at 16 in 1982. A shooter he was free diving down to 60ft. Since attending his first Sanctuary meeting in March 2016, he’s a total convert. “When I go down to Oracabessa I can’t believe the number of fish there. From Pineapple to Oracabessa there are no fish. So this, that we’re developing here, might vex some but after a while they’ll benefit. We’ll fight hard, we’re not going to let go till we have what they have.” He would like to be a coral gardener.
MARK LOBBAN (AKA NATTY)
WARDEN LEADER/CORAL GARDENERLike his grandfather and father before him, Natty’s been fishing all his life. A free diver down to 100ft, he used to make a comfortable living, but not now. He’s been part of the project from the get go, having seen fish numbers dwindle. He is a full-time warden and coral gardener after passing his Open Water (scuba) Diving Certificate to 60ft, courtesy of Sandals Ochi. For Natty it’s a life-changer, “the first time I’ve had a regular job, with regular hours and regular money”.
LIPTON BAILEY (AKA GEORGE)
WARDEN LEADERMulti-facetted, but a passionate fisherman at heart, Lipton trained as an accountant, spent five years in St Maarten as a painter working for a Dutch company, and can turn his hand to cooking and farming. But always a fisherman – for 54 years! This father of 14 remembers a time when the shallow reefs in front of Hermosa Cove were like a larder “You could pick your size, your type, it was all there. Now it’s not and we got to protect it.”
GIFTON ALLEN (AKA JOSHY)
WardenSon of the famous Ms Merle of the Fish Joint that allows the WRFS to hold its weekly meetings and father of Neal, Joshy, 49, is Treasurer of the WRFA. Born in Exchange, he’s a talented pastry chef who learned his skills at the Tropical Oven. When a supervisor suspended him, the boss lady came to beg him to come back. “She had 5 guys doing what I did!” After his brother was tragically killed in an accident, he came back to help Ms Merle, leaving the pastry shop in the mid-nineties after 15 years to do fish pot and deep-sea fishing full-time in her boat, Silverado. He has 3 children. “I’m here because I want to see the fish population increase.”
ELVIS BAILEY (AKA BUDDY OR JOHN BOY)
WARDENSon of Rasta John, a fisherman, Elvis at 20 is our youngest recruit. Born and schooled in Exchange, he’s been fishing all his life but is a great believer in the Sanctuary. “There’s no fish. We got to preserve them in the shallows, so they’ll get bigger and have more babies”. His ambition is to join the coral gardening team which means passing an Open Water Diving Certificate down to 60ft.
EVERTON SIMPSON (AKA EVA)
WARDEN/CORAL GARDENERFather of 5, Everton, age 66, started life as an electrician then moved into watersports. “I saved 50J$ in 10 years as an electrician, and 500J$ in one as a diving instructor!” He benefited from a Canadian program to train scuba divers. He was sponsored by his employer to become an instructor, and worked in all the hotels along the coast. Any free time he had “I was always spear-fishing”. In on the Sanctuary project at the start, Eva believes it should have been set up 20 years ago. “I used to hear it from the visiting divers. Where are all the fish?”
NOEL FRANCIS (AKA COOK)
WARDEN SUPERVISORNoel trained as a waiter, then switched to cooking. His dream was to be on cruise ships which he did for 4 years. He then had his own business as a cook supplemented by “all kinds of jobs”, but not fishing! Now he has another dream: to partner in a boat and fish part-time alongside his warden duties. Cook was an obvious choice to be WRFA’s Secretary, as he wrote notes for himself when he first started attending the meetings. Rastafarian is about teaching and sharing love, a philosophy he brings to his warden’s duties.Noel has a daughter and 2 grand-daughters.
BLUNTLY BROWN (AKA JACKEYE)
WARDENA fisherman through and through, Bluntly has been fishing since he was 7. Born and brought up in Exchange, he is a shallow-water spear-fisherman who has seen fish numbers tumble, hence his interest in the Sanctuary. “I really believe it will bring back the fish.” From what the other fishers say, Jackeye is a real catch for the Sanctuary! If he’s convinced….!
DONALD ANDERSON (AKA DING OR RINGO)
WARDENBorn in Jefferston, Donald left school early and has been cooking for 54 years in cookshops, restaurants and on cruise ships. He owns the Rising Star restaurant at Refuge Isle, Exchange, and will open it again as soon as he’s raised some more funds. “I heard about the WRFA when Everton and I helped with their first clean-up [Nuh Dutty Up Campaign] and we have attended every meeting since then.” A new career? “You could call it that – but I also want to re-open the restaurant.” One of 10, he has three children.