My name is Hermilyn Richardson, I’m from the Village of Telescope St. Andrew, presently residing in Grand Anse, I attended the St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School & the St. Andrew Anglican Secondary School, I did not attend college as my parents couldn’t afford it.
Growing up in a family with five (5) kids life was hard at times but I always knew I was loved by my parents no matter how hard things was, I got whooped when I looked for it especially for getting into fights because I was always teased bout my height, (or plain out beating up my brothers for different reasons lol) I was always a Tomboy, I was the girl who was always with the boys, doing what they did & trying to better them at it, I loved to read & I loved the beach, my summers & weekends were spent in the sea, so much so that one time my mom said “lil ooman yuh head to hard, if yuh cyah hear yuh go feel, ah tell yuh already if ah book doh kill yuh de sea must kill yuh”, lol, I’m pretty sure I gave my mom a few premature grey hairs, because she couldn’t swim & didn’t like the sea, didnt like how far out I would go.
After leaving school I worked with my dad in construction (was always a daddy’s girl) & also as a sales clerk but my passion was always for the sea, so I decided to join the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
I joined the RGPF IN 2010 with the aim of going into the Coast Guard Unit, after finishing my training I was placed on rotation, I worked at several stations but was never placed in the CG, thru it all with some minor tribulations I never gave up on my dream of working in CG & becoming a sailor.
In 2012 while stationed at Gouyave Police Station, I was informed by ACP Roberts that I had been requested to join the CG & I should write for a transfer into the CG, I wrote for the transfer but was turned down, I was told by the transfer officer that there were no female quarters at CG so I could not be sent there, (at that time ACP Roberts who was the transfer officer was on vacation), I was instead transferred to the Port Police Station, where I stayed for the next 10 months, I was disappointed but made the best of it & also had some learning experiences while there even getting to work on the Cruise ship terminal, (its one of the best places I’ve been stationed at) however I never gave up on joining the CG and being on the sea.
In 2013 ACP Roberts informed me that I was being transferred to the CG unit , but because of there being no female quarters I would be working 8am-4pm and going home, needless to say I was overjoyed.
On April 25th 2013, I was transferred to the CG unit, I was informed by the commanding officer that there was a shortage of men & asked if I would mind working & sleeping in, I agreed & one of the Officers room was made available to me, (it was the best decision I made as I was able to learn a lot more), in June of that year I went back into training school to do my refreshers course & finish same.
In March of 2015, I was sent to Barbados to do a five (5) week Basic Seamanship Course which I passed with a 83.4% mark, in May I was part of the group that was sent to St. Kitts for the annual Trade Winds meeting between the Carribbean islands that is sponsored by the USA.
I’m now the first and only serving female sailor within the RGPF CG unit & I’m working towards becoming its first female coxswain, I would hopefully get to go on a coxswain course in the USA soon.
My message to other women out there is that you can do anything you put your mind to without feeling as if you’re selling your soul or your body to achieve it, hard work will help you to achieve all that you want, never give up on your dreams.
My name is Hermilyn Richardson and I’m a proud Grenadian