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GARDINER His passion started at a very early age growing up in the sea port town of Parham and was further fuelled when his family relocated to Fort James in the late 1960s. At Fort James young Dwight was provided with an even clearer vision of what was to become his life’s work as he sat for hours gazing, from a strategic vantage point, at the merchant ships and various tug boats as they made their way to and from the St. John’s Harbour. He asserts that back then he somehow knew that his future was inextricably linked to all things maritime. Mr. Gardiner’s formal involvement in the Maritime sector began after leaving school in 1981. Mr. Winston Gomes the then operations manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority recruited young Mr. Gardiner to join this organization where he started his career as a trainee pilot. As part of his training and indoctrination he had to deal with all aspects of tug boat operations and the first year of his attachment was spent gaining his sea-legs which involved inter alia the chipping and painting of the tug he was assigned to the “Pathfinder”. During this period, Mr. Gardiner recognized that the industry, though very practical in nature, had evolved to the point where academic training in various maritime disciplines was virtually a must in order to truly excel. And this area being a virtually unexplored territory in the Caribbean provided an excellent niche area for him professionally. He therefore availed himself of every opportunity for further training in the maritime field starting with a Navigation Watch- Keeping Officer’s Certificate Course at the Canadian Coast Guard College in 1983. In 1986 Mr. Gardiner was transferred to the Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping as a trainee marine surveyor. He clearly 48 |

BusinessFocus • December/January 11/12

remembers the circumstances to this day where during the summer of 1986 he was approached by the Port Manager Mr. George Benjamin Becoming more familiar with the nature of the industry Mr. Gardiner quietly and deliberately mapped out his future plans and decided that post graduate studies would better position him to function in the administrative role he envisaged, and in 1989 he applied and got accepted to the World Maritime University in Sweden where he obtained a Masters of Science in Maritime Safety Administration (Nautical). His reputation therefore surpasses this region since as this country’s permanent representative to the IMO, he has been accorded various leadership positions in this highly esteemed body over the years. As Director his focus has been on the transformation of the Department to a world class maritime administration and the sensitization of the nationals of this country about the maritime industry and the many opportunities for employment. Mr. Gardiner is committed to the training of more nationals in the industry. His contribution on the regional level is evidenced by his Chairmanship of the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control since 2008 and the recognition bestowed on him by his peers at the Senior Maritime Administrator’s workshop this year where a statement of recognition of leaders in the maritime community hailing from the Caribbean and who have been in the maritime industry for over thirty years was issued and Mr. Gardiner was one of three persons to receive this high honour.

Business Focus Antigua Issue 40  

As 2011 comes to a close and we enter 2012, the forecast for the world economy continues to be news of job cuts and hints of a "double dip"...