Garry B. Palmer (1965 – 2005), former First Deck Officer and Pilot of the Transport and Harbours Department, and Second Deck Officer Orin Matthis, founded MatPal Maritime Institute (MPMI), on 5th October 1999. Since then, MPMI has been addressing the training needs of Guyanese seafarers and other stakeholders.
October 1999: gained the approval from the Maritime Administration Department of Guyana (MARAD), to conduct requisite maritime training within Guyana, and has been conducting training for the MARAD Cadets, as well as Transport and Harbours Department.
July 2003: MPMI entered into a franchise-type agreement with the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) of Jamaica.
May 2007: A franchise-type agreement was signed into force with Panama Maritime Training Services Inc. of Panama (PMTS).
MatPal Marine Institute is the only maritime institution in Guyana, and has a target group which includes, but is not limited to current Seafarers seeking to become more qualified, thus enabling them to function at higher levels.
From its inception to present, the Institute has successfully trained numerous persons associated within the maritime industry of Guyana and around the Caribbean and has earned a reputation for excellence in the delivery of a vital service. On average, in excess of one hundred (100) participants spanning both the deck and engine room departments are certified every year.
The Institute presently has at its helm – Trustee – Rear Admiral Capt. Rouchie E.W. Adams; Administrators – Chief Engineer – Mr. Ryan A. Abrams and Mrs. Coleen Abrams; members of staff functioning as Lecturers; and Auxiliary staff.
MatPal Maritime Institute is located in compound of Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue and Albert Street, Thomaslands, Georgetown, and includes but is not limited to spacious classrooms, a computer room with the capacity to accommodate fifteen to twenty students at a time, office, storage facility for the storing and displaying of training equipment.
Each class room can comfortably seat twenty (20) students and is equipped with visual aids (projector), whiteboard and other learning aids. In addition, there is an area for conducting fire drills and a containerized smoke house for simulated search and rescue in a smoke-filled compartment.
The practical component of the Survival and Rescue course is conducted at an offsite location, that is, in collaboration with the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard at their Ruimveldt headquarters.