Here in Durban we held our Seafarers’ ‘day’ on Sunday but it started at 6pm at the Seafarers mission in Bayhead, Durban – very close to the container terminal – as seafarers visit more at night.

The celebration started off with a service in the chapel.

The evening was well attended and Seafarers from the Phillipines and Romania as well as a few  South Africans were present. Several were from an MSC vessel. A ‘braai’ [barbecue] was organised which they enjoyed and could sit outside in the lovely Durban winter. Two specially decorated “Seafarers Day” cakes were produced, and all took turns to deftly cut slices. Each visiting seafarer was presented with a personalised certificate which, I am sure, made them feel very welcome.

All present took leave of Mrs Glenda Duval who has retired as manager after working at the centre for 12 years.She – and her family – were dedicated to the seafarers and spent much time at the centre making visiting seafarers feel at home an organising events etc.

It was apt to honour the seafarers in this way and as the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Mr Roy Turnbull [ a Sailors’ Society member] said many probably many living in the country do not realise nor appreciate the vital role played by seafarers regarding world wide trade.