ON TUESDAY 28 May the Australian Mariners Welfare Society met for their annual function, attended by members, friends and supporters of the seafarers welfare community.

Held at the Castlereagh Hotel in Sydney, the afternoon function was a special occasion, marking Order of Australia Medalist Graham Lightfoot’s retirement from the AMWS Council.

A number of AMWS members attended the event, including Tony Cousins, Llew Russel, Stan Moriarity, and Conrad Saldhana, amongst others.

The event was underscored by a speech honouring Graham Lightfoot. It was delivered by David Parmeter, chairman of Maritime Industry Australia, but written by DCN Hall of Fame inductee Alan Tait, who could not attend due to illness.

Alan’s speech emphasised the contribution of the life and career of Graham Lightfoot towards seafarers welfare and the various charitable organisations that he was involved with, including the Mission to Seafarers and Stella Maris.

“His involvement with Bethel Union, the Mission to Seafarers and the Stella Maris has put us on the front foot when it comes to providing the right support, to the right people at the right time. Graham has driven our modern-day seafarer communication with family objectives” he said.

The speech finished with “He pioneered the support we provide to the conference meetings of the charity organisations as well as their respective peak bodies. He is a fine man and my good friend and in so many ways my mentor”.

Graham Lightfoot, who turns 90 next year, also gave a speech on the day, concluding poignantly by saying “Over and out”.

Jeanine Drummond was also thanked and acknowledged for her work during the event, as it was announced that she had retired from her position as councillor with the Australian Mariners Welfare Society.