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UNEXPECTEDLY LATE – A TRIBUTE TO ORLANDO ESCORCIA

At age 45 Orlando Escorcia departed unexpectedly on March 11, 2018, leaving a wife, Clara, and a daughter, Lusiana, and more than 40 colleagues in shock and confusion. So it is only a much deserved honour that this column talks about the Orlando we knew. He joined the company in early 2000 assigned to our operations in Santa Marta as port supervisor. Before that time he had worked as radio operator for the port of Barranquilla, coordinating ships entrance and departure with pilots, so he quickly learnt the skills to perform agency duties efficiently and with the required responsibility. Not long after this, we offered Orlando several weeks worth of training in our neighboring Venezuelan unit of LBH Vinodool, at that time an active member of LBH Group. In 2011, we offered Orlando to lead the Cartagena operations, a challenge which he accepted with enthusiasm. Initially his family split, himself having to drive every Friday and back every Monday between Cartagena and Santa Marta, but they all settled in Cartagena within a couple of years. We worked very hard to keep him and his team busy enough, but some patience was required until we could reach the level of activity of other units. However in the meantime we operated some serious challenges along the way: import of additional floating cranes for Puerto Drummond, servicing offshore supply ships for SeaLion´s project, re-exports of steel pipes, towage service for Cerrejon, and the usual coking coal shipments out of P Mamonal . However something strange happened in the summer of 2016: Orlando got sick with chickenspot, a childrens malade that hit him at age 43. It was a terrible ordeal for him, and put him off the work for 3 weeks. However, immidiately after his comeback, then all the projects we had worked for, finally came together and began to be materialized with ships. We often joked with the team about this coincidence, and said that his illness had brought us luck.

Orlando was a very cooperative team player, training newcomers and trying to make life as easy as possible for them. He was beyond any doubt committed to the clients´needs, and literally wore the agency shirt and hat 24/7. His style was very practical and straight to the point. He often accompanied us to marketing meetings within the country. Mostly easy going, he was also a philosopher in the making, when one takes the kind of books he tended to read. He carried a healthy life, with good food habits, and plenty of gym sessions; he also participated in various 10k runs in Santa Marta and Cartagena. He was also a music maniac with a very strong memory of past groups, rythms, dates and places of concerts. For us in the office, he was a reference when someone needed to refresh names of songs or music groups. We did not go to google, we went to Orlando. During dinamic exercises and team enhancement games we played, you could notice a decisive competitive person with the heart of a child, very proactive and a team leader.  For his next vacation, due in June, he was looking forward to watch all the soccer matches of world cup Russia from the comfort of his home. We can only say thank you to Orlando, now unexpectedly late, but he and his family can rest assure that his memory will remain for ever in our hearts. ON Friday, March 16, we deposited his ashes in Cartagena Bay, and his daughter released white ballons into the sky in a last celebration for his life among us. God bless him for ever.

We appreciate very much all the messages received in sympathy from friends of the local industry, and customers alike. It shows that Orlando was highly appreciated not only in Colombia, but also in countries as far as Switzerland, Canada, USA, Norway, among others. Our customers may rest assure that in honour of Orlando´s legacy at LBH, we shall endeavor to continue performing with the highest responsibility and discipline.

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