Members of the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association gathered at the meeting hall on Shamrock Road for their annual Christmas dinner and raffle Saturday.
The raffle is the biggest fundraising initiative of the year for the seaman and for the third year in a row, the first prize was a boat.
Ms W. Berry’s name was drawn as the winner of the vessel; a Panga speedboat with a 25-horse power engine.
More than 1,000 seamen are registered members of the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association.
Manager of the association Mr. Godfrey McLean explained that there are still many other old Caymanian seamen who are there who should join, but have not yet done so.
Cost of membership is $100 per year and any seaman over the age of 55 is eligible to join the organisation.
Some of the benefits of membership include free medical insurance through CINICO, air ambulance service and 90 per cent of overseas medical expenses are taken care of.
The association has regular meetings on the third Tuesday of every month and often a speaker is invited to address the membership.
Some of the previous speakers include experts on diabetes, cancer and eye doctors. Members also often visit fellow seafarers when they get sick.
At the Christmas dinner the seamen and their families tucked into a feast that included turkey with all the trimmings, Cayman beef, stewed conch and curry chicken.
During the dinner Ms Diane Montoya of the Health Services Authority gave a speech and advised the membership that Government has decided to cut a check for $500 for each seafarer in addition to the regular monthly stipend they receive.
‘The announcement went down very well at the dinner and was greeted with applause,’ said Mr. McLean.
Mr. William (Buddy) Wood is president of the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association, Mr. John Douglas is vice president, Mr. Andrew Eden is secretary and Godfrey McLean is the manager.