Vertrum has been practically a member of my family since I can remember. Now that my brother and his granddaughter are married, he really is family. In old photo albums in the Bahamas, there are countless pictures of Vertrum holding me as a chubby baby. When I was around 7-years-old, he was one of the first people to see me ride my bike as I’d recklessly zoom by him and his son Ray while they worked on the various machinery at the Green Turtle Club where my Mom and Dad worked as managers. I remember being sat beside mom on a golf cart ride down that same incredibly bumpy road and the smell of diesel and mechanic grease yet the kindness of Vertrum would always shine through all of that.
“Hey sweetie,” he’d say and ask me to give him a hug. Even though I was an incredibly shy child who rarely stopped clutching the hems of my mom’s dress or shorts, I’d always slowly walk over and give him a hug. As a teenager, I would always walk past Vertrum and the ‘guys’ on the way to my parent’s shared office in Town. Their managing days over and Vertrum’s retired days being spent less on engines and more sat on a bench (or steps) on the waterfront chatting with the other wisemen of the cay. I never once hesitated to stop and have a chat with him in particular and I’d always give him a hug and kiss on the cheek. I was always referred to as ‘sweetie’ and he’d always remark on how much I’d grown.
Throughout his older life, Vertrum never stopped being known for one thing (besides his kindness and witty-humour), he has the ability to create some of the most amazing pieces of art. Vertrum Lowe is best known for his handmade model ships and dinghies which he hand-carves and paints in his ‘shoppe’ on Green Turtle Cay.
Vert’s Model Ship Shoppe is located right in the centre of town on Green Turtle Cay and is also home to Vertrum, his dog and his workshop. I had always wanted to photograph him and so went to visit him one day with my Mom to have a chat with Vert.
All images are copyright of Kelsi Farrington unless otherwise stated.