In an informal outdoor ceremony held in Plymouth, the entire remaining assets of the Crusoe Reef Society, consisting of a cheque for 35,000 TT$, an 18ft open boat and a small but valuable library of books and scientific reports, were donated to the Buccoo Reef Trust.
The ceremony marked the official end of the Society, a marine conservation NGO whose volunteers undertook a number of activities aimed at the protection of Buccoo Reef during the eighties and early nineties, including the making of the famous film “Cry for Buccoo”.
Speaking as the last president of the Crusoe Reef Society, Marc Franco gave his blessings to the Buccoo Reef Trust and wished it the best of luck in its efforts for marine conservation and environmental education. Kevin Kenny, a previous president of the Society, added that he was delighted that as a local Tobago initiative, the Buccoo Reef Trust had taken up the challenging task of raising awareness for the plight of Tobago’s coral reefs. He expressed support for the approach taken by the Buccoo Reef Trust, which is to ensure the long-term viability of its conservation efforts.
Gerald MacFarlane, accepting the donations as a Director of the Buccoo Reef Trust, expressed his gratitude for their generosity and stressed the importance of marine protection on a small island like Tobago. MacFarlane insisted that community participation in this process was essential for tangible benefits to be seen, and that greater environmental education in schools and in the community was needed.
The money from the cheque will spent on outfitting the boat and diving equipment. These will be used for educational and research purposes with both local and international institutions. Also in attendance was Simon Parkinson, a former director of the Crusoe Reef Society, and Kaye Trotman and Dr. Owen Day directors of the Buccoo Reef Trust alongside staff members Barry Lovelace and Roland “Saga” Guilland.