THE MANY FACES OF YACHTING IN ANTIGUATuesday 30th December 2014
Our series, 'The Many Faces of Yachting in Antigua' continues this month featuring Nehesia Nicholas–Gore, affectionately known as Nesie, who lives in Piccadilly with her husband Micah and teenage son Nicholas. She grew up in English Harbour and attends the St. Paul’s Anglican Church. She is a past member of JCI Antigua and a past student of the Christ the King High School.
What is your role in the Yachting Community in Antigua?
My official position is Club Secretary of the Antigua Yacht Club. However, over the years, I have been referred to as the Office Administrator and for the past two years as the Office Manager.
How long have you been in that role?
December 2014 makes 13 years.
Is this your first role in the Yachting industry? If not, what previous roles have you had?
No. My first role in the Yachting Industry was as a Receptionist at the Antigua Charter Company. This is where I learned first-hand from Charmaine Potter–George, my supervisor at the time, important lessons about office management and I believe that’s what prepared me for this role. She was very organized and I picked up a lot of skills from her.
What interested you in the Yachting Industry originally?
It’s not that I had a particular interest in the Yachting Industry. I was unemployed, I heard about a vacancy, I applied and I got the job – in both instances. However, I do enjoy this field because I meet people from all over the world especially during the season.
What is one of your most memorable moments during your time in this field?
I have had many memorable moments. My most memorable was when our former Board Member Elizabeth Jordan became Commodore. This was truly in my opinion a milestone. The club was founded in 1967 and has been male dominated from 1967 to 2006. So you can imagine how great I felt knowing that I was around to witness this momentous occasion. I was happy for her and happy that the club had turned a new leaf.
What is the highlight of the Yachting year for you?
That would be the Antigua Charter Yacht Show. It’s the event that kicks off the season. I love the atmosphere it brings – the Mega Yachts, the crew, the spectators and the agents. The taxi men are busy, shops around the village are more active and workers like myself are so happy that the season has started - we are always happy to see English Harbour come alive again.
Does yachting form part of your leisure activities?
No no. A few summers ago, Karl James, Former Olympian and Senior Instructor, gave me a few lessons which I enjoyed. I can see why people really enjoy sailing. It made me wonder why after all those years, I only went out sailing three times but when I am at the club I am busy in the office and on weekends I prefer to just relax with my family.
What do you think can be added or worked on to improve the yachting environment in Antigua?
The Yachting Environment in my opinion gets overlooked. Each year, we have hundreds of school leavers with no real plans for their future. I believe if High School students see what opportunities are available in the Yachting Industry, Antigua and Antiguans will be better off.
My ideas are as follows:
Third Formers need to know what opportunities are available in the Yachting Industry.
a. We need an annual seminar that targets third formers exposing them to life as a - Yacht Captain, varnisher, rigger, sail maker, deck hand, chef on a yacht etc. You see our young people are not thinking about these opportunities because we are not doing enough to show them what options are available to them. If you ask a third former about their career aspirations, they most often say they aspire to be a doctor, a lawyer, a Banker etc. etc. These careers are great but what about being a Yacht Captain – this is ambitious too and very rewarding financially.
b. After this seminar, they will leave with a wealth of knowledge.
c. What is needed next is internships and scholarships to empower the youths so that they have more options.
What is your advice to someone wanting to start in the yachting field in Antigua?
If you are thinking about getting into the Yachting field, it’s absolutely important that the individual is personable, professional, eloquent and pro-active. One should also exude confidence at all times. They should be able to provide great customer service skills. I have seen a lot of personal growth in myself throughout the years and I thank the Antigua Yacht Club for allowing me this great opportunity.
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