Dreams never cease. After retiring from the banking industry in the early 1990s, Allene Taylor decided to volunteer at the Baltimore International Seafarers Center (BISC) to give herself something to do and contribute in some small way to the betterment of the community. As part of her new duties and in order to gain access to the marine terminals at the Port of Baltimore, she also had to apply for a TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and undergo security escort training.
After years of observing the crane operations at the port, Allene worked up the courage one day to ask David Stambaugh, General Manager of the Baltimore Maritime Exchange, if she could try her hand at operating one of them. Needless to say, the complexity of operating a high-tech terminal crane – not to mention the potential danger – made her request impossible to grant, but Stambaugh had an idea.
He decided to call Glen Paine, Executive Director of the nearby Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS), to see if he could help. MITAGS operates training simulators and has a world-renowned teaching staff.
With the blessing of the United States Maritime Alliance and the guidance of their instructor Herb Newman, Allene was allowed to work a terminal crane while sitting in the operator’s chair at Seagirt Marine Terminal. Although the experience was completely simulated, Allene lifted the container off the ship like a pro and set it down perfectly on the waiting flatbed truck. Newman swears it was not beginner’s luck and that the lady has real talent!
At 84 years of age, Allene Taylor still volunteers three days a week, and her routine tasks include driving crewmembers in vans to local shopping malls and to the International Seafarers’ Center in Locust Point. She delivers gift boxes for “Christmas at Sea” to the vessel crews, which means this amazing woman has to climb the steep gangways to get on and off the docked ships at port. She is the longest continuously serving volunteer at the Baltimore Center as well as an Associate Chaplain and Vice President of the Center’s Board of Directors.
And now she can check one more item off her bucket list of dreams!
Want to Help: Website: http://www.baltseafarers.ang-md.org/
Financial Donations: http://www.baltseafarers.ang-md.org/fin_donations.html
Ship Visitors: http://www.baltseafarers.ang-md.org/howtohelp.html
Specials Collections, i.e., Calendars, Christmas-at-Sea-Boxes, Clothing: