Glad Tidings Newsletter 1 - Mission to Seafarers


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First Newsletter from Col Brown who is now
Coordinator - 'Mission to Seafarers' in Australia.
See the website for contact details.

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Glad Tidings Newsletter 1 - Mission to Seafarers

  1. 1. Glad Tidings (1) Our First Newsletter In the short time I have been working for the MtS Australia Council, I have been inspired by the tremendous Greetings to all our readers, chaplains dedication of the men and women I managers, ship visitors and loyal have met, many working in isolation, volunteers in our 23 Centres around with scarce resources and often at the continent. This is the very first considerable personal sacrifice. But monthly newsletter from the Australian they, with good cheer and grace carry Council for the Mission to Seafarers. on, to ensure that those many Our chairman Bishop Garry Weatherill seafarers visiting our shores, has asked me, to send regularly to all experience the love and warmth of the our Centres, a newsletter keeping Risen Christ during their short stay on everyone abreast of happenings within Australian soil. the MtS Australian family. Please send me any news that you Because I have the role of Liaison would like included in “Glad Tidings”. and Support Officer to our Centres, it We are particularly fortunate to have is logical that I play the ‘roving reporter’ two terrific bishops presently at the and editor of “Glad Tidings”. I hope helm of the Seafarer’s ministry, and that the name sounds alright. It has both Garry (West coast) and Godfrey already been approved by Holly, my (East coast) encourage your 13 year old daughter - who wildly contributions, thoughts and stories. We swings from being my greatest fan to do not want the newsletter to be dull or my harshest critic! not useful. Let’s put it to good use. You can contact me at Actually, in the eight months I have and please do. been on the job, I have managed to visit 15 of our Centres, and plan to travel to the other eight this year. Indeed, I was very lucky to start my job only 3 weeks before last year’s Katoomba conference, where I spent 5 days with most of our chaplains and managers. This gave me a golden opportunity to listen to their many stories of the local happenings, and begin to understand the needs of those ministering to the unending wave of seafarers visiting our ports. (+Garry and Col flying the flag at General Synod in Canberra 2007).
  2. 2. Bill & Tom travel far to can journey according to local needs and circumstances. be with us We are very fortunate to have Tom stoking the fire in MtS’ spiritual engine At our national conference last August room. I know Tom thoroughly enjoyed in Katoomba (the NSW Blue his first trip downunder, and managed Mountains), it was a special pleasure to visit our centres in Newcastle, to have both the Rev Canon Bill Townsville, Melbourne, Geelong and Christianson and the Rev Tom Portland before returning home to Heffer travel from the UK to join us for London. We hope that he returns soon the week’s very enjoyable, but hard to share more of his vision with us. working conference. As you all know, Bill is based in MtS’ London central office and has the formidable task , as Secretary General of the Mission to Seafarers, of “leading the way”. Bill’s tremendous knowledge of, and concern for the well being of our Australian stations was very evident during his time with us - as was his great warmth, charm and wit that did not go astray in the freezing Blue Mountains environment. It was indeed a bonus for all (Col and Bill at Katoomba conference) Commissionings in participating at the conference, that Tom could also be with us to share the experience. Tom holds the position of Director of Chaplaincy within the MtS Melbourne family. Tom, for some time prior to the conference had invested considerable Melbourne Mission to Seafarers had time, energy and prayer into cause for celebration last October, developing a “big picture” seminal when the Rev Ken Cahill and document, “Moving Forward in Emmanuel Carrington were Mission - Strategy Into Action 2007- commissioned by Melbourne Bishop 2009”. At the conference, Tom laid Phillip Huggins. Ken was before us the “big picture” - namely, commissioned as Chaplain to the Port the MtS Vision -Strategy document in of Melbourne, and Emmanuel powerpoint format - reflecting on our Carrington as Lay Assistant Chaplain. proud history of 150 years ministry to The beautiful commissioning service the globe’s seafarers, challenging our took place, most appropriately, in St resolve to move with the times, honing Peter the Mariners Chapel in the our vision in the light of the Risen grounds of the Flying Angel Centre. A Christ, and setting down a practical large number of supporters, volunteers pathway - along which all MtS stations and friends joined in the celebrations, including Rev Noah Park (Geelong),
  3. 3. Rev Alan Ford (Portland) and Capt. prayers go with Sean in his new Keith Dann (Hastings). Good luck to venture. Thankfully, Bell Bay remains both Ken and Emmanuel - they won’t in safe hands with Gary watching over be bored. It seems that they could be all things watery. He is a passionate called on to do all things except dredge advocate for the seafarer. Port Phillip Bay…someone else is doing that! ( Burnie’s AGM committee) (Ken and Emmanuel entering the Chapel) Way Downunder in Tassie In December, on the day of the (Gary - and his dog welcoming some Federal elections, Hobart MtS held its seafarers visiting Bell Bay) annual general meeting . The meeting took place at St George’s Church, Battery Point and was able to A Living Legend peacefully co-exist with the stream of voters entering the church grounds to Attending the Hobart AGM, last cast their votes. In the next few days I December, was 87 year old Jack was able to attend Burnie’s AGM, Tomes. Jack is possibly the longest thanks to a lift from Doug Couzins, and serving (not the oldest serving) MtS then meet up with Dick Burgess at volunteer on planet Earth. Jack first Devonport. On my last day, I was able volunteered to help out at the Hobart to visit Gary Jones, the new manager mission in 1938 at the tender age of at Bells Bay, and do some ship 17. Over the past 70 years he has visiting with Gary on the mighty held all the official positions at Hobart Tamar River. Sean Tiernan, who MtS including chairman for 10 years. looked after Bell Bay for many years, During one rough period when there has moved to Brisbane to work with were no chaplains or volunteers Stella Maris. Our good wishes and available, Jack worked solo to keep
  4. 4. the mission open. His 70 years of service has been virtually continuous. MtS Brisbane’s Big Only Jack’s serving in World War II slowed him down but still attended the Day in February mission when he was at home As the Queen Victoria effortlessly When the Hobart station moved to its glided into Fisherman’s Wharf to dock present location in Morrison Street on only a few hundred metres from the the waterfront, Jack a builder by trade, MtS Seafarers Centre at the entrance built an alter to fit the new chapel, and to Brisbane Port, it was all hands on carved a Flying Angel as a backing deck in the Centre itself. beneath the alter with a hidden light to make it a feature. And Jack’s wife, Brisbane MtS was preparing for the Kath, has been by his side every step arrival of Ms Quentin Bryce the of the way. According to Hobart’s Governor of Queensland, to officially chaplain Bruce Mitchell (who no one open the newly renovated Mission to would accuse of being anorexic), “I Seafarers Brisbane Centre. The Rev suspect that many a seafarers Ron Paschke, MtS chaplain who had waistline has swelled as a result of left no stone unturned to ensure the Kath’s culinary efforts that still success of the celebrations was continue.” beaming from ear to ear. The latest “Flying Angel News” wrote It was a day to remember for the large an article about Jack Tomes and has gathering - made up of many staff, asked seafaring Centres around the volunteers, supporters and friends of world to contact them if they are aware MtS Brisbane. Following the stirring of any person serving longer than sounds of the brass band, the Jack. My money is on Jack - and he is Governor duly opened the new Centre. still going strong! Shortly after, Brisbane’s Bishop Geoff Smith, assisted by Bishop Godfrey Fryar had the joyous task of leading the gathering in a Dedication of the Chapel of St Nicholas - the beautiful and peaceful space set aside for weary seafarers, on the harbour side of the Centre building. A very moving ceremony of service awards to Brisbane’s volunteers - very much the heart and soul of the Brisbane ministry, was also carried out during the afternoon. The great celebrations were tinged with some sadness as it was announced that Ron Paschke would be transferring from (Jack & Kathy Tomes) MtS Brisbane to take up a position in
  5. 5. the Brisbane parish of Wollongabba. Visitor Training Course” and then from Ron’s position will soon be advertised. Wednesday to Friday set aside for a “Train the Trainer” course, to be accredited as an official ICSW Ship Welfare Visitor Course Trainer. I gather it was hoped that if local trainers were accredited then it would not be necessary to go to the expense of sending out a trainer from the UK each time enough people in the southern hemisphere could be gathered together. It seems, too, that with a number of local trainers in place many more people would be trained and earn their accreditation from the Merchant (+Godfrey welcoming the Governor ) Navy Welfare Board who developed, auspiced, supervised and resourced the Ship Training Course course. in Melbourne It was going to be quite a commitment as my volunteers had stepped up to the plate to cover me while I was away at the course, A few weeks back a very important 5 days of training and some nights at the week unfolded in the life of the Mission Mission catching up with some stuff that I to Seafarers ministry in Australia. From normally do. And then to top it all off on Monday 25 to Friday 29 April six of our Saturday we were expecting the Navy here MtS men ( Ian McGilvray- Dampier, in our chapel for a service to celebrate the Arthur Hinsely-Hobart, Dave Masters- 107th anniversary of the founding of the Port Kembla, John Wong-Bunbury, Royal Australian Navy. They wanted to Ken Cahill-Melbourne and John start at 10 am!! On a Saturday morning!! After closing the Mission at midnight!!! Marcon all the way from Auckland, What was I thinking? Just as well there was participated in a course to earn their a free lunch involved. credentials to become official ship visiting trainers to Australian and NZ The first call came from John Wong from ports. Also participating were John Bunbury who had arrived in Melbourne on Kewa- Melbourne Stella Maris, the “red-eye special” from Perth at some Anthony Phillips- Brisbane Stella Maris God-awful hour on Sunday morning. Poor and Rob Flinders- Sydney based with John was stranded in Melbourne as his the Seafarers Christian Friend Society. hotel could not book him until the afternoon. Just as well that the casino is Ken Cahill kindly took time out from open 24 hours and has several very his hectic Melboune MtS ministry to comfortable couches. By Sunday write a short and entertaining report on afternoon the crew began to gather at the the training course: Kings Gate Hotel. Friends from overseas began to arrive, from New Zealand and from Tasmania – a truly international event! The ICMA Ship Visitor Training Course. Monday arrived and we all assembled at The week looked like it was going to be a the Stella Maris Centre in Little Collins big commitment. Monday and Tuesday set Street. We managed to gather enough light aside for the accredited “Ship Welfare to see what we were doing and 10 of us
  6. 6. participated in the course. Damian Crowley course available to as many people as took us through our two days of accredited possible, including those that actually training at a leisurely pace. We all passed ship visit, drive buses, serve at the the exam. And then the real fun could centre, serve on local committees- begin. anyone in fact who plays a part in making life a little easier for the visiting In spite of my remonstrations we continued seafarer. We will try and offer these to be provided with sandwiches for lunch, courses all around Australia. so we just had to have a roast for dinner on Thursday when all the Flying Angels could meet with Colin at the recently renovated Preliminary plans are afoot for a 3 day Melbourne Chaplain’s residence. After course to be offered in Townsville, several bevvies, the conversation got over 15-17 August 2008. It is hoped around to “world domination” and we that the ports of Brisbane, Townsville, developed some plans about conducting Mackay and Gladstone will send training courses around the country and people to participate. MtS Australian how this could be funded, given the Council secretary Graham Miller, will extensive distances and travel that would be hosting the Townsville event. still be involved. Townsville in August sounds perfect! So by early April we will know who has John Wong and Tim Hopwood will been accredited as trainers by ICSW and offer the course in Bunbury at a date registered on the Merchant Navy Welfare soon to be decided. We hope that Board’s database with a course written and people from Esperance, Albany, and developed by Damian Crowley auspiced and accredited by the Nautical Institute and Fremantle will join the Bunbury mob funded by the ITF Seafarer’s Trust. Sounds there. complicated from over here doesn’t it? But put simply, this very worthwhile course, Ian McGilvray, who has the big should over time, be of great benefit in challenge of providing training for the helping the Mission to Seafarers family feel Top End, is looking at the logistics of better prepared and able to meet the needs bringing together people from of our visiting seafarers around the Dampier, Port Hedland and Darwin. country. When further detail is made available we shall let everyone know. Good luck Ian! Rob Flinders will be providing a course for the Sydney people. Presumably Rob will be in contact with Ian Porter at our Sydney Mission to work out plans for Sydney and Port Botany. Ken Cahill will soon be in a position to announce a date for the Melbourne The next phase of this project is course. Hastings, Geelong, critical. Our aim over the next six Melbourne and Portland supporters months is to make the ship visiting will participate in this course.
  7. 7. supporter of the Port Kembla mission Dave Master who is based at Port Nick Rheinberger is helping plan the Kembla has been given the SA ports night and will act as MC. Some of to look after. Once Dave gets his big Wollongong’s local singing talent will fundraising night out of the way, he will be doing their bit on stage. Bishop be in contact with our SA ports to work Garry is also attending and it is out the best way to serve their needs. expected that he to will be given a gig, Stay tuned SA for further updates. to display his Pavarotti-like qualities. We all look forward to that! Please Last but far from least, Tasmania’s spread the word- for more details Arthur Hinsely is giving thought to the contact Dave on 02 4274 6498 or best meeting venue to bring together 0414 482 737. our Hobart, Bell Bay, Burnie and Devonport people. Launceston has been suggested as a good central venue. Possibly, our very first course will be offered by Arthur in Tassie. We await more news from Arthur on all of this- and when contacting us next, perhaps Arthur could settle the debate about whether Port Arthur was, in fact, named after him! Port Kembla’s Pirates (Separated at Birth?) Night Gladstone (SA) hosts Council meeting As many of you will know, the MtS National Council met over the 17-19 January at Bishop Garry’s home in Gladstone, South Australia (not far from Port Pirie). It was a productive meeting attended by Garry (chair), Bishop Godfrey, Ron Paschke (Brisbane), Ian Porter (Sydney), Noah Park (Geelong), Bob Bristow (Fremantle), Alan Taylor (Albany), Dave Masters the chaplain at Port Graham Miller (Townsville) and Col Kembla MtS has been very busy Brown (National Liaison & Support organizing a fund raising night to take Officer – adopted by Port Kembla). place at the Illawarra Yacht Club on Copies of the meeting’s minutes have the 11 April, 2008. Well known ABC been sent to all stations. Illawarra media personality and great
  8. 8. (National Council outside Pirie centre) Port Pirie Mayoral Next Council meeting is Welcome & Visit Brisbane - May During the National Council’s stay in The next meeting is set down for Gladstone we were able to squeeze in Brisbane over 28 - 30 May 2008. So if a visit to Port Pirie. MtS’ chaplain Ian you have a burning desire to get any Pole pulled a rabbit out the hat to issue on the agenda please let surprise us with a mayoral reception. Graham Miller know (tel 07 4772 Pirie’s mayor Geoff Brock, gave us a 2774). If you are wishing to apply for very warm and welcoming civic funding from AMWS or ITF please get reception. It was a great chance for all your applications to Graham as soon of us to fly the MtS flag on Bishop as possible. Garry’s home soil, and later visit Ian’s volunteers at their mission. Rumours abound that Ian may be running for mayor at the next elections. When asked, Ian strongly denied this ambition, saddled his bike (see photo) and zoomed off into the distance. Geraldton’s Temporary Closure It has not been all smooth sailing, as (Spot the Flying Angel logo) of late, for our Seafaring centre in Geraldton WA. Our building in
  9. 9. Geraldton almost next door to the future. We look forward to that very Geraldton Port Authority and the much. increasingly busy Indian Ocean port, is one of the town’s treasures. Built in 1864, it is possibly Australia’s oldest seafaring mission building - Melbourne MtS commenced its ministry in 1857 but its first location was on an ex-prison hulk on Port Phillip Bay. Maybe Sydney will make claim to this honour but until they can prove otherwise Geraldton gets the prize. Unfortunately, Father time has crept up on our mission building in (Geraldton MtS building) Geraldton. Power losses and the need for extensive and costly electrical MtS & AoS Getting and structural work have caused the Diocesan council to temporarily close together the seafaring Centre until the remedial work is carried out (which will also In a recent exchange of letters, both require some serious fundraising Bishop Garry Weatherill chair of the efforts). Mission to Seafarers Australia and Bishop Justin Bianchini chair of the Not surprisingly, our building is Apostleship of the Sea Australia, heritage listed as it has served as happily agreed to start in motion a Geraldton’s first school, first series of meetings between the Anglican church and first prison respective organizations. Both bishops cell- not all at the same time! It has a are keen for the organizations to fascinating history and is highly valued explore ways in which we can work as a heritage landmark by the Heritage more effectively together. And at the Council of WA. This fact alone, makes same time bring to life new friendships the repairs to the building, more and strengthen existing ones. Many of complicated and costly than usual. you would be aware of the great ecumenical work being faithfully With a large number of ships now carried out in ports such as Newcastle, exporting more iron ore than grain out Hastings, Port Hedland, Gladstone, of Geraldton there is a strong call on Botany and others; which serves as a our services to the visiting seafarer. reminder that we still have a long way Many are conscious of this fact, and to go in other ports. The rapidly are working very hard to ensure that changing face of the maritime world- we are back in full swing as soon as the salty ‘sign of the times’ if you like, possible. The Geraldton Port calls for our very best united Christian Authority people have been response, to ensure that we always particularly supportive and have strive to do the ‘right thing’ by the generously offered to increase that overseas seafarer, in Jesus’ name. ongoing support substantially in the Then He smiles on us and rejoices!
  10. 10. National Volunteers Day It is worth keeping in mind that National Volunteers Day/Week commences around Australia on May 12 until May 18. Use this week of celebrations to “net” some volunteers to help out at your local centre. Some good hints on how to go about this, including enlisting media support can Sea Sunday Fast be found by visiting Approaching ml. Try it, as fortune favours the bold. As Sea Sunday fast approaches do not forgot to visit the UK Mission to Updating websites & Seafarers ( website to email lists download (or order by emailing ) Presently we are updating all our data their excellent Sea Sunday resources. bases. As you know our primary way If any centres are doing their own of getting news to all our centres is via Aussie version please send them to the email address me for broader circulation to those of It is really our centres looking for inspiration. important that our emails come to the notice of all those who have an interest Sea Sunday is to be celebrated on in welcoming and caring for visiting Sunday 13 July this year but of seafarers visiting our 23 ports. In my course, might be changed to another travels to our ports, I am always Sunday, if it better suits the local interested in positive feedback that will natives. improve our communications, which is critical to helping all of our centres feel as though each one belongs to the Mission to Seafarers family- that we are all in this remarkable ministry together- from Bishop Garry flying our flag at Canberra’s General Synod to Phyllis buttering the tomato sandwiches to be devoured at Port Kembla’s next fundraising event (it should be said that Phyllis does a damn lot more than that around the place!)
  11. 11. My reading the monthly Reports will A concerted effort has also been made also help me identify local happenings to update the information about all our that could be of interest to all centres. I Aussie ports on the Mission to love receiving Ian McGilvray’s colourful Seafarers UK-Global website (visit Dampier monthly reports of that far We see away and mysterious Pilbara region. this is the best website for the visiting Still in the Pilbara, following a phone seafarer to Australia to search for conversation I had with Dawn- one of information on Aussie ports and Port Hedland’s chaplains and ship available facilities at MtS centres. visitors I will never again complain about the heat around my way (Kiama Finally, the MtS Australian website will on the NSW south coast). Dawn said undergo some radical cyber surgery. recently they welcomed seafarers into The website will be redesigned to Port Hedland on a day that reached 55 promote the ministry of the Mission to degrees centigrade! She says it is not Seafarers Australian Council, as the unusual for them to work in 50 degree overarching body to all our 23 centres. heat. Not even Jesus had to operate in The new website will be developed as those conditions! a tool for promotional, educational, fundraising and advocacy work. I will So please remember those monthly be looking after this project. Reports. Likewise Graham Miller, our national secretary is always keen to receive each centre’s AGM reports/minutes and financial statements. And finally- changes to MtS personnel • Gary Jones has taken over Sean Tiernan’s role as manager/ship visitor at Bell Bay. Sean has moved to Monthly Reports Brisbane to take up a position with Stellar Maris. We wish both men all the very best in their Please remember to send a copy of new ventures. your monthly Report to me at • Olaf Smith has resigned as It helps us feel a manager from Esperance. Olaf part of the life of the local MtS centre has taken some time off to sail and helps us work out how we might the high seas…wherabouts be of any assistance in either, day to presently unknown. Safe sailing day or big picture stuff. Ollie.
  12. 12. • Rev Ron Paschke has next newsletter. Thank God, transferred from Brisbane Mts that Gabriella (Harvey’s wife), (Australia’s busiest port) to take will still continue her vital work up a position in a Brisbane caring for the seafarers sailing parish. Thanks Ron for your into Port Botany- one retirement Herculean effort in the short in the family is quite enough time you were at Brisbane MtS. Gabriella (don’t even think It is a much finer ministry as a about it!) result of your commitment and dedication. Soldier on and on, Ron! • Capt Keith Dann is preparing for retirement at Hastings port. Our next newsletter will feature Keith’s unique contribution to the well being of seafarers entering Victoria’s waters. • Alan Ford has unfortunately resigned from his chaplaincy role with MtS Portland Victoria. We wish him every happiness Earth Hour closes in the new type of chaplaincy work he has chosen. this Newsletter • Congratulations to Fr Stefan Sapun who has been appointed As it is 8pm on Saturday the 29 March AoS chaplain to the port of my daughter has reminded me that all Newcastle. The Rev John lights in our house are to be now Crane, Stefan and Fr Alexander turned off for one hour…for it is Earth (the Newcastle Knights) make a Hour- and we must do our small bit for formidable welcoming team for this beautiful, but most fragile of all anyone visiting Newcastle. planets in the universe. Fathers should Bishop Garry and Col are always take heed of the advice of looking forward to visiting there teenage daughters. At least this one next month. does. Goodnight….from Col Brown. • Gordon Lawrence is soon to retire from his role of lay chaplain/ship visitor in Gladstone. Gordon’s departure will leave a large hole in our ministry at Gladstone port. We will have more to say about Gordon’s wonderful years of service in the next newsletter. • Harvey Burcher’s pending retirement from his Sydney ministry will be covered in our