So much going on… so much fun, tinged with some sadness and lots to comment on.
I had to conduct a funeral of a retired seafarer aged 77. Gordon had a good life and plenty of stories and as ever, it is a disappointment to me that I only meet these retired seafarers when they have died! It would be good to be able to support them during their lives rather than just conducting their funerals!
If you know of any retired Merchant Seafarers, please do get them to contact me as I can often help them with practical things and also I would like to start a monthly retired seafarers group!
I also was involved in supporting the crew of a vessel where the chief engineer died – a heart attack.
On a brighter note, I have had several pre-wedding meetings with couples and I look forward to the “summer weddings” season which are always happy occasions…
I had a good time speaking at Cafe Plus at Gilcomston Church – the attentive audience listened with interest to my talk on my ‘Ministry to Seafarers!’
The icing on the cake (literally!) was the cuppa afterwards and the iced anchor shortbread baked by Martha… Yummy! She has offered to do home baking for any events we hold at the Seafarers Centre! Martha – you will be hearing from me!
There are a couple of vessels that it is very difficult for us chaplain’s to get onto. Both arrived tonight in Aberdeen. Chaplains in Leith, Montrose, Dundee and Invergordon have been refused access too so I do not take it personally. The normal response is “You are not on the visitors list.”
Well I was pleased to be able to visit the Harkand Atlantis earlier tonight and then to have two of the Filipino lads come over to the centre – to use the free internet – they wanted to download updates for their tablets… the internet onboard is too slow to do this.
If anyone in Harkand AME read this, perhaps you could allow chaplains to visit your vessels. We do understand that it is busy when in port – demobilisation and mobilisation are hectic times for all, but I would have thought a friendly visit by the chaplain who is not doing work, inspections, in fact asking for anything, would be welcomed and help to keep up the moral of the crew.
Our visits typically are to the bridge to say hello to the Captain for a minute or so (or Chief Officer if he is not available) then down to the messroom to see the Filipino lads and give them some Filipino magazines and newspapers. Again this can be just a couple of minutes and I do make a point of not visiting at lunch times!
There is so much more to add, but time is against me as ever.
Be blessed and stay safe…