ON Friday 25 June – International Day of the Seafarer – the Mission to Seafarers Brisbane hosted an event to celebrate and thank seafarers worldwide. The centre welcomed nearly 100 visitors, including members of the local port community, centre volunteers and supporters of the Mission.
The occasion was the first time the centre had received visitors since June 2020. Among the special guests were a group of seafarers from Kiribati, some of whom had been away from their homes and loved ones for up to 17 months.
Lisa Davis, secretary of the Mission to Seafarers Brisbane said, “For most of us, this is simply unimaginable, but such is the life of many seafarers”.
These seafarers are currently staying in Brisbane awaiting repatriation home to their island nation of Kiribati, a process that is plagued by COVID-19 restrictions across a number of international borders.
“The wonderful volunteers of the Mission have made sure that the men have felt supported by organising weekend trips and events. Speaking with them today, it is clear how much this mean to them all,” Ms Davis said.
The Mission to Seafarers hosted a delicious seafarer’s lunch of Indian Biriyani which was enjoyed by all in attendance. President, Captain Ross Nicholls, reminded those present of the sacrifices made by seafarers every day, his speech made all the more poignant with the seafarers he spoke of in the room.
The Mission to Seafarers Brisbane also used the occasion to thank many of its key supporters such as Maritime Safety Queensland, Patrick Terminals, Hutchinsons, DP World and Brisbane Marine Pilots.