Port News: Port of Halifax, Canada

28th June 2022
While continuing to take caution and adhere to protocols for the protection of volunteers and seafarers, Mission’s team at the Port of Halifax centre in Canada hosted an impressive total of 131 crew members, transported 86 seafarers and visited 48 vessels in May 2022.

Under the guidance of Mission Manager Helen Glenn and with support from Assistant Manager Joseph Loot, volunteers at the Port of Halifax provide a warm welcome where all seafarers can relax away from their ships, and obtain practical, emotional and spiritual support, regardless of faith or background. In May alone, Mission to Seafarers [MtS] Halifax managed three justice, medical and welfare cases and visited 48 ships, transported 86 seafarers, and welcomed 131 seafarers to the centre.

As part of the additional grant from Mission’s International Headquarters to continue to distribute SIM cards to Ukraine and Russian seafarers, MtS Halifax distributed 168 SIM cards and 36 Top Ups, which Mission Manager Helen Glenn, called “An exemplary initiative, gifted with hope, love and often tears by many. The stories we continue to hear are heart wrenching.” In addition, thanks to iVitta, the Halifax centre made progress in securing 3GB SIM cards and 1.5GB top-ups at a reduced price. Seafarers also have access to the centre’s free WIFI so they can freely communicate with their loved ones.

Connectivity has been a perennial problem for seafarers and a lack of ship-to-shore communication is a key contributing factor to a decline in crew welfare, morale and social cohesion. Schemes like this make a huge difference and deliver the much-needed connectivity required by seafarers to keep in contact with loved ones and families, providing seafarers with access to independent helplines and access to online training services and welfare programmes.

Also in May, MtS Halifax centre hosted a BBQ which had an excellent turnout. For its success, thanks must be given to Susan, Norman, our volunteer team and sponsors AUTOPORT. In addition, and on behalf of a very grateful captain who spent two weeks at the Halifax Infirmary, Mission’s Halifax team were pleased to deliver special packages of thanks to the nurses on the Covid floor.

Keeping busy

In light of the International Day of the Seafarer on Saturday June 25th, 2022, a light luncheon was planned by the centre’s Canadian-Filipino friends the day prior, with deliveries of baked goods and doughnuts from Cobs Bakery on the day. On July 11th the Mission’s Sea Sunday service was held and in preparation, the MtS Halifax centre ensured its church partners were provided with literature and the sermon. Captain Jim Calvesbert, Bud Streeter and John McCann have also begun preparations for the golf tournament fundraiser in September 2022. Meanwhile, Peter Bartlett has been repairing the Mission boat which is set to return to Pier 22 in time for the cruise ship season where donations can be collected.

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