Aruba Articles


Anchor dedicated to Charlie

Reprinted with permission A.M. DIGITAL

A very nice gesture of Valero Refinery is to repair and give a new look to the anchor at the entrance of Seroe Colorado, and formally dedicate it to Charlie Brauns Jr., a native son of Aruba and a pillar of the San Nicolas Community who passed away not too long ago.

Charlie was born 64 years ago on April 18, 1941, the first and only child of Charles Brouns, Sr. and Marie Brouns. Charlie matured very quickly - he attended mulo, and continued his education through secondary studies in Holland. Charlie embraced life fully, and from an early age, began his world-wide travels studying and earning a living by painting in Europe, mastering the varied skills of the hotel service industry, and spending several years in the merchant marine as a cook and able deckhand. In 1961, Charlie met his wife, Rosalba, and they subsequently spent several years in various Caribbean island countries before settling in Colombia. In Colombia, Charlie found his niche - he and Rosalba had a son, Charles III and a daughter Montserrate.

Charlie’s entrepreneurial talents led him to open "Charlie’s" a nightclub & restaurant that ultimately became one of the most famous nightspots in Bogota. In 1976, Charlie returned home to visit his parents in Aruba. With his father’s blessing and wishes, Charlie relocated his wife, son, and daughter to Aruba, and took over the family business. Upon his return, Charlie quickly recognized that the boom days of the Lago Refinery were predestined to end at some point-in-time, and he began to involve himself in promoting San Nicolas and its surrounding treasures as points of interest for tourists throughout the years, Charlie was also heavily involved in promoting various sports and cultural activities around the island, and his teams were readily identifi able by their colorful “boozer” uniforms and competitive spirit. Like his father before him, Charlie, in his own quiet and dignified way, shared much that he had with the less fortunate. In many respects, the impact of the economic crash that followed the close of the Lago Refinery was made bearable for many people through Charlie’s charitable efforts on behalf of numerous families and individuals. Charlie’s unique experience and knowledge of many different countries and cultures, and his early, virtually single-handed efforts in promoting Aruba as a vacation destination were instrumental in helping to create the foundation of the tourist business that supports Aruba’s present economy. In his final years, Charlie would be well-remembered for his selfless struggle to seek economic opportunities for the residents of San Nicolas, for his dedication to preserving the cultural history of Aruba and its natural treasures, and for his tireless efforts to make Aruba a better place for all of us who live, work, and play here.

Charlie placed the anchor at that location in 1985 as a memorial to all of the seamen that have come to Aruba. He recognized that the collective efforts of these countless individuals, over several centuries, have actually formed the basis of our cultural heritage and society. In keeping with what Charlie wanted to have done, Valero dedicate the monument “to all seamen” and in turn to every Aruban, wherever they may be, home or abroad. It is Valero’s hope, through this action, that the monument will serve to remind all of us, that although we live on an island, we are all bound together through a common heritage, that we share a mutual responsibility to protect our natural treasures, that we embrace and share our cultural history with our visitors, and that we all work together for a better Aruba.


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