Newsletter No. 3

BISHOP GARRY’S LAMBETH                      shared de...
and in spite of the great changes that we       Maggie Butcher, taking them
have undergone in security in the last        ...
•   Burnie MTS…. recently hosted         BUNBURY TRAGEDY
       the latest ship visiting course.
       Arthur Hinsley fro...
SEAFARING IS A TOUGH GIG                    reasons why a seafarer might suffer
NEW PORTS CALL US                           Weipa (Qld)

Cape Lambert (WA)                           The very remote port ...
led by the Revd Jeremy Rice has done a       Geraldton MTS are very fortunate to
terrific job in a difficult situation.   ...
being made on its staff. The port of         him for his warm welcome and empathy
Kwinana south of Fremantle continues    ...
world on his shoulders but didn't want to    or about $27 per day. (That is for six
talk. Anyway, I picked him up the     ...
cope better than others with changing               members. The following night in Port
circumstances, but it is a very h...
SEA SUNDAY                                 Over the years on this day we have
In our ministry of hospitality down at the    The first man had been in town
port, we try to present a ‘home away         ...
boarded in the Gulf of Aden en route        At least in Australia we are treated with
from Townsville to Spain via the Sue...
sower! This is the grain from which may       NOAH’S TIME CAPSULE &
spring a desire to take nourishment from      REFLECTI...
I arrived at the Geelong mission with my     for the odd postcard now and then. The
wife, Lydia and daughter, Grace on the...
celebrating the start of the Mission to       remarkable ways that we will be able to
Seafarers in Victoria) that have    ...
Strahan; unfortunately I have not been       NEWS FROM OUR CENTRES
able to keep track of the number of
Beanies received fr...
•   Albany…..Alan Taylor reports          HISTORY LESSON
    that MTS Albany and Stella
Elsie, continued that concern          for   or even three weeks. This gave the
seafarers until the late 1950’s.          ...

  •   National conference Rockingham
      [WA] September 7-11, 2009.
      Graham Miller will be sending
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Glad Tidings Newsletter 3 - Mission to Seafarers


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Good news and sad news in this issue.
Includes news of training courses for ship visitors..

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Glad Tidings Newsletter 3 - Mission to Seafarers

  1. 1. GLAD TIDINGS Newsletter No. 3 BISHOP GARRY’S LAMBETH shared delight in the many and varied REFLECTIONS ways in which we minister. Mission to Seafarers An important part of the Conference for me was meeting up with liaison bishops from around the world. Of course some I had met before, like Richard Frith, the Bishop of Hull, and Bishop David from Southern India. However, there were many new faces to meet. Our General Secretary, Bill Christianson, hosted a drinks’ party one evening during the Conference and in the balmy, long, Every 10 years the bishops of the English evening Mission to Seafarers’ Anglican Communion are summoned to bishops from all around the world the Lambeth Conference by the gathered to share stories, a glass of good Archbishop of Canterbury. 2008 was a wine and to hear something of the hopes Lambeth Year and I was delighted to be and visions of our Central Office. It was one of the nearly 700 bishops who made a great opportunity to recognize that we the journey from around the world to be share many similar problems in spite of part of the Lambeth Conference. our many different contexts. We are always looking for good chaplains, for Prayer Framed the Conference good committee members, to respond We began with a three-day Retreat for more usefully to the needs of seafarers the Bishops in Canterbury Cathedral and and to work with the many other then the wonderful Opening Service agencies and organizations that have an which was mirrored by a superb Closing interest in the life of those who work at Service at the end of that Conference, sea. What a wonderful privilege it is to put the whole experience in the context be part of this amazing organization that of a prayerful response to God. In the reaches out to some of the loneliest, the same way, each day was framed by a least, the lost and the last in our world splendid Morning Eucharist in the ‘Big with the loving compassion of Jesus Tent’ and a quiet, reflective evening Christ. The Conference highlighted for there at the end of the day. In between me the importance of our work and the there was a great deal of fun and a great need to offer support and encouragement deal of laughter! Of course we dealt to every station, no matter how small. with some serious matters, but my overwhelming impression of the In spite of the amazing changes in the Lambeth Conference 2008 would be a shipping industry over the last century 1
  2. 2. and in spite of the great changes that we Maggie Butcher, taking them have undergone in security in the last through their paces. The course few years, there is a greater need than was designed in the UK but has ever for people in the Mission to offer been modified for Australian support, encouragement and practical conditions. Congratulations to care for the seafarers who are such an Ian and his four fearless pioneers important part of our global economy. who all passed with flying colours. We hope that your It was great to have the opportunity to collective efforts will bear much meet with Ken Peters from Central fruit in the Pilbara ports. Office who works closely with the International Transport Federation and other seafaring unions. Tom Heffer reviewed some new developments in Mission to Seafarers world wide, and of course, Bill Christianson was his usual good-natured self, gently weaving introductions with correction and advice as we enjoyed some good old Mission to Seafarers’ hospitality. It was indeed a special and blessed time! (Mel, Maggie, Carol & Bill at Port Hedland Seafaring Centre) • Melbourne MTS…. hosted the second Australian ship visiting course in September. The Revd Ken Cahill presented the course to eight enthusiastic participants from our centres at Hastings, Geelong and Melbourne. Ken was thrilled with the positive feedback from the group, and is SHIP VISITING TRAINING girding his loins to offer further COURSES SET SAIL courses in the new year. • Port Hedland ….The Revd Ian McGilvray ran the very first Australian ship visiting course in Port Hedland in August. Ian who is chaplain to the Port of Dampier made the long trip north through the Pilbara to spend two days with Carol Morgan, Revd Bill Ross, Mel Butcher and 2
  3. 3. • Burnie MTS…. recently hosted BUNBURY TRAGEDY the latest ship visiting course. Arthur Hinsley from Hobart MTS traveled to Burnie to present the course to participants from Burnie, Devonport and Bell Bay seafaring centres. Those participating in the course thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and several new friendships were forged. Arthur is looking forward to running the same course in Hobart early next year for the Hobart faithful. We hope Hobart has as much fun as Burnie did Most of us by now would be aware of over the two training days. the tragic death of John Wong in Bunbury, last July. John only a few months before his death had undertaken the ICSW ship visitor training course in Melbourne with five other MTS chaplains/ship visitors. John who passed the course with flying colours was planning to run training courses for our Bunbury. Albany and Esperance centres. It is hoped that the Revd Ken Cahill will be able to fill in for John in the new year. John dedicated the last six years of his life to welcoming all seafarers to the port of Bunbury. He was particularly loved by the many Chinese and Philipino crews that he greeted and went out of his way to ensure their short stay in Bunbury was memorable. John’s very sad death was not connected with the seafaring world. The photo of John included in this newsletter shows a brass plaque above his head that reads, To the glory of God we serve. And indeed John lived out these words every day of his (Doug, Arthur, Kirby, Garry and Tony life that he served as centre manager and break world record for phone box ship visitor at his beloved Bunbury cramming at Burnie Port) MTS. Rest in eternal peace John, and may the Lord welcome you in the way you welcomed so many lonely seafarers. 3
  4. 4. SEAFARING IS A TOUGH GIG reasons why a seafarer might suffer depression, the International Transport Reproduced below is an article written Workers’ Federation commissioned a by Melbourne MTS’ Andrea Fleming for study undertaken by the Cardiff “Ship to Shore” magazine published by University Research Program. After six the Mission to Seafarers Melbourne. years of research, the results were published in November 2006. Major findings revealed: • One in four seafarers said they had fallen asleep while on watch. • Almost 50% of seafarers taking part in the study reported working weeks of 85 hours or more. • Around half said their working The lows of fatigue on the high seas hours had increased over the past 10 years, despite new In an article I read recently regarding legislation intended to combat the effects of depression and the fatigue. seafaring community, titled ‘Dogs Under • Almost 50% consider their the Table, author Ruth Mercado wrote working hours present a danger ‘Death can take the agonizing process of to their personal safety. healing for those left behind, but then • Some 37% said their working depression is equally excruciating for hours sometimes posed a danger Seafarer’. Far from the romantic to the safe operation of their adventures of the Arabian Nights’ ship. Sinbad the Sailor many seafarers consider depression to be their biggest Many reported that they had worked to storm at sea. the point of collapse and fallen asleep at the wheel, and over half of the sample A sailor once wrote ‘Life at sea is like believed that their personal safety and living in an ageing world, a prisoner of the safety of others was at risk because opportunity, convicted for survival! As of fatigue. the sailor embraces the sea, he counts on lonely nights, killed in forbearance, A recent example was featured in a crying in silence. We seafarers are like report issued by the Australian prisoners…deprived to be with our Transport Safety Bureau which found families, friends and loved ones’. the master of the stranded Pasha Bulka (photo above) was largely responsible Weathering fatigue-induced depression for the bulk carrier’s grounding at is like a battle with oneself. Although Newcastle. The report found the master most seafarers are well provided for on of the ship may have acted irresponsibly, board with recreational facilities, food causing the accident due to fatigue: he and amenities, fatigue has an uncanny had only had two hours sleep in the 24 way of tearing the heart. There are many hours before the anchor was weighed. 4
  5. 5. NEW PORTS CALL US Weipa (Qld) Cape Lambert (WA) The very remote port of Weipa located on the west coast of the Gulf of In the past few months Colin has Carpentaria is experiencing an traveled to Cape Lambert, Darwin and increasing flow of visiting overseas Weipa exploring the possibility of ships, loading mainly bauxite for export. establishing a MTS presence in these Members from the Weipa parish are locations. hoping, with the support of the MTS Australia Council, to soon establish a Ian McGilvray from his Dampier desk permanent seafaring ministry at their has kept a close eye on the rapidly port. For some years Dave and Jan increasing number of iron ore vessels Elliott (pictured below) residents of visiting the remote region of Cape Weipa have caringly greeted as many Lambert [Port Walcott]. We are seafarers as possible. Dave and Jan have confident that sometime in 2009, MTS opened up their home to make the will be able to provide an effective seafarers as comfortable as possible, and seafaring ministry there. have helped them contact loved ones and secure essential provisions. However, we have reached a point where it would be appropriate for MTS to establish a formal seafaring ministry in Weipa to build upon the wonderful work that the Elliott’s have selflessly pioneered. Darwin (NT) In Darwin, Colin has been invited to join the Darwin Port Welfare Committee and has visited the East Arm facility to gauge how MTS might establish a presence to support the existing services to seafarers. East Arm terminal is about GERALDTON….GREAT NEWS 30 klms around the bay from Darwin FROM THE WEST city. East Arm needs a few solid and reliable ship visitors and bus drivers. For much of this year MTS Geraldton The search has begun, so if anyone out has been closed to visiting seafarers. there has any bright ideas, please let us Father Time finally caught up with our know. 1854 built centre and it has been necessary to do a great deal of repair and renovation work on the heritage building to bring it up to par. The Geraldton team 5
  6. 6. led by the Revd Jeremy Rice has done a Geraldton MTS are very fortunate to terrific job in a difficult situation. have secured the services of Sue Happ who will manager the centre, and provide great support for Philip and Kath. Sue will bring her many skills and gifts to the role, and should enjoy the challenge a great deal. We all have our fingers crossed that the centre will be in a position to reopen in early December. The sun broke through the Geraldton clouds on Friday 10 October when the Revd Philip Knife was commissioned as FREMANTLE….MICHAEL’S chaplain to Geraldton MTS and its port, RICHLY DESERVED AWARD in Holy Cross Cathedral Geraldton. Philip who has rich experience as a Michael Kitafuna one of MTS’ most former navy chaplain and his wife Kath dedicated ship visitors has received a (photo on other side) will bring richly deserved honour- the Edyth considerable skills and gifts to the Bishop Volunteer of the Year Award Geraldton MTS team. 2007/8, for his untiring service to the seafarers coming into Fremantle port. Also taking place at Philip’s Congratulations to Michael. On a recent commissioning was the bestowing upon visit to the Fremantle Flying Angel Colin Jagger the retiring Geraldton Club, Colin was able to spend some time chaplain, of the title “Emeritus with Michael and gave a presentation to Chaplain” in recognition of his long and some of the Fremantle volunteers. The devoted service to the seafarers visiting get-together organized by the Revd Geraldton. The MTS Australia Council Denis Claughton proved a valuable and wishes to acknowledge Colin’s faithful stimulating one- exploring the many years of service and extends its heartfelt challenges facing the modern seafaring thanks. Not forgotten is Betty Jagger’s centre and strategies needed to meet contribution over the years as well. those challenges. Thank you Betty. Our Fremantle centre is a very busy place with a range of ongoing demands 6
  7. 7. being made on its staff. The port of him for his warm welcome and empathy Kwinana south of Fremantle continues for our work and plans for the future. to expand and of course, adds further We have a good friend and supporter in pressure on MTS Fremantle to look after Stephen. the many seafarers visiting down south. Denis has kindly offered to host our next national council meeting in January and we look forward to sampling that famous Fremantle hospitality. Our meeting in Fremantle will also provide the opportunity for the council members to visit Rockingham, which is just south of Fremantle, the venue for the 2009 September national conference. (Bishop Godfrey with Stephen Bradford in Melbourne Port boardroom) A CHAPLAIN’S THOUGHTS ABOUT A SEAFARER’S LIFE By Dave Masters (Lay Chaplain, Port Kembla) He was an AB on a Panamanian registered bulk carrier of 77,000 tonnes that was picking up coal for Korea. The (Michael [white helmet] with seafarers) ship operated between Korea and various ports around Australia. It had MELBOURNE COUNCIL arrived in port after sitting at anchor for MEETING six days, at 11.00am in the morning. It was crewed by Philippinos with Korean The MTS national council met in officers. When we had visited the ship Melbourne over 7-9 October. Melbourne not long after it arrived, the crew asked MTS were very generous in inviting the to be picked up at 1700hrs. When we council to use their premises, duly picked them up at 1700, he asked if accommodation and facilities over these we had Western Union facilities at the days. On the final meeting day, Ken Mission, which unfortunately we do not. Cahill arranged with the Melbourne Port He was a little agitated but didn't want to Authority for the council to meet with explain. Anyway, we said that if he Stephen Bradford the Port’s CEO [see could get time off the next day we would photo with Bishop Godfrey seated near organise it for him. Stephen]. It was a great opportunity to explore with Stephen some ideas and We arranged to pick him up at 10.00am. practical initiatives that we thought However, he would have to have A$ could benefit the seafarer visiting which we could change at the Mission Melbourne’s ports. We wish to thank for him. He seemed to have the whole 7
  8. 8. world on his shoulders but didn't want to or about $27 per day. (That is for six talk. Anyway, I picked him up the hours on, six hours off continuously following morning, took him to the while at sea.) In the Philippines the Mission, changed his US$1200 to A$ unskilled minimum rate in the Manila and then went to the Western Union area is about $7 per day so you might office. That done I took him back to the say, relatively speaking, he wasn't too ship. badly off. But nevertheless it is very On the way back, I asked him how work hard life for the seafarer. The fluctuation was going on the ship. He said, “OK” in value of the US dollar and the rise in but there were some general tensions on the cost of oil is pushing prices up the ship. Cultural differences, by the dramatically in countries like the sound of it, between the Filipinos and Philippines. The price of rice has the Koreans. There was nothing that he doubled since February 2008, and the wanted to complain about, but just not a price of petrol has risen by 35% in that very happy ship. After he had mentioned time. At a guess, his rent is probably this, some of his worries seemed to lift costing at least $200-$300 per month. A and he opened up a little, although he Philippine’s travel guide earlier this year didn't tell me about the immediate indicated that a single back packer personal problem. would manage on around $900 per month living outside Manila. So a family He had been at sea for sixteen years; he is stretched to survive on $800 per was married with one three year old month! If there is sickness, there is no daughter. He lived in a rented house health system and hospital bills have to about three hours drive north of Manila be paid up front. and also was looking after his mother who lived ten hours drive south of In addition to this, the shipping company Manila. He asked about my family and our AB worked for, altered the currency how many children I had. I told him in which the crew was paid, from Euros three and three grandchildren. He to US$, last year. The Euro hasn't fallen wistfully said he and his wife would like in value a great deal, but the US dollar in more but just could not afford it. He told recent times fell about 20%, so our AB's me, very proudly that he had bought a equivalent wage fell around 20% just on very small block of land and in four or the exchange. Think also about the US five years he hoped to build a house on $1200 he wanted to send home. He had it. He said, however, that food prices, to change the money to A$; we changed rent and transport cost were going up it for what the bank would give us- no and up and he was very concerned for profit for us, but probably 3-5% for the his family. Reading between the lines, I bank. Western Union then charged him suspect that the money transfer was to $25 handling fee. When the money help out in this respect. arrived at the other end, Western Union would have charged him to convert back This all started me thinking about the to US$. So all down the line he was world wide money crisis and the effects losing out- maybe $100 or more. on the seafarers. This seaman was an AB. He was I cannot do anything about this drop in probably paid around US$800 per month his living standards, and some people 8
  9. 9. cope better than others with changing members. The following night in Port circumstances, but it is a very hard life Hedland he was able to meet many of for these seafarers, particularly when Hedland’s volunteers, and attended a they are often away from family for up farewell party for Dawn Millard to a year. [Hedland’s retiring chaplain who was returning to Portland Victoria] and Linda Our work is indeed a great privilege and and Paul Harrison who were stepping unique opportunity, to be able to help down from the co-manager’s role. The and support them when they visit our Revd Bill Ross who had recently arrived shores. And to remind ourselves that in in Hedland to take over the chaplaincy helping the lone seafarer we are role was also there, to thank and farewell indirectly giving peace of mind to their Dawn, Linda and Paul . loved ones in a world of economic uncertainty and injustice. Carol Morgan, one of the centre’s managers and organiser extraordinaire, Editor’s note: This article was written in August made Col feel very welcome and is 2008 and reflects the global economic situation doing a terrific job keeping the Hedland at that time. The current situation [November 2008] is far more volatile and unpredictable for seafaring centre a smooth running, those who work the world’s oceans. happy and most caring place. Thank you very much for your hospitality Carol. DAMPIER-HEDLAND We hope that Peter Morgan is feeling VISIT…IRON ORE HEAVEN better health-wise as well. At the end of September, Colin traveled to the Pilbara at the invitation of MTS Dampier and Port Hedland centres. It was an opportunity for Col to witness first hand the enormous tonnages of iron ore being exported from Dampier and Hedland Ports. Both centres are busy beyond compare, looking after never ending waves of visiting seafarers and attending to their many and varied range (Three generations of McGilvray’s ) of wants and needs. Col made presentations at both centres to help the locals appreciate that although they work tirelessly in a harsh and isolated environment they were very much an integral part of the MTS family- an Australia wide family that took a keen interest in their ministry, that cared for them and prayed for them. On one evening, Col was able to attend (In foreground – Paul, Linda and Dawn) one of Dampier’s committee meetings and meet some of the committee 9
  10. 10. SEA SUNDAY Over the years on this day we have listened to gospel stories of Christ and Sea Sunday seems almost like a distant his connection to the sea; doing expected memory for this year, although many of Christlike activities such as calming our centres celebrated the occasion with wind and waves, walking on water, and great joy and gusto. Following is a even encouraging Peter to give it a go! colourful report from our national We have heard sermons by learned secretary Graham Miller on happenings bishops and chaplains past and not so last Sea Sunday in balmy Townsville. past telling stories of the hey day of shipping here in this port city of • Report from Townsville Townsville; and the highs and lows of Address given by Graham Miller at the Mission work over the decades and the Thanksgiving Eucharist at St James’ decline in Anglo-Saxon crews in the Anglican Cathedral, Townsville on 17th 1970’s. August 2008. Nevertheless, despite the changes in demographics, the work has continued to grow for over eighty years, and from industry statistics, we are busier than ever. And maybe, just maybe, the Gospel from Matthew Chapter13 [vs 1-9. & 18-23], the Parable of the Sower with its rural examples has something to tell us about the seafaring work of the Mission. Certainly at first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking it is a lesson for the agriculturally challenged, but I’m certain Christ’s audience knew exactly how to sew their crops. But what we are meant to get out of this parable is not how to produce a decent harvest of wheat or sugar cane; but an I would like to thank Fr John for the understanding of faith and how to opportunity to speak today on the work practise it. of The Mission to Seafarers and to our One of the hardest lessons to learn in life visitors and guests at this important is that we cannot be all things to all commemoration of Sea Sunday. people, no matter how hard we try. And After the repeated playing of the the parable of the sower helps me for Australian National Anthem during the one, put things into perspective. Olympic Games, it is refreshing to sing We can go around zealously sprinkling Canon Sharwood’s more theological seeds of faith in our workplace, version, a reminder that no matter how especially when we have 1.5 million patriotic we may be, it is right to seafarers around the world, but we need acknowledge that we are all children of to remember that are only one part of a the one God. process. 10
  11. 11. In our ministry of hospitality down at the The first man had been in town port, we try to present a ‘home away obviously for dinner and a few drinks. from home’ for all visitors who call into He was Master of a vessel and needed our centre. What happens after that we someone to talk to about his distress. He must leave to the Holy Spirit. spoke of his very public trial on Over nine years ago, when I responded European television, and how his to a request to help out at the local company told him to plead ‘guilty’ to Mission canteen, I had no idea that it save them from excessive fines; only to would open a door to working with a abandon him when he pleaded ‘not wonderful group of volunteers, guilty’. His sense of hurt travels the welcoming tens of thousands of world with him; and he now looks international seafarers to the port city of forward to shortly leaving the industry. Townsville and to share in the The other crew member talked of his hospitality of Christ’s love. home country of Honduras, of his home Yet, although we constantly require sickness for his tiny island paradise in more volunteers and the hours can be the Caribbean. He spoke of his family long, every day has been worthwhile. history and their relationship with the Part of the reason is that every day is famous pirate Captain Morgan. Both different; and I believe the keyword to parents’ family names are stepped in the working in the shipping industry is swashbuckling stories of privateers and flexibility. I also suspect that everyone piracy. I spent some time later reading involved in shipping would agree. their history on the internet. As with everything else, the life of the These are but two of the hundreds of port has changed radically over the last stories we hear. decade and the Mission has had to As far as acts of piracy are concerned, it change with it. is a mistake to think that the fantasy No-one could foresee accurately the figures of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ dramatic changes to security that have are the only ones alive today. According happened over the past few years; the to figures released in July this year, over increased economic growth of this 200 seafarers have been taken hostage, region, and changes in crew and of those, seven have been killed and demographics, bringing 54 nationalities another seven missing presumed dead. into our Flying Angel Club. We are so The scene has shifted from the lucky to be within the secure precinct of Caribbean to other places; and today the Port, thanks to the cooperation of the Africa is the hot spot with Somali and Port of Townsville Corporation giving Nigerian pirates the worst offenders. us access to all berths and ships. Our Regionally, the Malacca Straits is the closest ships are only 50 metres away, most active pirate lair but thankfully allowing us the chance to meet and greet most incidents have been low key. right from the doors of our canteen. However, thanks to the regions But, with changes have come new governments, this area is changing for complexities as well as age old the better. problems. This past week I was speaking Recently we heard news involving a ship to two seafarers whose stories reflect recently departed from Townsville that these. has been held to ransom by Somali pirates. The MV Stella Maris was 11
  12. 12. boarded in the Gulf of Aden en route At least in Australia we are treated with from Townsville to Spain via the Suez dignity and I thank them for that. We Canal on July 20 when it was boarded by should always be vigilant against armed pirates and diverted to northern terrorists, but sometimes the security is Somalia. In previous hijackings, pirates so restrictive, it makes life on board have demanded a ransom for releasing ships lonelier because we have less time the vessel and in most cases the crew are to spend ashore. not harmed. The frightening thing is that So your selfless service provided is a only a month ago the smiling faces of welcome relief to the stressful and lonely the crew were sitting in their ‘home life of seafarers on board ship.” away from home’ here at the Mission He then goes on to speak of piracy and canteen here in Townsville. signs off with many thanks and best Others have told of stories of being on regards. board ship for over five months without With stories such as these, not many leave, because of the strict security in among us would choose a job where our countries forced to comply with the US lives were so exposed to danger – not trade restrictions placed on them. Let me just from the whims of nature but from share one example with you from a attacks while we are at work or asleep. Master of a vessel who visited us. I have Jon Whitlow Secretary of the ITF’ paraphrased the letter to keep it short. Seafarers’ section, said recently, “we’re “Thank you very much for your appalled that in the 21st Century piracy transport services to and from the vessel is a continuing and growing problem – to The Mission to Seafarers... without despite the efforts made in the last few the selfless services you render to years to improve maritime security”. seafarers, we cannot go out and make So what do we do to respond to the story telephone calls to our families and loved of the sower in situations such as these? ones. It’s organisation like the Mission – What does Jesus to ask of us in our and the Stella Maris [Apostleship of the daily life here in the peace and safety of Sea] who are helping seafarers all over Townsville? the world to make our lives bearable on First he asks us to pray for these men board. and for their concerned families. He asks After the tragedy of 9/11, seafarers have us to talk to visiting crews about their been more isolated, especially with the hazardous life, to let them see that we stringent security measures being care. To offer them a gift at Christmas to practised around the world and in show they are part of the human family, private ports in Australia and the USA. to sit and listen as they speak about In the USA before we berth, the United problems that they cannot share with States Coast Guard personnel herd their mates on ship because of cultural seafarers into the crew mess like sheep; taboos, or political dissent. These are not to double check our passports even huge demands on our time or money – though we already hold valid US visas. they are simple acts of hospitality and Seafarers and ships are the so-called caring. workhorses of the world trade, bringing Very simply, all we can do is to goods and resources from one place to introduce them to our home away from another. But in some countries we are home, in which they feel safe, welcome not treated humanely. and cared for. This is the seed of the 12
  13. 13. sower! This is the grain from which may NOAH’S TIME CAPSULE & spring a desire to take nourishment from REFLECTIONS others down the track. In turn, we are asked to care for those Forty people attended the Geelong Sea who come to us with questions, with Sunday service with a difference. problems and issues they feel hopeless to Following the service led by the ageless act upon. Surely this is the ‘liturgia’ or Revd Noah Park, a new flagpole which ‘public work’ of the Church, of was a gift from Geelong Port was Christians everywhere! dedicated, and David Kenwood the In my daily interaction with the crews, I Property Manager for Geelong Port perceive The Mission to Seafarers as a unveiled a commemorative plaque microcosm of the world. Ours is a acknowledging the gift. community taken from nearly every nation on earth; some share our faith, Three long serving members of Geelong some have others, some have none. MTS- Lynne Loth, Pat Hayes and What is our particular situation is that Dereck Wright participated in the we perform ‘an invisible ministry among ceremony which saw an Australian Flag, an invisible community’. We cannot rely an Australian Red Ensign [both gifts upon long term contact but instead upon from the Victorian regional Channels continuing care from unseen volunteers Authority] and the Mission’s flag and chaplains around the world – all of proudly raised on the new flagpole. whom are called today to plant the seed of faith, to water, to feed, to nurture and Now for the twist- a time capsule was to care. Nor can we rely on handouts placed in a cavity in the flagpole base. from governments or church, for at best Into the time capsule members from they are piecemeal and infrequent. MTS Geelong placed coins, personal If our world wide Mission has any gauge letters, copies of Glad Tidings, phone by which to measure success, it is in the cards, photographs of the centre’s reaction by people of good will who volunteers and Noah’s birth certificate. respond to an inner desire to care for Those attending the celebration were others by volunteering their time; it is in exhorted by Noah Park to return on Sea the response by groups in the community Sunday July 8, 2018 to retrieve the to support the work of hospitality we capsule, open the contents, examine his offer; and most especially it is in the birth certificate and hear for the first hearts of the intrepid seafarers, who time his actual true age! come back to us time and time again, smiling as they enter our doors in the knowledge that they are welcomed as the children of the one God. The rest we confidently leave to the Creator. [Graham Miller is the Manager of The Mission to Seafarers Port of Townsville and Honorary Secretary of The Australian Council of the MtS.] 13
  14. 14. I arrived at the Geelong mission with my for the odd postcard now and then. The wife, Lydia and daughter, Grace on the much more preferred and popular way is 23rd of June, 1999 where I had moved sending emails through the speedy from the Melbourne mission, having internet that allows these ‘electronic worked there for about ten years. It is letters’ to be sent across the world in unbelievable to think that already, we less than a minute. We now have five have been here in this lovely Geelong computers installed with internet and mission for over nine years. However, also chatting and webcam services that when I recall all the different events and allow seafarers to have a ‘video memorable times that we have had conversation’ with their family back at together as one mission team, the list of home. We often see many seafarers talk memories seems to be endless. with their friends, girlfriends, wives or stare admiringly, as they point out their In my early days here in Geelong, new born babies. It is sad to see that seafarers’ communication with families they are not able to be with their was solely through postage mail and children who grow up so much within telephone. One of the big jobs for that six months or twelve months that volunteers was organising the big they are away, often missing out special waiting line for seafarers wanting to use times of the year such as Christmas. one of our two telephones and also However, it is heart-warming and looking out for the unit meter that was meaningful to see and know that in these used to measure the duration of the little ways our work here at the Mission calls. International calls were all direct to Seafarers does make a huge difference and for example, seafarers from India or in seafarers’ lives. China would call their family for rates like $1 per minute, where usually they Despite the many developments of would speak for 30 minutes but technology that makes everything so sometimes over an hour as well. much more accessible and convenient, Nowadays, a Chinese seafarer can call the situation of seafarers being away and speak with their family for up to 20 from home and their family and friends hours with a $10 calling card. This has for long periods of time is constant. led to the instalment of two additional Problems such as homesickness and phones due to the busy demand and loneliness still occur and hence, it seems longer duration seafarers speak to their that the work of our mission will become families. When I look back to this, it much more significant in the future seems as though technology has excelled where with our changing technology and astonishingly where new developments society, there is a growing need and throughout the world have made opportunity to develop new services in communication so much more easier and order to help the lives of seafarers as accessible for seafarers. they continue to work at sea. Also, the modern and ever-changing Our mission is constantly busy technology allows such things that could throughout the year and with various not have even been imagined ten years events such as various movie fundraiser ago. Letters that were sent frequently by nights, Bunnings’ sausage sizzles, the seafarers are now hard to see except Garage sale, the 150th dinner (that 14
  15. 15. celebrating the start of the Mission to remarkable ways that we will be able to Seafarers in Victoria) that have help seafarers in ten years’ time. In ten occurred in our mission, it has been years’ time, I hope and believe that our rather exciting. Also, over the years, work at the Mission to Seafarers will be from having done locum work in various as much of a positive and helpful areas over Geelong, this has also been a influence on seafarers’ lives as it is now, chance for sharing our ministry at the if not much more. mission and making friendly links with the Geelong community. I have also had Noah Park the privilege of being an elected member of the Mission to Seafarers National Sea Sunday July 13, 2008. Council the last eight years. This has led to many new opportunities where I was able to start the publishing of yearly- calendars for the Mission to Seafarers for the first time, printing and delivering them Australia-wide from Geelong. Despite the busy days all year round, from morning to evening, it is our team of warm, generous and committed hearts of our Ladies’ Auxiliary members, House Committee members and volunteers that allow the Mission to Seafarers to help seafarers’ lives. It is BEANIES, BEANIES AND MORE also seeing how our help makes such a BEANIES By Revd. Bruce Mitchell difference to the often rough life of seafarers that makes the work of our Seafarers visiting ‘The Flying Angel mission so rewarding. Centre’ of The Mission to Seafarers Hobart Station welcome the opportunity I could go on forever talking about all of obtaining Beanies to help dispel the the lovely memories that I have made chill of cold weather at sea in the middle during my time here in Geelong so far of winter, or for that matter throughout and can imagine that without a doubt, the year. The Mission often has trouble ten years on, there would be much more keeping up the supply. things to say. From reflecting on my Thanks to Allan and Stella Burton of years here at the mission so far, the Midway Point and the people of Christ ways in which we help seafarers has Church Illawarra and Holy Trinity increased where new services allow us Strahan, we can usually manage to meet to make that environment which we can requests for Beanies. Allan and Stella proudly call ‘home away from home’. between them have knitted 126 this year With such amazing developments and while sitting and watching T.V. A great changes that have occurred to this day, I effort that is really appreciated by the can only start to imagine the new Mission and seafarers. changes that will have occurred and am We also regularly receive parcels from curious to think in what new and the good people of Illawarra and 15
  16. 16. Strahan; unfortunately I have not been NEWS FROM OUR CENTRES able to keep track of the number of Beanies received from these groups, but • Newcastle….The Revd John they have also made a significant Crane is presently on sick leave. contribution. To top this off, the people Our prayers are for John’s early of Strahan also sent a sizeable cheque to recovery. There have been a assist with our ministry to seafarers who number of changes at the bring much of our daily needs to us. Newcastle centre for some part I know from comments of seafarers that of this year and we hope that they are very grateful that they can things will settle down in the new obtain Beanies here and see them as a year. Bishop Garry and Col will sign of the care and appreciation people be visiting Newcastle soon to have for them as they work in their very meet with the committee and isolated industry. As well, there is often lend a helping hand. a ‘fashion parade’ to see who looks best in the most fetching headwear! • Sydney…..The Revd Ian Porter Many thanks to Allan and Stella, the has just released news that one of people of Strahan and Illawarra and Sydney’s chaplains the Revd many others who supply Beanies and Kyung Wan [Peter] Kim last good quality magazines as a way of week died from a heart attack expressing God’s love and care for while holidaying in Fiji. Sydney seafarers who visit us. staff are still trying to come to All Saints Day will have a greater grips with this shocking news. significance for Hobart MtS. We will be Please remember Peter’s wife holding our AGM that day and giving and his two daughters in your thanks for ‘the Saints’ who care for prayers for some time to come. seafarers who come to us and keep our Our deepest sympathy and doors open! condolences are extended to Peter’s loved ones. In the words of Ian, “ Peter was a committed servant of Jesus Christ and an excellent chaplain”. He will be sorely missed. (Peter is pictured below in yellow helmet). 16
  17. 17. PORT LINCOLN’S FASCINATING • Albany…..Alan Taylor reports HISTORY LESSON that MTS Albany and Stella Maris Albany are working much We were thrilled to hear from Margaret more closely with each other in Vivian the archivist for MTS Port order to help their respective ship Lincoln giving us a wonderful history visiting and bus runs operate lesson on the role of MTS in the early more effectively to benefit the days in Port Lincoln. Here are seafarers. This sounds like Margaret’s words fresh from the eminent good sense and both beautiful Boston Bay area on the tip of organizations at Albany port are Yorke Peninsular, South Australia. to be congratulated for this [Although this bit of information has initiative. nothing at all to do with the mission there, Port Lincoln is known as the • Brisbane….Brisbane MTS has “seafood capital of Australia”]. Sounds just announced that the Revd like a likely venue for a future MTS Daniel Yun is to fill the role of national conference. MTS and Port chaplain in Brisbane. It is expected that Dear Colin, Daniel will commence his ministry at the Brisbane As a member of the Port Lincoln Seafaring Centre beginning of Seafarers team I was interested to read a February 2009. We will be able copy of Glad Tidings (No 2) recently, to welcome and introduce the and I thought you might be interested in new chaplain in our next a history project in which I have an newsletter. ongoing involvement, and which is concerned with the early days of • Gladstone…..Bishop Godfrey hospitality to seafarers here, and to the has announced that Trevor establishment of the mission in Port Phillips has been appointed the Lincoln. new full time “Pastoral Manager” to Gladstone’s Seafaring Centre. MtS Port Lincoln recently received a Trevor, Jenny and four of their grant from the South Australian History six kids will be moving to Trust to photograph an old autograph Gladstone over the school book, which belonged to Miss Helen holidays. It is expected he will Louse Brougham MBE, the driving force commence the job in January. behind the establishment of the Port Trevor’s appointment is great Lincoln station in the early 1930’s. news for Gladstone but sad news for Brisbane where he is Miss Brougham’s grandfather, Henry, currently their main ship visitor. who arrived in Port Lincoln in 1855, His going will leave a big gap to began and maintained a tradition of fill at the Brisbane end. Good friendship and hospitality to seafarers. luck and best wishes to the Her parents Samuel and Mary, and then Phillip’s family in their new Miss Louise and her younger sister adventure north. 17
  18. 18. Elsie, continued that concern for or even three weeks. This gave the seafarers until the late 1950’s. crews plenty of time to savour the hospitality at the mission and, Port Lincoln in 1855 was an isolated sometimes, to host a dance as a gesture and very small outpost, which relied on of thanks. coastal shipping for supplies, news, and visitors. Whalers, ketches, and other Invitations to such events have been small sailing craft were the only means entered in the book. A woman recently of supply. The crews were appreciative recounted to me the story of a female of the homely friendship extended. relative (at age 14) going on board with her father to attend a dance, and her In The Church and the Sailor (Oct 1954) astonishment and nervousness at being Miss Brougham wrote an ‘account of the asked to dance by the captain. welcome offered to seamen in Port Lincoln’. Of her parents she wrote, Many pages are enhanced with artwork: “Doubtless owing to their loneliness and exquisite pen and ink drawings of ships homesickness, as there were very few and their company ensign, photos of settlers, they felt urged to befriend new ships and/or crew. There are cartoons arrivals and visiting seafarers ...... The and humorous sketches, poems, letters of facilities must have been very meagre, thanks to the Mission and Miss Louise, but they were doubtless very much verses and various pieces of philosophy, appreciated. Grateful reminiscences and one entry which is a memorial to were heard in later years.” Scott of the Antarctic Helen Louise, born in 1885, was Now the digital recoding of the album probably in her early teens when she has been completed and mounted into received her autograph book for a folders for viewing and research. It is birthday or Christmas gift. It was certain there are many stories yet to be leather bound and has approximately extracted from its pages. 700 pages. Today there are entries on over 500 of the pages, some from family I am not sure if in times past, Miss members and friends, but by far the Brougham’s name was known to any great majority from visiting seamen on other centres apart from Port Adelaide, Australian ships and vessels from all but would be interested to hear from over the world. The prime time of its use anyone who has information concerning at the Mission covers the mid 1920’s to the Port Lincoln Mission. the mid 1950’s when the ships of the British merchant fleet were by far the Yours most frequent visitors. sincerely, Margaret Page after page is devoted to expressing Vivian the sailors’ delight at the warm and Archivist generous hospitality they received, their Mission to reluctance to leave port and the fond Seafarers, memories they would treasure. In that Port era most ships were in port for one, two Lincoln. 18
  19. 19. COMING EVENTS • National conference Rockingham [WA] September 7-11, 2009. Graham Miller will be sending out to all centres registration forms and information brochures in mid November- keep the antennas tuned for this important communication. Dennis Claughton will look after the members of the MtS • More ship visiting courses Australian Council at the next planned for Port Kembla 2-3 national meeting, to be held at December 2008 and Townsville the legendary Flying Angel Club, early in 2009. For more Fremantle. information on the Port Kembla course contact Dave Masters on 02 4274 6498. • Newcastle’s Sea Sunday celebrations at the Cathedral on November 23, 2008. Editor: Colin Brown • Next national council meeting National Liaison & January 27-29, 2009 at the Support Officer Fremantle Flying Angel. Mission to Seafarers Australian Council 15th November, 2008 19