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VISION OF ISLANDS – True love never ends

VISION OF ISLANDS – True love never ends

Boats are amazing as they carry the stories of each owner, the happy memories, the adventure. The boat ‘Pacific Hawk’ was insured with Pantaenius for many years, during which time the catamaran enjoyed the different sights of Australia and was incredibly well cared for. Eventually, however, it was time to let her go and she was sold on to the lovely Margaret and John who also insured Pacific Hawk with Pantaenius.

Now, one of the best things about our jobs at Pantaenius is hearing about everyone’s story, and everyone does have a story. The girls in our Gold Coast office got to hear first-hand the love story of John and Margaret when John visited our office to insure the boat. We were so taken back by it, we just had to share it with all of you.

John, 74, and Margaret, 72, first met when they were in medical school. They dated for a short time but eventually went their separate ways, chased their passions and excelled in their chosen fields. They both lived separate lives, had families and lived fulfilling lives. At some point however a small void opened which was filled when John and Margaret reconnected by coincidence. Their past emotions for one another were quick to return and they are now happy together. Seeking to do more and help more, they purchased Pacific Hawk for their own adventures but more so for their non-profit ‘Vision of Islands’ which operates in the South Pacific which we will describe below. To top off the story, while at the airport exchanging the registration papers for the vessel they also got engaged! You are never too old to find love again and promise to be there for someone until death do you part. To say our team was moved by this story is an understatement.

Now, what is ‘Vision of Islands’?

Vision of Islands is a non-profit volunteer eye surgical and clinical team who provide services free of charge in the Pacific Islands. Vision of Islands was founded by John. He is a cataract specialist and has run a number of trips with his team which were unfortunately halted due to the pandemic. 2023’s trip will be their first since the pandemic, and they will be treating hundreds of patients in the Pacific Islands this year. As per Vision of Islands:

“We work under the direction of the Ministry of Health of each participating country to provide medical outreach team visits, involving and training the local medical staff in patient care, providing medical and teaching equipment and training local staff in their use. We extend our specialist eye services to remote areas where people lack specialist services.

We bring with us all required equipment, expendables, teaching materials (with backup) and on leaving to take away all unwanted items, including rubbish so that we leave the island as clean or cleaner than on arrival.

Our goal is to include Registrar trainees from Australasia in the program to expose them to aspects of humanitarian care where they can observe the extreme need and advanced pathology. We also aim to take other professionals who may wish to serve or study topics covering several island nations.”

The operation is rather expensive due to all the supplies having to be brought over from Australia, along with all the running costs. If you feel compelled to help after reading the story, you can do so through donations at Pantaenius is providing support for the 2023 mission.

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Published in print October-December 2023