Bonaventure gets addition

Residents of Bonaventure House for boys using the property’s vocational workshop will now be able to work in a shaded area outside, thanks to a joint effort between the Dart Foundation and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman.

Nick Freeland and Jennifer Leach

Rotarian and CAYS Foundation Deputy Director Nick Freeland, right, stands next to Bonaventure House Deputy Care Manager Jennifer Leach, while other Rotarians and invited guests socialise at an event to mark the completion of the extension of Bonaventures vocational workshop building. Photo: Alan Markoff

The two organisations teamed up to build a covered extension to the already-existing vocational workshop. The effort also entailed extending the structure’s concrete slab, said Rotary President Derek Haines.

‘Dart paid for it and Rotary provided some labour in the painting of the extension,’ he said, adding that Dart also provided professional expertise and labour for other aspects of the project. ‘Basically, Dart did it and we tried to stay out of their way. Obviously, we’re very grateful to them for their support.’

Bonaventure House as long been a pet project of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, which built the home for boys in 1977 and has helped out with additions and maintenance every since.

‘We’re keen to maintain that connection and help with their needs the best we can,’ said Mr. Haines, adding that the project also benefited Rotary Club members.

‘We’ve spent a few Saturdays out here as a group,’ he said. ‘It’s been hard work, but it’s been good fun as well. It’s been good for team building having the club working together.’

Rotary’s involvement with the vocational workshop renovation project started back in 2005 when Rotarian Lindsay Scott was the club’s community service director.

‘We basically gutted the building, cleaned it up and painted it,’ Mr. Scott said. ‘We built doors for it – it was all open back then – so it could be locked up at night. We also built some work benches.’

The back half of the structure became a woodworking and small-engine workshop, while the front room became a small gym with exercise machines.

Rotarian Nick Freeland spearheaded the most recent project, partially because he is also the deputy director of the CAYS Foundation, which administers Bonaventure House. ‘I did painting with Rotary and now I accept the project on behalf of the CAYS foundation,’ Mr. Freeland said.

As chairman of the CAYS Foundation Property and Functions Committee, Mr. Freeland said he identified the extension of the vocational workshop as an important project so the boys would have more space and a cooler environment in which to work.

‘It’s so important for these kids to have a vocation to further their careers,’ he said. ‘The extension is very beneficial to the boys at Bonaventure.’

To celebrate the completion of the project, Rotarians held a social event at Bonaventure House last Saturday afternoon, complete with a barbeque and beverages.