What has become a highlight on the Sailors’ Society, South Africa’s calendar is the annual Dedication Service where chaplains as well as members of the Society re-dedicate themselves to continue serving seafarers and making their well-being our prime concern.
Held at the Glenwood Presbyterian Church the service opens with a flag procession and the singing of the South African Nation Anthem, Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika.
Members of the S.A. Army Band who always add to the vibrant atmosphere of this service once again graced us with their presence by their skilled playing of the well known hymns. The Glenwood Presbyterian Choir is another highlight by their singingof the Anthem and leading the congregation in song.
Rev. Boet van Schalkwyk led the worship with prayer and the Old Testment reading and his wife, Linda participated by reading from the New Testament.
He introduced Rev David Schooling, a retired Methodist Minister who undertook the preaching of the sermon. During his ecumenical career Rev Schooling had also served as a chaplain visiting ships and has great empathy for seafarers. The theme of his sermon, which was appropriate for the new year was to renew ourselves and to ask to be ‘born again’ as we often lose enthusiasm for what we do.
The theme was therefore also appropriate for the Dedication part of the service.
“Give them a vision of their task and inspire them with courage
to conquer disappointment through your love that never fails”.
At this service the Sailors’ Society also bestows awards . Mr Barry Haley, Chairman of the Sailors’ Society presented Rev Ron Burgess with his honorary life membership medal.
Recently retired from the Board of Directors of the Sailors’ Society, Ron is well-known in the ecumenical fraternity and has been active in the Sailors’ Society since 1989.
Born in Scotland, [Glasgow], Ron arrived in South Africa at age 10. He followed a career in accountancy and was later called to service in the Christian Ministry.
He joined the Durban Central United Church Presbyterian/Congregational] and ministered to congregations in the Albert Park and Addington areas in Durban for 32 years, from where he retired in 2012.
Rev Van Schalkwyk thanked Ron for his support over the years, adding that he often provided advice and guidance to him and others in the Society.