Commissioner Heyliger Pays tribute to John Craane

At the funeral service for John P.F. "Boechie" Craane, the Commissioner in charge of Harbor Affairs, Theo Heyliger, paid tribute to the former Harbor Master.

The following is the tribute:

"The man, John Philip Frederick Craane, born on the island of Bonaire on November 24, 1913 and affectionately known throughout the Netherlands Antilles as Boechie Craane, passed away peacefully on Saturday morning February 28, 2009.

Boechie spent close to half a century of his life on St. Maarten, where he worked firstly for the Federal Government from 1964 to 1963. During those years, he worked as Captain of the Federal Government owned vessel like the MV Antillia.

He later became Captain of the Blue Peter and the MV Hertha. These ships carried both mail and passengers among the Antillean islands.


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He served as Harbor Master from 1978 to 1985—his retirement age, but later continued to work on a contractual basis.

Before Boechie started working in government employ, he was known to spend his time helping his father, who was a renowned shipwright. He was a captain himself and he also built vessels.

Boechie fell in love not only with St. Maarten but also with the love of his life—his wife Armelle Lake. Later he would start a family.

In recognition of his work and many years of service to the government and marine industry, the cruise terminal building at the A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facilities was named in his honor.

On behalf of myself and my family, the government and people of St. Maarten, the Board, Management and staff of the St. Maarten Harbor Group of Companies, I would like to express words of thanks and appreciation for his contribution towards the well being of St. Maarten.

To the immediate family and friends of Boechie, I would like to say that you have lost a father and a friend, a true son of the soil. I would like to wish you much strength in this time of bereavement. Rest assured the name Boechie Craane will always remain a fixture in the history of St. Maarten.

May his soul rest in peace.