By anguillian February 5, 2018 12:41




This week will see the funeral of Calan Vandyke Vanterpool, 21, one of the youngest staff members of a new generation of Customs Officers in Anguilla. He died following an injury he sustained during the course of his surveillance duty while travelling on the Customs boat.

Since his unfortunate and untimely passing, flags have been flown at half-mast at the Customs Head Office in The Valley as a mark of respect to him. But a greater honour has been instituted to perpetuate his memory and service. It is an award for distinguished service to be presented annually to deserving Customs Officers.
The award was announced by Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Travis Carty, the youngest Anguillian public servant to hold that significant appointment. It is significant not only in terms of the high prestige it carries, but also in terms of overall responsibility in a department which brings in millions of dollars in Government’s revenue, has oversight of all of the island’s Customs laws and regulations as well as border protection.
Mr. Carty announced the award on World Customs Day on Friday, January 26. “When we thought that Hurricane Irma was the worst thing that came to us, we lost one of our own, Calan Vandyke Vanterpool,” he lamented to his fellow officers. “It was very difficult for all of us with the pain that we felt – and as I offered my shoulder, and you offered yours to me, we cried with each other. We wondered what next? There were questions, but we chose faith over fear. It was the first occasion, in a very long time, when grieving the loss of one of own, that I begged some of you to go home and take it easy but you told me: ‘Mr. Carty, we are Customs Officers. We will get through this’. Those who were at home on their off days came out to work so that we could support each other. We became a support network for ourselves because it mattered at that time.”
Mr. Carty continued: “In my eyes, Mr. Vanterpool and each of you, within the walls of the Customs Department, are my heroes and heroines. You see, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, it is you who protect Anguilla from the scourge of illegal drugs and firearms, and some of you may not have understood that until we lost our colleague. When I come to work and look at the Customs vessel, just outside the window of my office, it reminds me that we lost an officer and it is still as painful today as then.
“Today, January 26, is a bitter-sweet experience for us. It is World Customs Day and Staff Appreciation Day, and we are celebrating the life of Calan Vanterpool. His legacy will live on. In his honour, we have dedicated an award of distinguished service So be it known that, as from today, January 26, 2018, we will have the presentation of the Calan Vandyke Vanterpool Distinguished Service Award given to a few officers. We will make this an annual award ceremony, and going into next year we will have greater things. As we celebrate World Customs Day, I dedicate this day to the late Calan Vandyke Vanterpool, an ambassador for Anguilla, like yourselves, and one who always reminded me: ‘Carty, I love my job.’”
The first awardees in honour of the fallen Customs Officer were: Senior Customs Officer, Kurtz Lloyd, of the Cargo Control Unit; Senior Customs Officer, Daniel Proctor, Head of the Border Control Investigation Marine Unit, and Kennisha Leverette Francisca whose work has had a protection and interception role in the control of illegal firearms and drugs entering Anguilla during last year.

By anguillian February 5, 2018 12:41


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