October 26, 2020

Save the date: Scuba Hall of Fame – Sept. 14, 2018 Cayman Islands Marriott Hotel

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By Suzy Soto, Cert.of Hon

Dear Friends, Scuba Lovers, July 1, 2018

It is my passionate hope you will recognize the value of attending and supporting the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, formed in 2000 jointly by the diving community and the Cayman Island Government to honor pioneers, promote Caymans tourism product, and to build a Hall of Fame. It is to be held at the Marriott, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Each year has had interesting inductions, yet many of the dive community have missed meeting and mingling with some of these scuba pioneers, from the Cousteau’s, to the family of Lloyd Bridges, to our own inductees from . Bob Soto, , Cathy Church, and Guy Harvey. There are also many local Honorees recognized for their contribution to the sport, too numerous to name here but a few recent ones are: Kem Jackson, , Gladys Howard, . Chuckie, Capt. Marvin Ebanks and Kent Eldermire.

We want your support for the creation by the Government, who are the official owners, of the ISDHF for a proper “Scuba Hall of Fame” so visitors could view all the Scuba Pioneers, who have been inducted and their unique artifacts that are stored, just waiting to be permanently placed. Right now there is a small exhibit, on the second floor of the C.I. Museum downtown. Please try and get there to see it as it will be removed at the end of October this year. Then we have no where to honor these talented people. Hopefully by the time of the 20 year anniversary in 2020, we will have something to bring this to fruition.

This year will be a special addition to the induction ceremony, as there will be a Bob Soto Memorial Scuba Scholarship award. Bob established Bob Soto’s Diving along with Elita Bodden Soto in 1957, at the Pageant Beach Hotel, later moving it to the Lobster Pot location. Their hard work, promotion and marketing established the first Caribbean Dive operation and one of the first in the world. They worked tirelessly with their 3 sons, Rene, Danny, and Randy until the sale in 1980 to Ron Kipp, who carried it on and it continued to be known as one of the leading dive operations in the world.

Bob also was the first to be awarded the Environmental Award as he was instrumental in having Government establish the Marine Parks and many other accomplishments. He was keen to teach and help locals learn, work with him, and become leaders in the Dive world itself, one of the most successful is Adrien Briggs and Red Sail Sports, who will be one of the sponsors of the Scholarship. Bob would be pleased to see one of our own further their Dive training.

Eric Bergstrom and I started the first dive operation at our 14 room resort, The Tortuga Club, at Colliers, East End from 1963, still in operation, so am well aware of the pioneering spirit Bob led in the Cayman Islands. I was Bob’s wife of 34 years and the author of his life story. Please come and support our underwater heritage, pioneers of the past, present and the hope of a future real “Hall of Fame”.

 

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News By Suzy Soto, Cert.of Hon Dear Friends, Scuba Lovers, July 1, 2018 It is my passionate hope you will recognize the value of attending and supporting the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, formed in 2000 jointly by the diving community and the Cayman Island Government to honor pioneers, promote… Link: Save the date: Scuba Hall of Fame – Sept. 14, 2018 Cayman Islands Marriott Hotel […]

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