Yes, life is always busy. This is true of almost everyone, there always seems to be one more thing to do – unless your retired and then there is always two things to do!! Haha!
So ten days on from my last post… what has been going on? Here are just a few things…
The Centre continues to be well used and the usual ship visits, home and hospital visits continue. The day to day maintenance continues as does the pastoral care of the many seafarers that visit the port. Obviously I cannot go into detail about the personal details, but suffice to say that the downturn continues to had devastating consequences for those who are made redundant. This includes a number of shore-side seafarers as companies continue to “downsize” to cut costs.
One bright bit of news is that I was able to assist a captain find a new command and he is well pleased. The downside for me is that he will now be working out of Great Yarmouth so I will not see as much of him! He has had a difficult year, but things seem to have turned the corner – well for him at least!
We continue to investigate the possibility of purchasing the building and it was good to have a meeting with Morven – long time friend and supporter of the Seafarers Centre. She helped with advice about publicity and gave pointers regarding different options for fundraising. I’ll keep you posted of developments!
I attend the monthly Nautical Institute’s monthly branch meetings and it was good to see Alistair Struthers being presented with a little thank you for his faithful service over the years as branch secretary.
I was also delighted to receive a cheque, the proceeds from the annual Mariners Ball held in March… This added more funds to the ongoing running costs of the seafarers Centre.
I attended the Nautical Institute’s world AGM and Conference held in Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom. It was a great event and I ended up sitting with cadets from my old college where I was chaplain from 2001 to 2011.
I think I managed to reassure them that a career at sea was a good choice and that we chaplains from around the world are here to help, support, guide and offer comfort when necessary. I wish them all well in their careers and trust that they will return to Aberdeen – this time on a vessel!
Obviously there was a lot of networking going on and in the evening a fine civic reception and dinner…
As usual, I was asked to say grace and tell my legendary jokes! The food was good, but the banter around the tables was even better! We also had the pleasure of the Newtonhill Pipe Band (where I used to live) playing for us and our new president – Captain Duke Snider, a Canadian with Scottish roots. A cheque was presented to them and an impromptu collection topped that up to well over £2,000 – I think they were pleased!
As ever, the routine life continues, but after a busy ten days, I am looking forward to a restful weekend… we shall see!
Hope that you enjoy yours!