Asked for his response to the news that he had received the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honour, Owen Farrington says: “I am humbled by this award and thankful to God for helping me to assist the underprivileged in our community”.
His career as a seaman and an advocate for seamen is characterised by just this kind of unassuming humility, but also by tireless diligence, according to news release issued by the Cayman Islands Government Information Service.
Mr. Farrington was born in the district of West Bay on 18 August, 1932. Many in the Cayman Islands may remember that as the year of “The Great Storm”, but it is also the year that the territory gained an inexhaustible human resource.
Working as a seaman for 26 years was just the beginning of Mr. Farrington’s history of care for his fellow man.
During one of his many turtling voyages, in the 1960s when he captained his own schooner, he received a call from a fellow seaman who reported that a group of shark fishermen had run out of drinking water after they were taken to Hobbies Cays, Honduras by another Caymanian schooner. Mr. Farrington detoured from his route, rescued the men and returned to Grand Cayman to deliver them home.
Following his return to the shores of the Cayman Islands, Mr. Farrington became a well-known advocate for seafarers and their families.
As president of the Cayman Islands Seafarers’ Association from 2001 to 2003, he famously took up the cause of widows of Caymanian seamen.
Approached by some of the women in regard to benefits they had hoped to receive through their deceased spouses, Mr. Farrington put the matter to the association board. It unanimously passed a motion to allow widows of Caymanian seamen to become members of the association in their own right. This motion became known as the “Widows Motion”.