MISSION to Seafarers Geelong is set to open a $248,000 extension to its welfare facility at North Shore.
According to the Mission, more than 5200 seafarers have called visited their Geelong ‘home away from home’ this year and with attendance levels rising it was time to make a change.
The upgrade, which took three years from concept to build, is expected to provide a modern light-filled extension allowing seafarers much-needed room for relaxation and privacy after weeks at sea.
Reverend Noah Park and his team welcomed 8411 seafarers to the centre in 2016.
“This is a most exciting time for all connected with the Mission,” Rev Park said.
“These improvements will enable us to fulfil this goal. Visiting seafarers have expressed excitement and enthusiasm about the changes, as many of them return to Geelong over their careers and are most interested in our centre.”
International Transport Workers Federation national co-ordinator Dean Summers is to officially open the welfare facility at 2.30pm on Monday (August 14).
There also to be a dedication by the Venerable Neil Hicks, Archdeacon of Geelong.
The extension was performed by Manifest Architects and built by Trak Constructions and includes a new relaxation lounge and a first aid and interview room.
The London-based International Seafarers Trust Fund contributed $124,000 to construction, with the Geelong Mission centre matching that through donations from supporters, churches and profits from the canteen as well as a transport contract with the Port of Geelong.
The Order of St John of Jerusalem and port stakeholders including Victorian Regional Channels Authority, GeelongPort, Viva Energy Australia and GrainCorp have all donated money.
“All seafarers, regardless of culture, race or religion, are welcome at our Geelong mission,” Rev Park said. “Our Geelong centre and volunteers have faithfully and continually maintained and provided a home away from home and friendly welcoming faces for visiting seafarers in Geelong’s port for over 100 years.”
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