Revd Canon Miller wins International Welfare Award

24th August 2016

The Mission to Seafarers is delighted to announce that the Revd Canon Stephen Miller, Regional Director East Asia, has won the coveted individual Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award. The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) announced the Award winners on 24th June at a high-profile ceremony held in Manila, the Philippines.

The ceremony formed part of ISWAN’s celebrations in the Philippines for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Day of the Seafarer. The awards were presented by IMO Secretary General Mr Kitack Lim to seven recipients who have provided exceptional services for the welfare and wellbeing of seafarers.

On receiving the award for Welfare Personality of the Year, Stephen paid homage to the world’s seafarers: “It was a great honour to receive the Seafarer Welfare Personality Award of the year 2016. Most of us who work with seafarers each day appreciate the sacrifice that each crew member makes, in leaving family and friends for many months at sea, sometimes with long periods of no communication with home. All this to bring us the essentials we need to live our lives as we would wish.

“The Mission to Seafarers is there when required, to help through good times and bad, to offer support and care, a helping hand, a listening ear. Over the last 18 years working in the ports of Rotterdam, Dubai and the UAE and now in Hong Kong I have tried to do all I can to make that sacrifice less painful for the seafarer. Working for justice and righteousness in the work place and now with projects in Philippines and Myanmar working for those things with the families of seafarers in their own homes.

“The last 18 years has been a great privilege and I hope the years to come will be as fulfilling. I would like to thank all at ISWAN and those who nominated me, and I would like to dedicate the Award to the memory of Fr. John Van Deerlin, a Catholic priest and dear friend, who I worked with closely in Dubai for many years, who served the migrant community and in particular seafarers, who sadly died two years ago,” he concluded.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, said: “Stephen’s award is richly deserved. His work as Regional Director of East Asia has been vigorous and highly effective. He has worked hard to support and strengthen our extensive, established network of chaplaincy and maritime welfare. More than that, he has been characteristically innovative in developing new port work and new projects. In particular our two new Mission family projects in the Philippines and Myanmar have been ground-breaking and have already made a big difference to many lives. I congratulate him on behalf of the whole Mission to Seafarers team.”

Roger Harris, ISWAN Executive Director, said:“All of the Award winners and shortlisted candidates have made a great contribution to improving the lives of seafarers, and we are delighted to be able to celebrate with them.”

The judges for the Dr. Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year was Masamichi Morooka – Chairman of Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. Rose George – award-winning maritime author. Per Gullestrup – Chairman of ISWAN.

The ISWAN Awards are generously funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust. This year’s sponsors include Inmarsat, Wrist Ship Supply (Seafarers’ Centre of the Year), Crewtoo (media sponsor), Garrets (Shipping Company of the Year), and the International Chamber of Shipping (Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award- Individuals and Organisations). The event is also supported by ILO, IMO and ICMA.

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