Director recalls early days at port


It’s al­most too hard for retired S an Benito busi­ness­man Lionel Betan­court to fathom. But it has been over 30 years since he first approached Bob Cornelison with the proposition to take the helm of a financially-despondent Port Isabel-San Benito Navigation District (PISBND).

During a recent Rotary Club meeting in San Benito, Cornelison was the invited speaker for a club packed with local leaders including Betancourt and Bill Weekly, who have served with the di­rector on the navigation dis­trict board.

The always charismatic director recalled, with humor and fondness the early going of his tenure as port director, a tenure which is about to come to an end upon his retirement.

Speaking to club members, but nodding toward Betan­court, Cornelison said, “Lit­erally Lionel, we had to start from the ground up, didn’t we?” To which Betancourt responded, “There was noth­ing but a bunch of boats and a dock.” Cornelison was in agreement. “That’s it, that’s it,” the director replied.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Jan. 20 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press.

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