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  1. mary hughes says:

    The proposed information about Seamen’s Missions is very important, as I see it. These voluntary organisations give special, personal support to the crews of ships, but also give a unique opportunity in community volunteering.

    The example of the Mission at the port of Napier, in New Zealand, is a good one to explore. When we called into Napier in May 2015, in the evening, the crew members who were able to get to the Mission, just outside the port security gates, were quietly welcomed by two volunteers. One was an older gentleman who had retired from a life to do with the sea. I recall that it was in the area of Customs. Working in the Mission gave him links back to the sea, the port movements and the personalities who had filled his working life. Beside him was a woman volunteer, of even grander age. She was a sweetheart, delighted to chat about Napier, about the needs of crews to get wifi and to talk with home, about her gentle way of life and about music. Together this pair of charming volunteers staffed the mission for the few hours that it was open to our vessel. They sold drinks, chocolates and SIM cards. They provided an atmosphere which was discreet, warm and welcoming. Overall, if contact with them were the only one which a crew had with this lovely New Zealand city, then the impression would be more than positive.

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