Life is good…

There is so much going on at the Seafarers Centre and at home, mostly good, but like everyone else, there are the odd moments that we would rather didn’t happen!

So I had a busy week last week – as predicted!! Several interviews for the post of part time administrator – lots of good folks to pick from – I’ll update you with news of the person the Trustees employ in due course!

DSCN0991NautilusI had a meeting with Debbie Cavaldoro of Nautilus along with Steve Doran, National Secretary and the Chair of the union council, Ulrich Jurgens. Ulrich is himself a seafarer and he was interested in finding out how life had changed for workers in the North Sea – especially seafarers – in the last two years. It was good to share lunch and discuss the effect of the downturn in the Oil & Gas sector on seafarers.

On Wednesday, I spent the day at my Church denomination’s Leaders Away Day in Perth. A great time of fellowship, worship and good teaching. This was an ‘oasis’ in the midst of the everyday routines… Life is good…

On Thursday I received two calls. One from my colleague and good friend Peter Donald – port chaplain based in Montrose. A seafarer on the Skandi Carla (Marlon) had asked him to get something from Amazon and it had arrived, but the vessel (as is often the case) went to Aberdeen instead of Montrose.Skandi-Carla-at-Aberdeen-(1)

He asked if he could he come up and visit the ship as he was going on holiday soon and didn’t want the seafarer to go home without his goods. So after he arrived, we visited the vessel and – Marlon had gone ashore!! We went to the mess room and chatted with the cook and several of the lads – as can be seen in the picture that Peter took! We politely declined the many offers of lunch and had a coffee instead – and awaited his return, which he did and soon there were big smiles all round! Life is good…

The other call was from the MD of Atlantic Offshore… IMG_6937PanoThey moved office and had some suplace furniture that we might be able to use… Off I went to see it and I was stunned at the quality furniture that I was being offered for the Seafarers Centre!We now have nice new chairs, two round tables and four folding executive tables! Wow! Life is good…

Friday was looking like a good day for ship visiting, but my volunteers were unwell… so the fourteen planned ship visits were reduced to what I could do on my own – just eight – as well as going to Atlantic Offshore to pick up the donated furniture – with a lot of assistance from a local shipping agency! Thanks very much! Also on Friday, We had the regular inspection by Rentokil; another interview for the administrators post and then it was time to head home – where I planted 8 climbing plants in our back garden. I was tired, but had another great day! Life is good…

DSCF3971Parade-Banner3On Saturday, my team of volunteers and I were parading down Union Street as part of the Celebrate Aberdeen Parade. We had a great banner made by our sponsors Eyecandy Graphics – and we enjoyed good weather! Life is good…

Howard with the Lord Provost!
Howard with the Lord Provost!

We met many people including Lewis MacDonald MSP and The Lord Provost.

Always good supporters of such events and of Aberdeen Seafarers Centre! IMG_6945Food

 

 

 

 

Afterwards it was back to the Seafarers Centre where we all enjoyed a lovely lunch that Cara had prepared! It was yummy! Life is good…

We continue to have various gifts handed in by local supporters. In the picture below you can see the woolly hats, sweets, toiletries and stationery too! Thank you very much! IMG_6958GiftsWe have also had notification of an impending donation of £5,000, but more on that after it comes.

All donations, large or small, monetary or practical are very welcome and help to keep the doors open for us to serve the seafarers visiting Aberdeen.

Ship visits included some fun, but one in particular was sad. The Filipino cook, whom I have known for almost 1o years died whilst on leave – aged just 42. The crew on this Dive Support Vessel are having a collection for his family back home…

Gdynia-2One of our volunteer ship visitors was able to help one of the crew on a sailing vessel -YCT GEDANIA. Due to fly home from Aberdeen in a few hours time, boarding documents needed to be printed and Charlie and his wife Kathleen came to the rescue.Gdynia-1

They were surprised, but delighted when they received a postcard from Gdynia, Poland from the seafarer to thank them for their support! You may think that we cannot help you – but if you ask, we often can, and if we cannot, we usually know someone who can! Life is good…

I have had several meetings – it continues to be tough out there and although there are signs of a slight improvement in the market, it is not looking likely that a real recovery will happen anytime soon. Indeed, on one ship I visited earlier today, several crew had just been given their notice of redundancy. Most ‘bosses’ seem to indicate that the recovery is not here yet in our discussions together.

So this week is almost over, there was plenty in my diary, but events have meat that I have had to change things at the last minute to deal with the immediate issue/problem – even crisis! That is part and parcel of Chaplaincy amongst seafarers and I love it! Life is good…

And on the home front, Naomi’s bedroom has had the wall insulated and new plaster boards fitted – just the ceiling to do… then a professional plasterer will give the whole room a finishing skim and it will be over to Naomi to paint/wallpaper in the colours she wants!

Yep, in all the various things that come our way, life is good!

 

 

One thought on “Life is good…”

  1. Good to hear your latest news Howard. So sorry to hear that the recovery is so slow in coming. Wishing you and the family Every Blessing. pat and John

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