Atlantic Ocean, NL - Roland Walsh
My name is Roland Walsh and I’m the director of safety for McKeil Marine. I’ve been with McKeil now for 8 months. I’ve been in the director role for about 4 months now.
I’m from a small community in Placentia Bay, it’s called Little Bay. My most powerful memory of water is where I grew up. We lived about 15 feet from the water’s edge. Actually I did a lot of fishing, a lot of hunting in the water. All of my family owned vessels. My most powerful, I guess, memory is the time I spent with my dad in the boats, fishing and hunting. He was always someone who showed you the way, he was always someone who cared about the water and all the things around regarding the water. It’s unbelievable to grow up that close to the water. Mom being so nervous for us kids, afraid of us falling in the water. It was just an amazing experience to grow up so close.
Water is important, one because of revenue. I’ve been in the marine business for 35 years, I’ve always been associated with the water. All my family, all my history has been associated with water. That’s why it’s important. It’s important that we keep it serene and clean and respected. Being a director of safety is very challenging and rewarding. I feel that every time we go out to the vessel or make a policy change, it’s because we are trying to save a life or protect someone and allow our employees to go home to their families at the end of their days or the end of their shifts.
Being involved with water all my life, I think that the family part of it is very important – that we all get together on a Sunday and get on a boat and go across a cove and light a fire and cook a lobster or something that like. Those are memories you’ll have for ever and ever.