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Ship to Shore Spring 2021

Mission mandate: ‘To promote and provide for the spiritual, physical and mental needs of all seafarers and their families’(Vancouver 2016)

Welcome to this Spring 2021 edition of ‘Ship to Shore’ in which we make the space to say what needs to be said and that is to recognize and thank the seafarers the essential and frontline workers that they are. Given the impact of Covid on all of us thanks must also go to you the reader for your support of the work of the Mission. We at the Mission truly couldn’t support the seafarers without you.

‘New life’ Since the start of Covid 19 it has felt like a cloud is hanging over us all, following us around. Death, fear, uncertainty.We look for glimmers of hope, signs of new life. What better time to ask yourself what gives me hope and new life than spring. I know on a personal level I have taken a real interest in birds with a new found fascination for the many types, the vibrant colours which can be spectacular and the search for a bird I have not seen before. While I have grown in my appreciation and wonder of birds I can’t be sure that this is because of this time of Covid. I would like to think it has more to do with noticing what I didn’t see but has always been there. The same can be said of seafarers. The products that we have in some cases scrambled to get back in April 2020 (Toilet roll,bread,PPE) the necessities we depend on daily arrive on our shores because of the work and sacrifices of seafarers and yet few people make that connection. For that reason I would like you to join with me in thanking them. That can take the form in offering those words as you go to the store and reach for an item on the shelf, in a prayer, in learning more about the life of a seafarer, in supporting the work of the Mission. Whatever you do I hope you see the seafarers with fresh eyes and that like me you find and thrive in ways that bring you new life.Chaplain Peter Smyth

Prayer of Thanksgiving for seafarers. We pray for all seafarers working around the world on all kinds of ships such as bulk carriers, container, fishing boats, cable layers, carrying all kinds of cargo, the things that we need and depend upon each day which connect us to one another and make our communities function. We remember that they face difficulties and danger. We give thanks for their knowledge of the sea, their courage on putting out into the deep, their patience and their skill. May they be given safe conditions to work in and the means to connect with family. Lord watch over them, keep them safe and bring them safely home to their loved ones. Amen

Taken onboard a ship in the messroom.

WANTED - Jigsaws and puzzle books. Covid 19 has kept seafarers onboard and they are looking for things to do.If you or your church community has any jigsaws consider donating them to the Mission.The shelves you see below in the picture at the Roberts Bank Seafarers Centre quickly emptied of jigsaws.

‘Life is better when the pieces come together’

Caring for Our Seafarer’ by volunteers Sharon and Lance. During our teaching careers our out of class volunteer time was spent on numerous extra curricular activities- drama productions, Terry Fox Run, after school sports etc. (Lance also coached rugby in the community). We retired to almost full time grandkid caring. When the kids had all moved on to kindergarten we devoted more time to Sharon's Saint John the Apostle Anglican Church in Port Moody where she'd been a Warden, Altar Guild member, and choir assistant for many years. Sharon's family had long been supporters of the Mission to Seafarers, so along with preparing Foodbank luncheons, and grounds-work, we took on the connection to the Mission and delivering parcels in the hope that they know they are cared for while enduring absence from families and friends at home. Since moving to Chinatown in 2017 we are within walking distance, convenient to do the deliveries as needs be. We look forward to being able to deliver fresh baked goods once again when more Seafarers are able to safely enjoy spending time relaxing in the Mission building. Sharon Cooper, was a public school teacher (42 years grade one). Lance was an intermediate teacher for 7 years before moving to Middle School 6-8 Computer science for 10 years (with Sharon as Teacher Union Rep).

A year in the life of a seafarer incredible photos that tell a story https://www.rmg.co.uk/stories/photos-life-sea-during-covid-19

A female Filipino cadet on a ship at Roberts Bank. It was a freezing evening and she had 6 hours of duty ahead on the deck!

The Forty – Eight (48) Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Mission to Seafarers in the Diocese of New Westminster took place on Monday May 3rd 2021 once again online and we were delighted to have as our Chair the new Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster Bishop John Stephens.Thanks was expressed to retiring Board of Directors Larry Sawrenko and Karissa Kelln who have served the Mission well sending us forward better prepared. The Board of Directors appointed at the May 2021 AGM for 2021/2022 are Chair- Robert Lewis Manning,Secretary -James Lawson, Treasurer Alexander Novakovic, Ray Goode, Yvette Myers,Peter Bernard,Lori King, Terry Duggan, Terry Engler, Rob Ashton. The review of the finances showed that we had received donations and government support, and investments have done well. The work of the Chaplains visiting ships throughout the pandemic was acknowledged. We have a reviewed Strategic Plan 2021-2025 to work from.

Thank you to the BC Coast Pilots who made a donation of $2500 to the Mission in March 2020 which over the last year has enabled us to give out 120 free SIM cards to seafarers most in need such as those in the picture below from Myanmar who had no Wi-Fi onboard and so had not spoken to family for a month bearing in mind the instability in Myanmar at this time.

Seafarers from Myanmar with Free SIM cards to call home made possible by a donation to the Mission by the BC Coast Pilots.

International Day of the Seafarer Friday June 25th 2021- there is a day for everything and so why not for the seafarer.The IMO (International Maritime Organization) has designed this day an opportunity to raise awareness about and thank for seafarers.In previous years we have had a BBQ at both our centres and we hope either on shore or onboard to show again our appreciation of the seafarers.The likely candidate at this time is delivering ‘pizza’ to the ships visited the week of Monday 21st- Sunday 27th made possible by the generosity of the ILWU Marine Sector.

Thank you- Every donation be it a toque made at home, $20 online, cleaning the centre makes a difference and we appreciate everyone.I do want to acknowledge in this edition St Faith’s,Anglican,Vancouver who wrote this with a cheque “This money is given from the hearts of the members of St Faith’s and our community as a result of the fundraising efforts of our church.We value your work and it is a privilege to support the good that you accomplish” . Another gift you give us is encouragement and that we need and are grateful for. May God bless you as God through you has blessed us.

Vancouver Port Welfare Committee- people from the maritime community in the Port of Vancouver such as Transport Canada, Terminal Owners, BC Pilots,Mission to Seafarers etc who at the May 2021 meeting looked at the ongoing issue of clear regulation regarding seafarer shore leave, discussed the vaccination of seafarers in Canada, how best to assist seafarers onboard a quarantined ship and agreed that the International Day of the Seafarer June 25th is a time to draw attention to the seafarers and to show our appreciation.It is helping to facilitate local and national debate on the welfare of seafarers, the ‘human element’ during the pandemic.

Cycle for Seafarers Summer 2021 Friday June 25th- Saturday August 28th. Information about the ride including posters, registration and how to donate are on the Mission website at www.flyingangel.ca

Seafarers News- In recent months seafarers as they did in 2020 continue to have issues with going home and getting to the ship what is referred to as repatriation. Covid has further restricted the movement of seafarers in that many have not been able to get off their ship and go to the seafarer centres. Covid has heightened the importance of seafarers and brought together and enhanced further the partnerships of those who work to improve the lives of the seafarers. The formation of the Vancouver Port Welfare Committee and the National Welfare Committee with stakeholders including the Mission has been a very positive part of that.Check out the video below as a further example of international efforts to support the seafarers.

PRAYERS - Please pray for a Filipino seafarer continuing to receive treatment that his ailment will clear up. The staff at both Mission centres Waterfront and Roberts Bank in what has been a demanding year.The continued recovery from surgery of Stella Maris Chaplain Deacon Dileep. That global efforts will result in seafarers as essential workers being vaccinated soon.For Chaplain Vincent and his ministry to seafarers in Port Moody.For the work of the ITF Nathan and Peter in Vancouver in protecting seafarers rights.For Myanmar seafarers uncertain about future contracts as they can’t renew documents required.Seafarers who get Covid and die while waiting to join a ship such as an Indian 3rd Officer.Chinese captain and crew concerned about going to India at this time of high Covid cases.

Donations to support the seafarers can be made by; Cheque to Mission to Seafarers. Cash. Credit card- under ‘Donate and Tithely on our secured website www.flyingangel.ca or through the Vancouver Foundation. Always received with our gratitude.

Contact information- 401 East Waterfront Road, Vancouver,BC, V6A 4G9, Tel: 604 253 4421. Email: m2svancouver@gmail.com Facebook: @mission2seafarers Twitter: @MtSVancouver