(Top: with HRH the Princess Royal and Christopher Hayman; above, in discussion with Dame Helen Alexander)
14 April 2014
Glittering showcase for the finest in shipping
The Seatrade Awards Dinner (Monday 14 April) was an excellent opportunity to highlight the very best and most far-sighted developments in shipping. This year’s guest of honour was Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal. I had the honour to sit at the top table, together with Her Royal Highness; Dame Helen Alexander, Chairman of the Board of the Port of London Authority, and Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade.
I remarked in my closing speech at the dinner that the Seatrade Awards ceremony has become an important event for the shipping industry and IMO, providing the opportunity to monitor and appreciate initiatives taken by the industry to promote safety and environmental protection. This mechanism was created 25 years ago, to follow the vision of the then IMO Secretary-General, C.P. Srivastava, in the context of outreach to the general public to indicate and highlight the genuine efforts made by the shipping industry to meet the objectives of IMO, as reflected in the motto “Safe, secure and efficient ships on clean oceans”.
I took the opportunity to state my own vision for the activities of IMO, and reiterate the importance of IMO as an institutional framework for a sustainable maritime transportation system. I stressed one of the core values of our activities at IMO: namely, the implementation of global measures under relevant IMO Conventions.
This year’s theme for the World Maritime Day is “IMO conventions; effective implementation” and I emphasized the importance of further discussion at the Marine Environment Protection Committee, at its October session, on the concerns raised by the shipping industry about implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention.
I also took the opportunity of the closing remarks to express my sincere appreciation to Her Royal Highness for her strong support for the shipping industry as the Master of Trinity House, and her support for the Mission to Seafarers. I stated that, through her support to the British maritime industry, she also gives her support to international shipping and to the actives of IMO. IMO is fortunate to be hosted by the United Kingdom, whose Royal family – and Her Royal Highness in particular – are such strong supporters of shipping.
In addition, towards the end of the ceremony, I received a cheque for $50,000 as a donation from HE Shaikh Daji Al Khalifa, on behalf of the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY), towards the activities of IMO. I was most grateful for this valuable donation and we will make sure the funds donated will be utilised for our activities in the fields of maritime safety, search and rescue and environmental protection.
This year’s Seatrade Awards ceremony was a splendid event, graced by the presence of Her Royal Highness. I will continue to support this wonderful mechanism to encourage the industry to take good initiatives towards the objectives of IMO.
On the road: Fowey and Falmouth
The Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, the Revd Andrew Wright, talks about his recent visit to the ports of Fowey and Falmouth and the Mission’s work with seafarers in the area.
A splendid and inspiring Mission to Seafarers operation was in view in both Falmouth and Fowey. Both places have warm and welcoming facilities in ideal settings and are supported by superb teams of volunteers. Penny in Falmouth and Elaine in Fowey, both volunteers, have shown extraordinary levels of commitment in leading the development of centres and teams and in raising funds. Above all however they are absolutely committed to seafarers in the very best traditions of the Mission.
In both places it was evident that teams have fun and enjoy what they are doing. In Falmouth I was able to give out a series of certificates to mark the extraordinary commitment shown by those caring for the survivors of the MSC Flaminia on July 2012. More recently the team have been caring for a seafarer injured in the recent storms. In the evening the centre was full of seafarers. Also of note is the little garden which has been so creatively developed as such a contrasting space to shipboard life.
At Falmouth the newly revamped centre is absolutely superb and provides and wonderful home from home for visiting seafarers.
The port of Fowey has got to be one of the most beautiful in the world. The Mission team provides a great welcome for the crews of ships in a small but vibrant port, mainly dealing in cargoes of china clay. On my visit however they were currently busy with the crew of a cattle transporting ship which had broken down in the Channel, was towed into harbour and subsequently detained for significant repairs lasting several weeks. A crew from Syria, the Philippines and Romania were finding the Mission in this lovely but remote port a lifeline.
Meeting the exceptionally feisty fundraising ladies of the Fowey Mission was a particularly striking experience which led me to suggest that they might consider making a calendar of the “Calendar Girls” variety! Come to think of it maybe we should have one featuring our chaplains from around the world. Any volunteers for Mr January?