Newsletter No.4

Commissioning at Newcastle                        site Service to celebrate the new start for the
Cathedral               ...
Another Commissioning in Gladstone                         taught that Gladstone is in the world’s top five
Late last year a consultant was engaged           Still in Port Kembla
by the Melbourne Port Welfare Association to
work all our MtS people were doing around         The seafarer visiting Albany is guaranteed a
the nation, and to thank IT...
Port Pirie’s face lift

                                                              [Rosalind & Rev’d Prue]
A very warm welcome to John Kewa                Many graphic images have been sent around
Darwin progress- we have a couple                 Bunbury recovering - continues to recover
interested in helping at the E...
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Glad Tidings Newsletter 4 - Mission to Seafarers


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Volunteers and chaplains - some wonderful stories.

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Glad Tidings Newsletter 4 - Mission to Seafarers

  1. 1. GLAD TIDINGS Newsletter No.4 Editorial expected but hopefully we are not far off “going to air”. Previous editions of “Glad Tidings” have been fairly bulky and it was our intention to do a much briefer version of the newsletter for circulation this year, and refer readers to the new website for the full version. In the interim, this version of “Glad Tidings” is a compromise- not as short as hoped but briefer than previous ones. You will be able to access the full version of this newsletter on Greetings to all our readers. This is the the new website soon. first newsletter for 2009. My apologies for taking so long to put it together but it Mission to Seafarers Belfast Forum has been a hectic three months. There is Next month Bishop Garry, Graham Miller, Ian no shortage of news, just time to get it Porter and myself as members of the into print. I have been “on the road” for Australian Council will be attending the MtS much of the last three months, involving Consultative Forum in Belfast. The agenda work with our seafaring centres in all six looks full and challenging, and thankfully all states. four of us have been allocated sessions to National Council meeting in Fremantle give presentations on different issue affecting As most would know, at the end of January, our work here. So be assured that the rest of the MtS Australian Council met over two days the MtS global family will hear plenty from an at the Flying Angel Club Fremantle. Thank Aussie perspective. The next newsletter will you very much to Dennis Claughton for his provide a good opportunity to give you ample great hospitality and kindness in looking after feedback on our Belfast experience. We are us with beds, food and a meeting room. very much looking forward to making a These two days together gave us an contribution. We would value your prayers for opportunity to work on preparation for the the success of the Forum as well. As many of September conference. It was also an you would already know Bill Christianson is opportunity to meet with the hard working retiring shortly after the Conference- so we staff and volunteers at the Fremantle centre. have the perfect opportunity to thank him on Our next national council meeting will take behalf of all our Aussie centres for his unique place at the end of the Rockingham contribution to the life of the MtS ministry conference, although the present council worldwide, and to wish him great happiness in members will communicate before that in a his future endeavours. I hope that you enjoy telephone link up planned for 9 June 2009 and find helpful the news that follows. And New website please send your stories and news items for Late last year, we retired the original Mission the next edition planned for the end of June. to Seafarers Australian Council website, and Colin Brown since then we have been constructing a brand National Liaison & Support Officer new one. This task has taken us longer than Mission to Seafarers Australian Council. March, 2009 1
  2. 2. Commissioning at Newcastle site Service to celebrate the new start for the Cathedral Centre , spoke very warmly of the tremendous effort put in by the many new volunteers who had rallied behind him to get the centre back on its feet. [Bishop Brian & Rev’d Garry Dodd] Newcastle has a new port chaplain. The Revd Garry Dodd was commissioned for his new ministry during the Lenten Sunday Evening Liturgy at Christ Church Cathedral on [Geraldton seafarers visiting centre] 8 March last. The proudest participant at the commissioning was Garry’s 8 year old daughter Abi, who had a front pew position to cheer her dad on. [Geraldton’s volunteers] An invaluable contribution has been made by Garry is ideally suited to the maritime the Geraldton Port Authority as well in help ministry with degrees in the social sciences get the centre back on its feet for which Philip and psychology and comes to our Newcastle is extremely thankful. Philip’s wife Kath has Seafaring Centre after 8 years as priest of the been a tower of strength behind the scenes Cooks Hill parish in Newcastle. Good luck as has Sue Happ. Bishop David Mulready led Garry with the new adventure- as chaplain to the outdoor Service and demonstrated his the world’s biggest coal exporting port- commitment to ensuring that the Centre You will not be bored! remains strong and viable by signing up to volunteer on Thursday nights. That’s Rededication in Geraldton leadership! It was very pleasing to see Justin After almost 12 months of hard work the Bianchini the Catholic Bishop of Geraldton MtS Geraldton team has finally reopened sitting with Bishop David at the Service and the entrance door to the Geraldton Seafaring both praying for the well being of the new Centre. The Revd Philip Knife, during the on ministry at Geraldton port. Bishop Justin is the Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea in Australia. 2
  3. 3. Another Commissioning in Gladstone taught that Gladstone is in the world’s top five biggest coal exporting ports, not far behind Newcastle- and that their dad has a big job to do. So Sarah, Naomi, Steven, Hannah & Jemmah please be kind to him [and to mum also of course] Fremantle Meeting Australia Council [ Trevor & Jenny Phillips with Bishop Godfrey & Fr Mike] As mentioned earlier, the MtS council members held their two day meeting at the Flying Angel club in Fremantle. There was more than enough on the agenda, but the council made sure that a considerable amount of time was given to planning for the conference which fast approaches. Several [The Phillips crew - Sarah, Naomi, reminders have already been sent about Steven, Hannah & Jemmah] registering for the conference and organizing Gladstone Seafaring Centre was in a travel details. Dennis’ Fremantle team has celebratory mood on the last Saturday in very kindly offered to help with the airport January. Bishop Godfrey Fryar in the pick ups of the conference attenders, and Centre’s chapel, led a joyous liturgy more detail on this will come from Graham celebrating the commissioning of Trevor Miller closer to the event. Phillips as Lay Chaplain and Manager of the Mission to Seafarers, Gladstone. Fr Melbourne’s big Feasibility Study Mike Vercoe has passed the torch onto Trevor. Trevor who transferred from our Brisbane MtS centre did not come alone. His greatest supporters- wife Jenny and five of the six kids accompanied him, all ready to make a brand new start in Gladstone. That’s faith- and the Phillips’ are not in short supply of this amazing ingredient! Jenny who is a nursing sister has been snapped up by the local hospital, and according to the latest reports, the kids have settled well into their new schools and already learning how to tell a tanker from a tug. No doubt, they will also be [Archbishop Philip & ITF’s Matt Purcell] 3
  4. 4. Late last year a consultant was engaged Still in Port Kembla by the Melbourne Port Welfare Association to undertake some research into the feasibility of just one single seafaring centre serving the seafarers to Melbourne. Such a study project has very serious implications for the operation of Melbourne’s existing centres, including our one at 717 Flinders St Docklands. The Revd Ken Cahill has made a significant contribution to the Study and monitors the situation very closely. The Australian Council also made a submission providing a national perspective to local aspirations. On a more practical note, Melbourne MtS’ shiny new bus was presented by ITF’s Matt [Dave Masters at the workgroup’s Purcell, and blessed by Archbishop Philip whiteboard] Freier at the Centre recently. Ken reassures Dave Masters held a brainstorming/planning us that the bus is badly needed and will be day for many of his volunteers last month. It put to immediate work on the roads and was a very valuable day in terms of visioning docks of Melbourne. Thank you ITF for your for the future. A number of volunteers great generosity- it keeps us mobile! commented that they were very pleased to have had some ‘quality time’ with Dave and Port Kembla is revving up as well their mates, to “have a good hard look” at how the centre might improve its care of the visiting seafarers to Port Kembla. The volunteers recommend the value of these types of “workshops/funshops” to all our centres. Our Comrades in Arms [ Port Kembla’s intrepid drivers] After waiting patiently for some time Port Kembla’s new bus, again courtesy of the ITF, arrived recently. The faithful turned out in force to crack a bottle of champagne [alcohol free] over the wheel and cut the ribbon. Dave Masters led the gathering in prayer for the safety of those who drive and travel in the [Col & Australia’s ITF reps - Dean new white beast. The reporter from the local Summers in middle with biggest smile] Illawarra Mercury newspaper was there to ITF’s Dean Summers kindly invited Col trumpet our centre’s good fortune to all its to give a presentation to a group of his readers throughout the “Gong”. ITF inspectors meeting in Sydney, in The good publicity is always welcome. January. It gave Col the perfect opportunity to boast about the great 4
  5. 5. work all our MtS people were doing around The seafarer visiting Albany is guaranteed a the nation, and to thank ITF for their warm and friendly reception from our mob. unflagging support of our efforts. For many years, Norm Stevens has been Col enjoyed the very humorous stories MtS’ main ship visitor and the first smiling told to him by the inspectors, and gained face the seafarers encounter in Albany. Let’s further insight into the deep commitment hope that Norm keeps powering on- those and passion they share for championing seafarers need you mate. Alan and Col later the cause of the seafarer. We should never in the day met with the CEO of Albany Port underestimate how critical their work is. In Authority to discuss ways in which we could these grim economic times their job triples in work more closely together to benefit our own importance to ensure that the rights of centre and the visiting seafarers to Princess seafarers are not downtrodden, but respected Royal Harbor [part of King Georges Sound]- and advanced. one of the most scenically beautiful harbors anywhere on God’s Earth. Beautiful Albany Tropical Townsville…… Graham’s award [Norm Stevens and his bus] [Graham Miller receives award on behalf of MtS Townsville] Graham Miller will be highly embarrassed to read this section of the newsletter but one should not hide their light under a bushel [or a bundle of sugar cane]. A little while back Graham received Townsville’s very sought after “Business Excellence Award” on behalf of the Mission to Seafarers Townsville. The annual award is made available by the Townsville Chamber of Commerce, and the [The Albany engine room] presentation took place at the local Westpac The Revd Alan Taylor organized a wonderful Bank where Graham banks the millions of gathering for Col’s visit to our Albany centre. dollars he brings in annually for the mission. Col gave a presentation to the volunteers and Now for the pastoral Award! then handed the floor over to them. The room bristled with tremendous enthusiasm and great ideas from the thirty odd participating. 5
  6. 6. Port Pirie’s face lift [Rosalind & Rev’d Prue] Margaret Vivian who is a local historian [Port Pirie’s Harold, Fay & Ian] and strong supporter and volunteer at the Col’s visit to South Australia last week centre, showed Col a number of very old enabled him to spend some time with our photos, letters and books depicting the Port Pirie volunteers. Ian Pole was in great life of the Lincoln mission in its halcyon form, showing off the centre’s new look and days. Margaret has preserved this presenting Col with a very trendy MtS Port fascinating archival material on CD and Pirie cap to keep the South Australian sun off has copies available for anyone his face. Although Pirie is not seeing many interested. overseas seafarers at the moment, those Our great supporters AMWS that are arriving are in danger of being killed A new newsletter always provides an by kindness- such is the warmth and good will opportunity to whole heartedly thank our of the Pirie volunteers. great friends at Australian Maritime Welfare Society for their unwavering support of our Port Lincoln’s rich history work. Capt Alan Tait steers the AMWS ship with great skill and takes a close interest in our efforts. Stan Moriarity is our good friend who looks after the “nuts and bolts” side of things and ensures that the right invoices are paid at the right time. Last year twelve of our centres received financial assistance from AMWS and every cent of that funding was put to good use. Thank you AMWS from both MtS and the visiting seafarer, as you make our work that much more effective and the seafarer’s life that much more bearable. [Port Lincoln’s iconic silos] When in SA, Col was able to get to Port Lincoln to meet with the Rev’d Susan Straub, Rosalind Bascombe and Trevor Rowan who is the chair of the MtS committee. Trevor is keen to hold a ship visiting training course in Port Lincoln in September and Port Kembla’s Dave Masters expects to be available to offer the two day course there. 6
  7. 7. A very warm welcome to John Kewa Many graphic images have been sent around the world revealing oil covered beaches and hardworking clean up gangs. The hapless Filipino captain of the vessel appeared in a Brisbane court last week. We are pleased to hear from Adrian Willes Brisbane’s manager, that one of our MtS ship visitors Anthony Bertossi, has been able to spend a good deal of time with the captain to support him throughout this tragic ordeal. The two have become firm friends and Anthony’s support The MtS family is thrilled to have John Kewa will continue throughout this ordeal. join Ken Cahill’s Melbourne team. John was Remember all those involved in your prayers previously with Stella Maris Melbourne and please. did a great amount of ship visiting and pastoral care work when there. John is well know to many of our chaplains, as he joined And finally…… them in the Melbourne course for training Australian ship visiting instructors, last year. John who hails from Madang Province PNG, has many talents and is deeply committed to and popular with visiting seafarers, especially those from the Pacific Islands. John has qualifications in counseling, pastoral and religious studies. He speaks Pidgin [PNG], Balama [Vanuata], Solomon Pidgin and Tagolog [Philipino]. Did we forget to mention English and a sprinkling of Latin? However, it Sea Sunday - in July will soon be with should be said that not many seafarers speak us. A visit to the MtS global-UK website Latin these days. John will provide great will help you keep up to date. It is support for Ken. He [John not Ken] is expected that this year’s materials will celebrating his 40 birthday with a party at the th be dispatched from London in mid April. Flying Angel on 17 April. Happy birthday and So keep your eye out. If you do not welcome to the family- and enjoy the new receive anything contact Kathy Baldwin venture John. Life begins at forty provided at central office. you survive the party. Last year Ken Cahill did an Aussie version of some of the resources. Will Brisbane supports Captain of the Ken be inspired to do something similar “Pacific Adventurer” this year? Stay tuned and over to Ken! Most of Australia held its breath as cyclone battered “Pacific Adventurer” lost containers then leaked oil off the Queensland coast. 7
  8. 8. Darwin progress- we have a couple Bunbury recovering - continues to recover interested in helping at the East Arm port from its dreadful tragedy last year. Tim in Darwin. For some time we have been Hopwood was able to visit Fremantle to say” working to establish a MtS presence hello” to us when we met there in January. It there and things are looking promising. was heartening to hear how the Bunbury Hopefully, we will be able to report team was working to overcome the tragedy. much more in the next newsletter. We listen to Tim’s optimistic plans for the future of the Centre. The Australian Council Weipa progress - Col continues discussions pledged to continue its support to the Bunbury with Rio Tinto Marine about providing support centre. to help us establish a MtS ministry at Weipa port. Last month Bishop Bill Ray kindly spent some time with Col and Graham Miller in his Townsville office discussing the Weipa situation. Bill is keen to support our efforts and we have our fingers crossed that good things will happen with Bill’s backing. Hobart course coming - Arthur Hinsley reports that he hopes to announce a date for his ship visiting course in Hobart soon. Arthur ran a very successful one in Burnie last year. Port Hedland busy - The Revd Bill Ross reports that the two co-managers Maggie and Mel Butcher who started last year in Hedland [Seafarer’s Christmas lunch at Bunbury Mission to Seafarers] to support Carol and Peter, have moved on. Fortunately, a new couple has been found to take their place. Carol Morgan says that Port Hedland is still as busy as ever in terms of ship visiting numbers and needy seafarers visiting the centre. 8