FORTY-FIVE years of Naval Chaplaincy service to HMAS Moreton (a base) in Brisbane has seen Reverend William ‘Bill’ Pearson officially honoured.
Reverend Bill, from the Brisbane Mission, was presented with a certificate by Archbishop Phillip Aspinall at the recent Annual Seafarers Service held in St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
This added to another recent honour, having been given the title Chaplain Emeritus at the Mission to Seafarers, Brisbane as well as being made an honorary member of The Company of Master Mariners Queensland.
Reverend Bill was first ordained as a deacon in St. James Cathedral, Townsville, in December 1959, on the feast day of St. Nicholas Payton, the saint of sailors.
This It was also happened to be the dedication The Mission to Seafarers Chapel in that city that he was to be in charge of for the next three years.
After serving in four coastal parishes, and as a Royal Australian Naval Reserve chaplain for 28 years, he was recalled to Mission to Seafarers chaplaincy in 1966 as senior chaplain and chief of The Mission to Seafarers Brisbane.
“The great shock for me when I returned to the Mission to Seafarers, was containers,” he recalled, thinking about how shipping had changed.
“In Townsville it was common for general cargo vessels to be in port for at least two weeks, not the few hours of today.”
The Mission organised dances with partners provided by the Ladies Harbour Lights Guild as well as movie nights. The chaplain visited the 300 odd ships a year and joined the South Townsville soccer team, ensuring ships’ teams would get a game.