Durban Seafarers Mission host a tree planting ceremony in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

31st August 2022
Earlier this year, HRH The Princess Royal visited the Rotterdam Mission to Seafarers centre and helped plant a tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative. The initiative was created to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

In her role as our President, HRH The Princess Royal, is engaged with supporting our work around the world with seafarers and their families in need. We are particularly thankful for the incredible level of engagement shown by our President, as her work with us and for us has been and remains transformational.

In continuation of our participation in the QGC initiative, The Mission to Seafarers’ (MtS) port centres across the world have been planting trees, giving thanks for the ongoing service and commitment of our Patron, Her Majesty the Queen.

Durban Seafarers Mission (DSM) is the latest centre to hold a tree planting ceremony, which took place on Saturday 13th August 2022. DSM is operated on an ecumenical basis, which means MtS works in close partnership with other societies including Stella Maris, Biblia, Christian Seaman’s Organisation, German Seamen’s Mission, and the Sailors Society to provide a friendly environment where seafarers can relax and communicate with their families back home.

The event was well attended, with roughly 40 people present. Attendees included several local newspapers, Peter Cottrell – DSM Chairperson, Pastor Ron Kusel – Chaplain, German Seamen’s Mission, David Warmback – Honorary British Consul Durban, Revd. Dr Andrew Warmback – Rector, St Paul’s Anglican Church Durban, and Stephanie Seaward – DSM Treasurer.

The tree, a Natal Mahogony, was planted by David Warmback followed by a blessing by Revd. Dr Andrew Warmback. The location of the tree is of great significance to seafarers at the centre as it is one of their favourite spots. Over time, this tree will provide welcome shade to those who sit on the benches by the outdoor chess set.

The Mission to Seafarers is an active partner in the life of DSM, having provided significant lifeline funding over the years for its Christian ministry and provision of vital support services to all seafarers visiting the Port of Durban. The demands of seafarers continue to be of paramount importance considering the Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating effects and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Faced with limited access to shore leave and long periods at sea, seafarers endure fatigue and mental distress. Centres like DSM provide a much-needed place of refuge away from the ship where seafarers can enjoy access to free wi-fi to communicate with loved ones, games and recreation, and the simple joy of enjoying grass under their feet in the sun.

We are extremely proud of the patronage Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has given to the Mission to Seafarers throughout her reign. As a Christian charity, working closely with the Church of England and with the Anglican Communion globally, we have reason to be thankful for the example of faith which she has set, which has clearly supported her throughout these last 70 years – as it continues to do in relation to our work.

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