The new president of the V.I. Taxi Association, Eustace "De Cooker" Grant, used the installation ceremony for new association officers and directors Monday night as a forum to call on his fellow cab drivers to support the creation of a taxi federation in the islands. "If we don't come together," he told them, "we'll find ourselves out of the taxi industry."
Grant also called on Port Authority officials to enforce a Territorial Court order upholding the exclusive franchise the association has at the Cyril E. King airport. He said some hotels contract outside taxi operators to pick up guests at the airport and termed the practice illegal.
Addressing the association at the ceremony, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull underscored the importance of the hospitality industry and the role taxi operators play as ambassadors of the islands. "Taxi drivers are the heart of the tourism industry," he said. "You make the first and last impression to our many visitors."
The association paid tribute to The West Indian Company president Edward Thomas, Territorial Court Judge Ive A. Swan and Judge-designate Rhys Hodge for their contributions to the association. At Monday night's installation ceremony, Swan administered the oath of office to the officers and directors, who serve for two-year terms.