The current president of the SAJ, Roger Hinds is working to chart a new relevance for the Association. His vision is to see Kingston become a major distribution and logistics hub that offers value-added services to cargo shipped from China to the Americas.
He joined the SAJ’s managing committee in 1995 and contributed to the development of industrial relations on the Port of Kingston as the SAJ’s lead negotiator at the Joint Industrial Council for a ten year period. He also initiated the establishment of an Industrial Park in the Newport West Community.
During his tenure, Mr. Maragh was instrumental in arranging significant improvements for local agents. He also played a key role in the development of the Caribbean Cruise Ship industry, which has offered significant opportunities for Caribbean shipping agents.
A lawyer by training, he lead the SAJ’s team at the Muirhead Commission and the industry teams in parliamentary discussions on the Merchant Shipping Bill. His many accomplishments include the SAJ’s participation in the establishment of the Chair in Labour Studies at the University of the West Indies; the initiation of the SAJ’s transformation plan; the provision of the SAJ’s mobile clinic and the establishment of the demurrage and detention collection company, Assessment Recoveries Limited.
He changed the billing system for ship handling from ‘cost plus’ to a fixed charge as the most important innovation in the modern Jamaican shipping industry. It gave Kingston a decided advantage over other regional ports. Captain Belcher was the first recipient of the SAJ’s “Shipping Personality of the Year” award.
A member of the shipping dynasty of Johnston’s, he was vice president in 1992 and president in 1993. He has been a member of the managing committee with few interruptions since 1976.
A son of Montego Bay, Gladstone Morris began his career in shipping at the Unifruitco wharf in 1956. He became president of the SAJ in 1991. His year as chairman was hectic mainly due to the fact that the Jamaica’s inflation rate soared and the Jamaican dollar devalued appreciably.
He was chairman of the joint port committee on regulations and legislation required to make the port more efficient. Numerous social outreach events were sponsored during his tenure, for which he received several honours, especially for his leadership in bringing peace to Central Kingston through his work with community groups.
During his tenure the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) held its first week-end training seminar for employees of the shipping industry and Port Computer Services Limited became a registered firm. He earlier carried out a feasibility study for port improvements and combined the stevedoring sections of Lascelles, AE Parnell and Ocean Shipping Limited to create Jamaica Terminal Operators. He was very involved in social outreach and in 1982, the SAJ entertained 3, 750 children of Portworkers at Christmas.
He served seven years as chairman of the SAJ in three separate periods, the longest tenure of anyone. He is regarded as an expert on Jamaican shipping affairs, having been involved in the shipping industry for over 30 years.
Starting out as a time-keeper with Grace, Kennedy Stevedoring in 1951, he rose from the ranks to eventually become Chairman of the SAJ. He provided oversight for the transfer of the Shipping Association of Jamaica’s headquarters from 161 Water Lane to the Kingport Building in 1975/76.
Robert Bell was the first Jamaican to become a manager at Western Terminals. During his tenure, the new port was completed and berths one to four occupied by Western Terminals. He also witnessed the first vessel to arrive on the new port, the MV Marion.
A son of the soil, Peter Evelyn witnessed the first change of Government in independent Jamaica. During his tenure, at the SAJ he re-evaluated the constitution with a view to making Association more profitable and widening the range of its services.
His career in shipping began at Jamaica Fruit and Shipping Company when he was fourteen years old. He began as a messenger and eventually became a director of the firm. He served as chairman of the SAJ for one year and was able to report that the pensions funds assets were $3.5 million and the relations at the Joint Industrial Council were stable.
Mr. Geoffrey Collyer established the SAJ committee which worked out a complete revolution of the terms of employment of portworkers. He initiated the first training scheme for operators of the advanced cargo handling equipment.
During his term of office, the 273-year-old wharves were abandoned and transferred to Newport West. He was honourary secretary of the Joint Industrial Council between 1958 –1960. He had the foresight to hire Noel Hylton as general manager of the SAJ.
Arnold Webster was the first secretary/manager to become chairman of the SAJ and provided invaluable direction to the Association when Jamaica achieved independence.
During his term, the issue of unionization of supervisory staff was paramount. In 1959, he partnered with the Kirkconnels and form a 50/50 partnership to operate a fortnightly shipping service from Miami.
During his term, he presided over the Disciplinary Committee, the Tally Clerks Council and the Joint Industrial Council.
During his four years, the Kingston Portworkers Superannuation Scheme was inaugurated, the first step toward giving the labour force some form of benefit for retirement.
In his three years as chairman, Luis F. Kennedy improved the finances of the SAJ, and was able to declare that 1951 was another year without labour stoppage on the Port of Kingston.
He worked for a better accommodation with the unions, and on his watch, in 1949, it was announced that this was the first year of industrial peace on the waterfront since 1938.
In he merged George and Branday’s ship brokers and the firm’s wharfing operations, into Kingston Wharves. He was vice chair of the SAJ in 1942 and Chair in 1945.
One of the issues Mr. Harris settled during his tenure was that of discipline among members. From the beginning it had been agreed that members should only invoke payment agreements under terms laid down by the SAJ.
Captain List is a founding father of the Shipping Association of Jamaica. He and other shipping stalwarts formed the SAJ in 1939 when the Kingston Waterfront was continuously experiencing strikes and disorder.