NEWS FROM OUR EAST COAST CENTRES Issue: 08EDEN CENTRE UPAND RUNNINGBy Colin BrownNational Co-ordinatorOur newest centre established in the old church hall at St John’s SS Yongala memorialEden, on the far south coast of NSW not far from the Victorianborder, is almost ready to welcome seafarers coming intoTwofold Bay. TOWNSVILLE REMEMBERSJim Pether has come over from Wellington to help set up the new THE SS YONGALA SINKINGministry and has commenced ship visiting the mainly log andwoodchip ships loading at Eden port. Port Kembla’s John Kewahas visited Jim on a couple of occasions to lend his consummate Graham Miller recently organised a memorial service at theskills and advice. Townsville Cathedral for the centenary of the sinking of the SS Yongala off Townsville in 1911.Unfortunately Jim has not been in the best of health and will bereturning to Wellington under Sheila’s protective care to ensure The service generated a great deal of interest within the Townsvillethat he regains his good health. Jim plans to return to Eden later in community and far beyond. The tragic sinking of the luxury passengerthe year. We thank Jim very much for his invaluable contribution liner and the loss of 120 lives due to a cyclone off the coast ofand wish him a speedy recovery. Townsville was not discovered by divers until 1958 and is now part of Queensland maritime folklore. Our Townsville volunteers once again were reminded of the dangers of living in FNQ when the port (and our centre located within the port) were closed for several days in February as cyclonic weather and tumultuous seas threatened the region and its inhabitants. Graham was actually in Adelaide attending a meeting of the MtS Australian Council at that very time, which led him to ruefully comment that he was not sure whether on his return home he would “have a house or job or seafaring centre to return to”! Thankfully he returned to all three we were relieved to hear. Jim Pether on Eden ship
NEWS FROM OUR EAST COAST CENTRES Issue: 08 HOBART’S MISSION HISTORY HONOURED BY GEORGE & BRUCE In February this year, Hobart’s chaplain Bruce Mitchell dedicated a plaque on the old St David’s Mission Church in Campbell Street, Hobart, now an art gallery. This building was the first home of the “Mission to Seamen” in Hobart from 15 August 1915 to April 1956 and served seafarers well during these years. Bruce says “that in the first year there were over 6,000 seafarers through the doors”. Mr George Brown, a long time supporter and advisor to the mission unveiled the plaque. The 1915 version of the “Flying Angel”GLADSTONE’S NEW BUS surmounts the text on the plaque. The ceremonial unveiling was part of the Australian Wooden Boat festival. During the festival Hobart mission had several hundred visitors for an “open house” day andTrevor Phillips reports that all at our Gladstone centre are happy inevitably recruited a few good volunteers.to see the arrival of a new bus courtesy of the ITF. Trevor’s volunteerstravel long distances over some ordinary roads to collect seafarers Thank you George and Bruce for keeping the MtS flag (and angel)from the numerous terminals on the Gladstone coastline so a new bus flying high in Tassie.is always a welcome (and much used) addition. Hobart’s George Brown & Revd Bruce Mitchell CONGRATULATIONS TO NEWCASTLE’S GARRY, PAULA & BABY CHARLOTTE Great news has just arrived from Garry Dodd our chaplain in Newcastle. Paula has given birth (nearly typed “berth”- an occupational hazard) to a magnificent baby girl named Charlotte. Congratulations to the proud mother and father, and especially the wonderful Abi who now has a little sister to love and care for. Charlotte- the youngest flying angel Does anyone out there do baptisms in salt water?
NEWS FROM OUR EAST COAST CENTRES Issue: 08CHANGING OF THE GUARDAT PORT KEMBLAPort Kembla’s chaplain David Masters retired recently. John Kewahas moved from Melbourne to fill the big gap Dave has left andJohn is already fully immersed in the life of the centre acting aspastoral care coordinator.John says that he is thoroughly enjoying the new environment anddevoting as much time as he can to ship visiting. Last year sawsome 1,000 ships visit Kembla so John has his work cut out.Thankfully, we have not lost Dave to the cause as, after havinga well deserved break, he will return as a volunteer. He will bewelcomed back with open arms. Kembla’s John KewaBRISBANE’S COMPASSIONAn explosion onboard the MV Qian Chi in Moreton Bay saw threebadly burnt Chinese seafarers rushed to Brisbane hospital. Theexplosion occurred in the engine room caused by the hot oil burner.Only the injured engineer with burns to his arms and face could talk.The second engineer and cadet remained in intensive care for someweeks but now all three have recovered sufficiently to return home tobe cared for by loved ones.Brisbane’s chaplain Dan Vun and wife Helen gave the three crewgreat support and comfort over the weeks it took the medical teamto address their dreadful injuries. And of course, Dan and Helen’sability to speak a number of Chinese dialects also proved an asset inestablishing a relationship with the three seafarers and their families.It should also be mentioned that Dan was able to track down a small Revd Dan Vun- Brisbane hospitalrestaurant nearby to the hospital that sold Brisbane’s best sweet andsour rice a meal highly prized by the recovering seafarers, and whichDan attributes to lifting their spirits on a number of occasions!