Orphanage, Cat Island – Bahamas

The Bahamas is a beautiful travel destination for most, but many times we forget about the homeless youth who reside there. Thankfully, many orphanages exist, but none like the Old Bight Cat Island Children’s Home. Old Bight Cat Island Children’s home was built in 1999 by missionaries Eric, Susan Hall, and their family. 

This home is changing lives of so many children due in part to it’s ‘Out Island’ location, meaning the children are away from the troubled locations or unsafe areas. The Children’s Home consists of an on-site church/multipurpose building, boys and girls dorms, professional commercial kitchen, group dining area, family room, in-building staff quarters, two additional staff/guest buildings, desalination water system, back-up diesel generator system, and even more. The orphanage houses 15 to 30 children at any given time and is fully operating.

However, funding for this facility is tight, as Social Services of the Bahamas only covers the paid staff positions. The Brethren Church of Nassau covers electric and water while several stateside churches graciously cover food and maintenance. It’s been my Privilege to work special projects, maintenance and acts of encouragement monthly.

Star of the Sea – Story

I’ve just got to tell you the Story of the ‘Star of the Sea’
A 3 Mast-ed Schooner, with a metal Hull. Owed by a Mission work led by Bob Nichols of New Horizons Ministry in Naples, Florida, reaching out to ‘at-risk kids’ with Nautical Programs. It was a wonderful work but the funds to keep this schooner were unfortunately, not enough and the Schooner was sold.
I reached out to him to see if he could help us ship over 105 windows, 10 doors, the materials, tools, and supplies needed for installation! I received the unfortunate news that he would not be able to help, as he sold the Schooner to Stewart Lott. Nichols expressed his dismay that his Ministry could not help with the children or Orphanage due to the sale of the “Star of the Sea”.
About 6 months before shipping date, Bob called me and said the new owner of the ‘Star of the Sea’ had contacted him because the Schooner was back on the water, and wanted to use the Schooner for some “Purposeful Work”,  Bob gave him my name and number and let me know what was about to unfold.
Do you believe in Miracles? Steward agreed to transport the Window project to Cat Island! It took about 10 ROTARIANS, one day to remove all of Stewards interior, furnishings, and stairway, and load the “Star of the Sea”, it took another day to motor the 65′ Schooner from the Caloosahatchie River near Alva, FL, 25 miles east of the West Coast of Florida – docked at a Canal well into the interior of Florida.
We had to push the Schooner back from the Canal shore twice, due to the extreme weight that submerged it into the mud. Finally, Steward was able to put the sails up and head south along the west coast of Florida where he could go under the Marathon Bridge with several feet to spare at Low Tide. The Star of the Sea’s top mast is 53′ above the water line! On this day and hour, Bob Nichols, the prior owner, was Captain of a charter vessel on the west coast of Florida and his attention was drawn to a 3 Mast-ed Vessel [Very Few Exist] on the horizon. He got his Binoculars and immediately knew it was the Star of the Sea!
Bob called the new owner and Steward answered, announcing he had over 100 windows and 10 doors with all installation equipment and supplies and was heading to the Orphanage. Blessings were exchanged and Bob was ‘moved beyond understanding’ that his precious ‘Star of the Sea’ was STILL being used by the Lord – for Kingdom work!
This photo was taken by Bob Nichols while he was talking to Steward [you can see Steward’s phone to his head] and sent to me seconds later as an email attachment on his phone. Steward kept in touch as he worked his way to Cat Island, which took him over a week. I flew 3 fellow Rotarians over to unloaded the Schooner so no windows ‘Walked’ and we had no breakage or missing equipment. Steward Lott turned out to be well suited for the job, as his full-time career is with Sanse Brothers Towing, Steward is a Captain of an ocean going tugboat, taking barges from Oregon out the Columbia River to Hawaii once a month and back – he always wanted a Schooner in warm water!

Projects that we need help with

There are many projects that desperately need help with: 

1 Every other month a pallet of food that is shipped to Cat Island through SeaCor Shipping out of Fort Laud FL [Shipping $400, Food $700 per Pallet & up.]

2 Funds for School Supplies and Uniforms

3 Power to Rear Staff House [currently has NO power] Wire Home, add A/C.

4 Bedding [bunk bedding / mattresses et.c]

5 Fence repair 

6 Painting and clean up 

7 Pick up truck & Van donation

  [must be 10 years old or less – Bahamas Rule]

8 Continue operations & Maintenance of water system

9 Fruit orchard clean up

10 Gutters repairs for drinking water system

11 Band instruments / Guitar / Key Board / Amplifiers

12 Always work & Play with kids

US Rep for Children’s Home: 

Ken Davis, Past President The Boca Raton Rotary Club

International Affairs – Cat Island Children’s Home

Cell: 561-756-2559 [email protected]


Mailed to: Ken Davis

Address: 3640 Airport Rd., #5 Boca Raton, FL 33431 

E Mail:  [email protected]

Example of one week project:

Next {work} Flight to the Cat Island Orphanage

Departed: Boca on 12/1/16 came back 12/3/16

We took taking 3 aircraft, 7 volunteers & supplies for the following projects:

Work crew to Finnish the over 100 Impact Window Project, Items that we need to address: 

Install Finish Trim material covering the door frame space to the cement walls

Install any missing striker plates, re-screw hinge to doors w/longer [stainless] screws 

Foaming and concreting Chapel door Frames and certain windows needing it

Installing proper door closers for chapel doors 

Other doors: Spring chains to protect against wind ripping doors off hinges

We’re also working up some ‘Holders’ that will hold doors open when desired! 

We’ll be installing 2 [replacement] paddle fans [26″] in Children’s Home

Install door latch re-enforcements

Bring water pump and related materials for installation in Windstar [currently in Hangar]

Replace all florescent fixtures in Chapel [6 four foot florescent with new LED units] 

Install two 16: burner covers for Char Brior BBQ at Staff House

Bring Friday night [12/1] dinner for Children’s Home, Staff and Guests. 

Reminder List for Purchase:

Exterior Caulk [10 tubes] Interior Caulk [10 tubes] 

Two 26″ Paddle Fans [no lights]

Door Latches / Striker plates and re-enforcements [talk to ken]

Water Pump, Hoses, Fluids for Windstar [already purchased at Hangar]

Six 4′ LED florescent fixtures with bulbs [several extra bulbs / wire nuts / drill gun / screws]

Two 16″ Burner Covers for Char Brior BBQ 

One small toilet seat for staff House

Stainless Steel Screws for Hinges [1.5 – 2″]

Spring door Holders / Hooks & Eye’s to hold doors open

Spray Foam [four cans]

Bag of Cement / Trawl / bucket / sponge




Ken Davis for the Cat Island Orphanage Project


Past President of The Boca Raton Rotary Club

Internation Projects – Cat Island Children’s Home