Caledonian Society gives student $5,000 boost
A man studying to become a marine pilot in Scotland has won a $5,000 grant from the Caledonian Society of Bermuda.
The cash will help Marcus Simmons, 25, to pay for his course at the City of Glasgow College.
Marcus’s mother, Linda, who collected the award from the Scottish cultural organisation on his behalf last Wednesday, said: “I know that Marcus is very grateful and very appreciative.
“Now he’s got enough money for his rent and his schooling and transportation.”
Ms Simmons added she was “very proud” of her son’s achievements and told him “keep doing what you’re doing”.
She added: “I know that you’re a very hard worker so just continue with the hard work and things will work out.”
Ms Simmons was speaking after she collected the award from the Caledonian Society of Bermuda on the steps of The Royal Gazette.
The society grants the $5,000 to a full-time Bermudian student at a university or college in Scotland.
Marcus, originally from Warwick, enrolled in the City of Glasgow College, which incorporates the prestigious Glasgow Nautical College, last January to study nautical science.
Ms Simmons explained that he spent the first half of the year in the classroom before five months training at sea.
She added that Marcus earned a number of certificates towards basic officer cadet training and will start the second phase of the course this month.
Mark Simmons, Marcus’s father, said he was “elated” when he found Marcus had won the award.
He explained: “At one point he was saying ‘I might have to get a part-time job’ but I told him we would try to sort it out.
“Now he doesn’t have to worry about where money is coming from and he can just concentrate on studying and getting good grades.”
Mr Simmons added: “The more that people study, the more people will get a chance to come back and build Bermuda up.”
Liz Adderley, the president of the Caledonian Society, said that Marcus was brought to their attention after a chance encounter with Mario Thompson, the Pilot Warden of the Department of Marine and Ports.
She added: “We were talking about the field of young Bermudians coming up through the ranks and taking over roles as wardens and he’d mentioned Marcus and his interests and how well he had been doing in school.”
Ms Adderley added that Marcus’s grades and interest in nautical science put him above and beyond the scholarship’s standards.
Ian Hind, the secretary of the Caledonian Society, said Marcus was their first eligible candidate for years.
He added: “We had a very small handful of applicants this year and none of them fit the criteria.”
Mrs Simmons said that Marcus planned to return to Bermuda when he completed his training to become a harbour pilot.
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