GOVERNOR TOM MACAN AND HIS LOVELY WIFE JANET

gov macan

Governor Tom Macan shown above with Foxy at Foxy's 30th Wooden Boat Regatta

THE BVI HAS A SAILING GOVENOR – AT LAST!!!! (reprinted from All At Sea - February Issue 2003)
By – Nancy Terrell

Most sailors in the British Virgin Islands have longed for the day when the Governor of their islands would also be an accomplished sailor. October of 2002 saw the realization of this dream in a country where sailing is the #1 industry (next to financial services) in the appointment of His Excellency Thomas Macan. In the short two months since his arrival, Governor Macan has already participated in the active BVI racing calendar – crewing for the Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club, James Bridgewater, on his Swan 44, Tikitas, as well as for Dr. Robin Tattersall, an Olympic sailor and owner of Diva, a 72 year old 30 square meter sloop built by Abeking and Rasmussen, with the West End Yacht Club.

Obviously enjoying the pleasure of sailing in warm Caribbean waters, Governor Macan was delighted over Diva’s 1st place win in the 12th Annual Gustav Wilmerding two-day regatta. He tells All At Sea, “The last time I raced on a metre boat was when I took a 6-metre boat from Belgium to Norway in the North Sea – a sail that lasted 14 days. By those standards Diva is pretty comfortable.”

The governor was brought up in the Lake District in England. “Our family had a sailing boat on Lake Windermere for longer than I can remember. Our first boat was a particularly challenging one to sail in that she had lee helm in heavy weather so you didn’t make a mistake twice with her. For 20 years we sailed a Viking class dinghy, a 16 and a half-foot Buchanan design that was very heavy and wonderful in a blow but we didn’t win races in light weather. I went to the University of Sussex at Brighton on the South Coast of England and through friends there I was introduced to the world of cruising and the odd JOG race in the Channel. I subsequently served at the British Embassy in Bonn, Germany from 1971 to 1974 and used to sail regularly with the British Kiel Yacht Club, a Services yacht club in north Germany. We sailed the Baltic in 27’ Cutlass and 29’ Danboat cruisers, which was an interesting challenge, as they weren’t equipped with engines. There was no tide of course so if the wind disappears you just sit there until it returns, or you paddle. It was also in Germany where I was part of the Olympic Sailing in 1992 but only as an administrator as Assistant Olympic Attaché.”

“Since then I have done less sailing and have become interested in Steam Launches. We own a 16-foot steam launch, which we use on inland waters in the UK, but I still sail from time to time when boats have been available. A hundred years ago the steam launch was the motor launch of today. Every big yacht over 100 tons would have had a steam launch as its tender. Rivers and canals were full of them. They were rich men’s playthings but they were also the cargo vessels of the day. Some of us think it important to preserve the memory of this key technology – in working and not in museum form. And I confess that there’s an element of theatre in creating the past to a high standard – boat, fittings and indeed costume from Victorian or Edwardian era.”

In ’74 Governor Macan moved to Brasilia, where he met his American wife, Janet, who was stationed there as a translator in Portuguese for the American Embassy. Governor Macan introduced her to sailing, which she also learned to love and the two built and sailed a 14-foot Mirror Miracle dinghy. Later the family sailed traditional boats with the Island Cruising Club at Salcombe. The family had then grown to include son Nick, who is now 21 and is in his final year in Industrial Engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, and Melissa, who at 18 has just completed secondary school. Melissa is taking this year off to work in France and Brazil as a linguist and will enter the University of Bristol to study French and Portuguese in September. In the early 90’s the family spent four years in Portugal where they kept their Viking on the Tagus River.

Governor Macan continues, “We didn’t race in Portugal, but our family would cruise and Melissa would sail with me. In fact, she is continuing with her sailing here in the BVI and has also taken up diving, both of which she enjoys. It has been a great pleasure for us in moving to the British Virgin Islands where sailing is at our doorstep. Having spent most of my sailing days in the North Atlantic in colder waters, it is obviously much more agreeable to go sailing here in the BVI. I enjoy the consistency of the 15-knot northeasterly trades here in the Caribbean, whereas in the UK you spend a lot of time trying to map weather details and where you will be at the end of the voyage.”

“One of the reasons that I requested this post is because of my love of sailing. In terms of the contribution that sailing makes to the BVI economy, there is nowhere for which water sports are more important to a country than there are here. I have just completed my annual review for London and one of the points I make is that while there is minimal trade in goods between the UK and the BVI (most of the BVI trade is with the United States) there is a huge trade in services - both individuals coming to sail and charter yacht services. The challenge for me is to find the time in my schedule to enjoy the competition of sailing in the BVI; there tend to be other obligations as well over the weekends that racing occurs. I would love to attend Antigua Classic Week and look forward to participating with all of the BVI yacht clubs.”

Governor Macan is a gracious man as well as being an excellent sailor. I hope that I represent all of the staff and readers of All At Sea, as well as the many sailors of the BVI, by welcoming him to our country. We anticipate seeing him, along with his lovely wife Janet, enjoying the excellent cruising that exists in the beautiful waters of the British Virgin Islands.

  Linda Hagenson, Ruth Evans and Patron Janet Macan

2003 WELCOMED BY THE TORTOLA LADIES CLUB WITH A CELEBRATION OF THE OLD YEAR

Over sixty members and guests joined to celebrate the end of 2002 with a holiday luncheon that also welcomed their new patron, Janet Macan – wife of BVI Governor Thomas Macan, at Treasure Isle Hotel on December 18th. Felicia Hanson introduced honoured guests, including Ester Georges, wife of BVI Lieutenant Governor ?? Georges, in a festive spirit of joy and happiness.

Nadine Battle, Executive Director of the Hotel & Chamber of Commerce Association, accepted $300 from TLC for Christmas baskets to be distributed among elderly shut-ins in the BVI. Kathy Venning gave a report on the Tuesday & Thursday Morning Reading Program for children and asked for volunteer tutors. Janet Macan drew for the winning raffle ticket, a $50 spending voucher from Rite Way, which was won by Edith Walterns.

After a delicious buffet the luncheon concluded with Choral Christmas Carols dedicated to the memory of Phyllis Baldwin, a long-time member of the Tortola Ladies Club and the mother of Choral Director, Donna Aguara. Merle Porcina (Kathy Venning’s visiting sister) played the piano. Following the carols, Dr. David Baldwin thanked the club for the many displays of flowers, calls, cards and support that he received from the members following the death of his wife. Felicia Hanson adjourned the monthly meeting and wished all the happiest of holidays.

JANET MACAN IS THE NEW TLC PATRON

Janet Macan is a most welcomed new patron for the TLC. Born in Ohio, USA, Mrs. Macan grew up in Pennsylvania where she attended Penn State University and holds a BA and MBA in Spanish. Following graduation she worked with the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C. and then moved to Brazil where she worked in the US Embassy and met her husband, BVI Governor Thomas Macan, who was serving at the British Embassy. They were married in 1978 and served for five years in Brazil. Since then the couple has had postings in Germany, Lisbon, Portugal, Lithuania, New Delia, India and now the British Virgin Islands.

Mrs. Macan tells BVI Standpoint, “I have always worked as a translator in my major languages, which are Spanish and Portuguese, and have also taught English as a second language to immigrants at our postings within the U.K. We have two children – Nick is 21 and is in his final year in industrial engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Elisa is 18 and has just completed secondary school. She took a year off to work in France and will soon leave for Brazil where she will teach English for the remainder of the year. In September she will enter the University of Bristol to study French and Portuguese.

Mrs. Macan will also be the Patron of the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) and will work with the BVI Girl Guides as well as the libraries of the BVI. We welcome her to our organization, which is open to all women of the BVI, and look forward to working with her due to her lively manner and enthusiasm.

2003 WELCOMED BY THE TORTOLA LADIES CLUB WITH A CELEBRATION OF THE OLD YEAR

Over sixty members and guests joined to celebrate the end of 2002 with a holiday luncheon that also welcomed their new patron, Janet Macan – wife of BVI Governor Thomas Macan, at Treasure Isle Hotel on December 18th. Felicia Hanson introduced honoured guests, including Ester Georges, wife of BVI Lieutenant Governor ?? Georges, in a festive spirit of joy and happiness.

Nadine Battle, Executive Director of the Hotel & Chamber of Commerce Association, accepted $300 from TLC for Christmas baskets to be distributed among elderly shut-ins in the BVI. Kathy Venning gave a report on the Tuesday & Thursday Morning Reading Program for children and asked for volunteer tutors. Janet Macan drew for the winning raffle ticket, a $50 spending voucher from Rite Way, which was won by Edith Walterns.

After a delicious buffet the luncheon concluded with Choral Christmas Carols dedicated to the memory of Phyllis Baldwin, a long-time member of the Tortola Ladies Club and the mother of Choral Director, Donna Aguara. Merle Porcina (Kathy Venning’s visiting sister) played the piano. Following the carols, Dr. David Baldwin thanked the club for the many displays of flowers, calls, cards and support that he received from the members following the death of his wife. Felicia Hanson adjourned the monthly meeting and wished all the happiest of holidays.

JANET MACAN IS THE NEW TLC PATRON

Janet Macan is a most welcomed new patron for the TLC. Born in Ohio, USA, Mrs. Macan grew up in Pennsylvania where she attended Penn State University and holds a BA and MBA in Spanish. Following graduation she worked with the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C. and then moved to Brazil where she worked in the US Embassy and met her husband, BVI Governor Thomas Macan, who was serving at the British Embassy. They were married in 1978 and served for five years in Brazil. Since then the couple has had postings in Germany, Lisbon, Portugal, Lithuania, New Delia, India and now the British Virgin Islands.

Mrs. Macan tells BVI Standpoint, “I have always worked as a translator in my major languages, which are Spanish and Portuguese, and have also taught English as a second language to immigrants at our postings within the U.K. We have two children – Nick is 21 and is in his final year in industrial engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Elisa is 18 and has just completed secondary school. She took a year off to work in France and will soon leave for Brazil where she will teach English for the remainder of the year. In September she will enter the University of Bristol to study French and Portuguese.

Mrs. Macan will also be the Patron of the Association of Reef Keepers (ARK) and will work with the BVI Girl Guides as well as the libraries of the BVI. We welcome her to our organization, which is open to all women of the BVI, and look forward to working with her due to her lively manner and enthusiasm.

Janet Macan

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