[Clifford Gardiner] First local TCI pilot to get recognition

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[Clifford Gardiner] First local TCI pilot to get recognition

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[Clifford Gardiner] First local TCI pilot to get recognition
Thursday, 26 May 2011
North Caicos resident Clifford Gardiner will be the recipient of a Special Recognition Award from the Caribbean Tourism Organization at its Annual Rhythm of the Caribbean Ball on June 10 in New York City.

The award is in honor of Gardiner’s contribution to the TCI tourism industry and his national service as a pilot and successful local businessman.

Although retired now from commercial flight services, Gardiner is a member of the Turks and Caicos Airport Authority. He and his wife, Susan, are owners and operators of the Pelican Beach Hotel and car rentals on North Caicos.

Gardiner was the first Turks and Caicos Islander to fly an airplane in solo flight in 1970 after completing the first stage of his flight training with the Freeport Flying Club in the Bahamas. He moved to South Florida briefly in 1971 where he earned a private pilot licence and later earned a commercial licence.

Gardiner’s aviation career spans 34 years and includes in excess of 32,000 flight hours. He provided more than 300 medevac flights within the TCI, the Bahamas and Jamaica when island medical and aviation facilities were limited.

In 1980, Gardiner launched one of the first locally owned and operated air charter services called Island Flyers.

Gardiner has received many awards and recognition from a number of local communities and organizations, including the TCI Lifetime Achievement Award. He received a community service award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1999 in recognition of his numerous medevac flights, many conducted at night and in less than perfect conditions.

“The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board is delighted to see a native son receive such an honor from the CTO and is very pleased that Mr. Gardiner will be on hand to receive that award in the presence of his son and other TCI delegates who will be attendance,” said Acting Director of Tourism Ralph Higgs.

“All of the Turks and Caicos people should be very proud of this recognition of Mr. Gardiner for his years of service to his country and his business savvy skills that makes him a true patriot.”

A number of delegates from the Tourist Board will be in New York attending various events marking the CTO’s Caribbean Week from June 5-11.
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