Jonestown FEB meeting on Albatross, 13 Aug 78

[Handwritten notation at top of page: “Dad”]

FEB [Finance Evaluation Board] MEETING WITH [Richard] JANARO – re Albatross

13 August 78 Sunday morning

Attendance: Johnny Jones, James Morrell [Bogue], Charlie Touchette, Jan Wilsey, Harold Bogue, Kay Nelson, Gene Chaikin, Jack Beam, Tish Leroy, Mike Prokes, Richard Janaro and Lee Ingram came in late…

Also attending: Carolyn Layton, Sarah [Harriet] Tropp, Helen Swinney, Cleve [Cleave] Swinney and Mike Touchette (who came in last hour of meeting.)

Agenda: Need to determine the position we shall assume in dealing with the Captain and the crew.

Who is going into town: as Capt., as Engineer, as negotiators representing the Board with Richard. (Boat leaving Wed.)

Rules we can reasonably exercise and still keep the crew.

Evaluations of the engineer – list that can be handed to Dad along with our other recommendations.

Board: It was decided we could use people in town as “representatives of our Board,” in dealing with Rambaren and Captain. Recommendations to Dad: RICHARD JANARO, ARMANDO [AMONDO] GRIFFITHS, BILLY OLIVER, SHARON AMOS AND VERSIE PERKINS.

Rules: Of primary importance they be notified that Richard is our primary liaison person and he is to be notified immediately if the problem is major or minor. In talking with them, make it a BOARD emphasis so that Richard does not become the bad guy – but if representing the Board which is a non-visible factor.

Rule: No passengers at sea, for insurance reasons. Unanimous…

It was generally agreed that they should be allowed to have some guests on board while in port. However, though the other boats all do this – Jack inclined to dissent with group on the issue.

Kay thought [we] should see what other boats do – Richard and CT said that there is much permissiveness and most of them do have women on board. (On our ship, the crew is mostly homosexual along with the cook, and the Captain, meet and engineer are the ones who have ladies on board – and are the only ones with quarters that allow this.)

Log: Morrell commented that everything should be logged in daily in the ships log; wants it open to our inspection. Certain people should be assigned to check it if Richard is not there – BUT MANDATORY THEY BE INSTRUCTED THAT IT IS MARINE LAW THAT THE SHIPS LOG CANNOT LEAVE THE SHIP!

Home port: Jack is opposed to the Capt  and crew staying on board nights while in home port. Feels we should post a watch and send the



crew to their homes.

Rebuttal of this by most of group to the effect that they are “used” to their own activities, I don’t want to be going home. Capt has wives in both ports and has ladies on board as further entertainment for himself…

Further, the Capt takes responsibility for the boat when no cargo on board – otherwise will take our own people as watchpersons.

Helen feels we should keep our own log, as well as that of the Captain in which we record all the goes on while on the ship. This task would be assigned to the person or persons we have living on board.

Richard feels we will immediately lose our key people if we have stringent port rules… since they are the offenders and are the ones who bring on board their guests.

CT said that captains are hard to enlist – we looked before

Richard pointed out that most sea captains are very divisive – that this one is conscientious about receipts and seems to be careful in handling business matters. The issue of bearing was likely his loyalty was tied to where he was expecting to be working – namely for Rambaren…

Jan thinks we should have another Captain.

Jack feels the Captain of the Watch is not going to be watching the boat if they are partying on board…

CT pointed out that when the boat came into Port Kaituma and the Captain Was moving it around, the PT people watching felt he did a poor job in docking the boat… He is not that proficient with the boat said CT.

Generally a consensus that PT people on board would inhibit the crew to a degree… The whole crew is homosexual and open about it – were patting our men on the butt, etc. when they were in the Port.

Morrell asked if the Capt has any influence in getting the loads for us – No, responded Richard. He deals with the stevedores and maintains good relations with docking and loading the boat, but the agent is the one who gets the loads… and Richard follows up on that to see that the load is as complete as possible… the Trinidad agent doesn’t get full loads… Rambaren use to complete it, and Richard is doing this also… He got names of people to contact and has made some contacts. Hadf set things up for the Georgetown-Trinidad run.

Johnny suggested we contact Da Silva and he might keep it under his hat and he might let us know what can be found out about our captain…

Richard revealed that a critical situation might exist in our relations with De Silva…



It seems that we went in and negotiated deductions on the cost of the Cudjoe. We went down the line and checked off all of the things on our list. DeSilva I thought we would or had split the costs. The Cudjoe had wrecked part of his dock and he had not had us pay for it – no charges against us were made. But Richard had argued with him that we were not a profit-making organization, etc.… After this, Richard doesn’t know how friendly DeSilva is, since he conceded to us and was not at all happy about it. [Marginal note: “This was when the Cudjoe caught fire some months back!”]

All agreed that Richard should have been on the radio to Dad about this the minute that conference was over…

Richard said his instruction was NOT TO PAY ANYTHING RELATIVE TO THE FIRE…

It was pointed out that Dad had been given bad input on the situation. Somebody had told Dad that it was to be done free. PR needed: WITH DESILVA, JOHNNY THINKS SOME FENCE MENDING SHOULD BE DONE.

Last time Richard was in there, DeSilva said hello but was not very warm as he had formerly been. That was a few weeks ago when some repairs were needed on minor things.

Best contact: Gene  said that DeSilva was worth about 15 persons in contacts. We can or should consider our best contacts in Guyana…

CT agrees… DeSilva has done more for us than anyone in Guyana. If we blow his good will, we may have cost ourselves $50,000 worth of favors, said CT.

He has given us stuff that would have cost us thousands of dollars.

Helen said he has given to us and helped us many times. He went through the whole thing on boats and helped us to establish the values on the various boats.

Charlie is very upset that the relationship is strained.

We used his equipment and work at his dock and he never charged us a dime – it should have cost us a minimum of $100 docking fees for two years… per month… TISH [two illegible words] TO PREPARE A MEMO TO DAD FOR JOHNNY ON THIS ISSUE. IT IS OUR RECOMMENDATION THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO RESTORE THE PR WITH DESILVA.

It is to be noted further that Rambaren and DeSilva are very good friends.

Summary at this point…

1) We have $12,000 in parts that Rambaren probably knows he’s not going to get back anyway…

2) Richard thinks tell him we are disappointed that he did not convey that information to us about the bearing. Further, Richard thinks Rambaran  will deny this… But if the committee



tells him, he will at least have the idea that this is our opinion of him. This may be good or bad…

3) We want to keep Rambaran as an ally to get future business contacts. He has been helpful in this regard.

4) Richard express[ed] his personal regrets at not having been able to get other contacts. He should have known enough by now or by the end of July to establish himself.

Richard expressed his intense personal drive to do the best for this family possible and that he hadn’t always been able to do it and it depressed him greatly.

Summary: John summarized that we should just let Rambaran know that “we know he screwed us…” that we want to continue the contact, but don’t want to continue asking for more of the same… SHOULD TAKE THE ONE BEARING THAT WE LEFT IN HIS STORE HOUSE ALSO, THAT IS PURCHASED FOR THE ALBATROSS. We should not have left this behind in the bin.

Ujara: Jack thinks that Ujara [Don Sly] is very insensitive… Helen commented on Ujara’s taking Dramamine on board… thinks it might affect his judgment…

Tim S.: CT suggested Tim Swinney as an alternate Captain trainee after Philip [Blakey] is trained. Should have a backup…

Gene thought the Captain should make several trips as engineer. Richard agreed, coordination of responsibilities.

ENGINEER: The CHIEF ENGINEER deals with the crew more, [words crossed out: “makes less money.”] Suggested training Philip as Chief Engineer first without being open as training him for Captain?

Sea Time: This is a major requisite… Ujara doesn’t have the time unless his Navy time as a seaman can count… Gene thinks it can. Richard doesn’t think so – no one knows. Gene since if a deck hand will qualify – CT agreed.

Kay expressed we really need two persons for every slot … so we can alternate.

Sarah agreed, but NOT ON BOARD AT THE SAME TIME…

Ujara: Jack personally does not trust Ujara’s overall judgment.

Cleve agrees: he rode with Ujara to Georgetown and Ujara had his eyes on the river but the boat started toward the bank… and when he got it back he just laid on the wheel… Clifford [Gieg] came out and asked what is going on? you almost hit the bush…

Morrell mentioned that when coming across from the states toward the last Ujara got so tired he could hardly stay awake but insisted on staying behind the wheel… it seemed to be an ego thing, and he was endangering life and property.



Richard thinks that on the buses – Ujara was insensitive… thinks he will be insensitive with the crew and passengers and has been on the Cudjoe…

Santos dock (PR PROBLEM): Richard has had complaints against Ujara at J.T. Santos’ dock. He was calling up J.T. Santos’ wife and asked for the gate to open after closing hours… and dismissed the trucks from the dock.

J.T. Santos compares with some of our best benefactors in town. Ujara has been a sore spot with him.

Johnny questioned why Richard had not mentioned all of this before when he knew that Ujara was being sent into town to build up a trucking business? Why did he wait to report it AT ALL!

Richard responded that Philip and handled the trucking business okay…

Johnny said that a lot in your PR has to do with how you come over to people… WE COULD HAVE GIVEN HIM MORE POINTERS ON HIS PR IF HAD THE REPORTS FROM RICHARD.

Engineer: Don’t know if Philip can qualify since he doesn’t know the Lister on board… He would do okay with the functional part of greasing, checking oil levels, etc. THE LISTER IS VERY IMPORTANT… This requires a mechanic who knows generators.

Maria query: Has been approached by Captain– Asking about payroll since Richard is not there … and said he needs food for the boat. Richard said payroll due on 15th and 30th. She should take about $1500 out of the bank in cash and sit down with the Captain who will go over the salaries with her, meticulously… he will tell her exactly what is owed to each. Takes about 1/2 hour of time. Give him $50 advance for petty cash food items, and he will give Richard the receipts and accounting at the end of the month. Problem of the telex – Richard to radio (and later was decided he should call the agent in Gtn. [Georgetown] himself and that the agent arrange for the parts arrival in from Holland as the agent could get them immediately through customs as ships stores… without a hassle and without charge.). Carl Xavier (Severe) ar John Fernandes could handle this for us.

CT said that the way Sonney Van Sleitman has his parts, he orders through this agent in Surinam who has them come in to Sonny wherever he is, Gtn or… and this avoids customs way it is handled. Comes in as ships stores.

Chief Engr: Richard thinks it will be a problem to have Philip train as engineer…

CT mentioned that in landing, it takes another to steer, another to give directions (captain), the chief engineer on the bow to pull in the bowlines… it takes at least three to land the ship… the captain, chief engineer and the mate…

If you train Philip by himself, how will he train 3 others?



How can he train the three others how to land the boat which is the most important problem?

Lose crew?: Gene and CT agreed that if we start coming down with rules, will lose the crew immediately.

CT said the engine room is very small – let one of our people learn to run the boat the other to learn the engine room…

John said the only reason is that the captain must learn to coordinate the engine room and must learn the docking process.

CT said we must train seamen, and there must be someone to train our people to be seamen. You have to KNOW how to handle the lines to bring that big boat into dock…

Mike Touchette had just come into the meeting and commented that the only time the captain knows what’s going on in the engine room is when the engineer tells him…


UJARA: Is a 2nd choice on board because of the previous commentary in these minutes. Do not consider him a first choice for the engineering position – and do not feel he is a choice for captain unless last resort.

IT WAS MENTIONED THAT WHOEVER IS ON BOARD, they are apt to get involved in the morality problems of the crew and we have to consider that – though with Helen on board this might or might not be helped… Does he know the Lister?

BRUCE [Oliver]: Too many mistakes with equipment and this causes us a lot of extra down time. BRUCE IS A 3RD CHOICE…

– CT recalled that Bruce use cardboard in fuel tank, and is a big no-no
– use hex nut on fuel system, another no-no
– blue up tires though warned too much air in them…
– gets extremely defensive
– lady’s man and would be roving very likely
– would be influenced by morals of crew (problem with anyone)
– doesn’t mind work – and never has an attitude when gotten up in middle of the night for critical problems. Others do…
– Does have ties in Jonestown – wife. How strong is it?

MIKE T.: Mike was present and was told frankly that we were concerned about his temperament, temper and the attitude he cops and that when he gets mad you will do whatever anyone says whether or not it is right. [Marginal note: “now he has flip-flopped altogether”]

– he shows temperament and the opposite passive extreme.
– migraines, which are manipulative
– hates to leave Jonestown says CT
– Richard says Mike knows Gtn like no one else; that the merchants there like him; but is like tiger in canary cage…



– Mike is quick to learn and could handle the mechanical end of it probably much better than anyone…
– He has ties in Jonestown
– However, is our primary CAT MECHANIC… if he is gone, who will handle the mechanics on the cats? Don’t think Simon is that proficient… and there is too much on the driving of the cat that the others are not really ready to handle.
– don’t what to put Stephen [Stephan Jones] in the capacity of having to be on the cat full-time…

Irving Perkins: – is in the states of course; our best diesel mechanic… Would have to come into Jonestown for a while at least.

– also is a lady’s man and would wander; it has been his pattern. Don’t feel we can consider him for the boat right now.

James Evans: HE WOULD BE VERY GOOD, all agreed but there is the problem of meeting him to come into Jonestown for a while… Cannot consider him now. His wife is in the states with him and is needed there.

Diane W.  [Wilkinson]: An entertainer and organist – don’t feel we can send her.

Al Simon: Is very hung up on his wife; she wanders; if anything happened he might not be able to make it.

Ujara: Lacks in finesse and PR. Ray Fernandes says too demanding and doesn’t follow instructions. Richard says Ujara follows directions only when he is there. Is very hung up on Sylvia and wants to be in Jtn part of the week.

Tim S. [Swinney]:  No ties in Jonestown

– excellent mechanical abilitie
– Doesn’t like to be away from here and has a lot of repressed hostility… been known to tear a door off the hinge and take a hammer and knock a hole in the hold…
– crew is mostly East Indian, might or might not take his temperament…
– Only one can certify as captain on the Cudjoe…

Al Bell: Had a bad time with him in Georgetown…

He lamented every day does not want to be away from wife and the children.
– Is very negative with his mouth.

Al Touchette: – not that mechanical

– good utility person on the farm

Clifford [Gieg]: – xlent but not black

– Is best understudy on the river
– At his age, should be checking into Jtn regularly…
– Consider him NOT A CANDIDATE

L.C. Mitchell: Too new to Jonestown

– Very high blood pressure
– Is hard worker and good mechanic, but works better under




James Evans: – Nice temperament

– good PR

[line crossed out]

Irving Perkins: – Is too flighty and tight with the ladies…

others might be available… Johnny to make an announcement telling others to submit their qualifications.

Gordon Lockett, Ellihue Dennis, and Francis [Frances] Davis’ husband were mentioned.