Captain Wordal A. Rankine, Family, friends and work were his life
Captain Wordal A. Rankine
Having started his career as a member of the Cayman Islands Home Guard, Captain Wordal A. Rankine became a Merchant Marine at age 17. After an illustrious 56 year career, which took him to the highest rank of Captain and having served as Master Seaman for many years he retired. He became an American citizen during the 1950’s and was a member of American Legion and Masters’ Mates and Pilots Organization and MITAGS.
This was not an easy task for a black man to accomplish in ‘50’s America, but Captain Wordal was a diligent and industrious man and always put family, friends and work first in his life. His brother Alfonzo remembers seeing his older sibling for the first time when he was 13 years old and again when he was 17. The reason was that Captain Wordal was away at sea working and providing for his family. Alfonzo remarked that he understood when his brother’s ship went into port and other seamen went ashore to have a ‘good time’ he went to the Post Office. He always sent money to his parents to ensure that they and his siblings were provided for.
Captain Rankine’s sister Claire McLean remembers him as a gentle man and everyone agrees he was also a gentleman. Claire who raised his first child remembers how much he loved his children and how hard he worked to provide a good education for them. He always loved and believed in Cayman and visited frequently. Very little is known of his trials or triumphs at sea as he was a very reserved man and never complained or bragged.