Chuck Corbett, South Seas Trader | Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.

Chuck Corbett

Chuck Corbett, South Seas Trader | Pacific Islands Medical Aid, Inc.

Chuck Corbett, South Seas Trader


I remember the sweltering hot sunny morning on the beach at Christmas Island when Carlton Smith and his lovely wife first got off the Crystal Harmony Cruise Ship. The year was winter of 2004 and he was carrying a box of medical supplies for the island.

Carlton came not knowing what to expect and though the ship was only there for 4 hours, he was so moved by what he saw and experienced that he decided to do something. He would be moved to set up a non profit organization (PIMA) and return every few months over the following 4 or 5 years.

PIMA helped out in an open and kindly manner with what PIMA had and could find. PIMA made calls and contacts in the pharmaceutical world. If there was an urgent medicine needed, PIMA found it or bought it with their own money.

In those days, Christmas, Washington, and Fanning Islands were often out of antibiotics and other life saving medicines. People were dying needlessly. PIMA set up communications with the islands and village health workers, and found out what was urgently needed. PIMA saved lives.

PIMA made continued regular trips to Fanning Island and later Washington Island.

Can you imagine, not being able to see the details in a loved one’s photograph, not being able to read because of bad eye sight, not being able to find a small item that has fallen to the ground. PIMA chartered a boat to Fanning and Washington and found dozens of people who were blind simply because there were no glasses available. PIMA was moved to do something, so they brought reading glasses, hundreds of them, they learned basic optometry, and with the help of an optometrist, PIMA taught village health workers to use these tools and prescribe glasses.

Later PIMA saw that was not enough and brought an eye surgeon and chartered a boat to bring the blind to Christmas for surgery.

Can you imagine the joy PIMA had seeing the look on their face when they could see for the first time in years? Can you image the tears streaming down the faces of happiness?

Recently Christmas Island got the first dentist, who arrived with simple tools, but not a proper dental chair. Now PIMA has found a proper dental chair and dental tools and they are on a ship bound to Christmas Island in October.

Now I hear PIMA is has found a heart surgeon for the gravely ill and yet another charter is in order.

PIMA does this because they are moved to help as fellow human beings in whatever way they can.

In my heart I will always have a special place for Carlton Smith and PIMA.

Chuck Corbett
South Seas Trader