It is safe to say that the Sailors Society Chaplains form the core element of the Society. Certainly, many others do wonderful volunteer work for the Society but the close interaction with seafarer is carried out by the Chaplains.
Their hours are undefined in that they can be called upon at any time of the day or night to carry out counselling and giving assistance to those in need, both on board vessels berthed in the port or in hospitals and also to those visiting the Seafarers’ Mission.
Chaplains have to be disciplined and focused. They do not just sit around waiting to be called to help. They operate within A unit called the Durban Chaplains Fraternal.
The Durban Chaplains Fraternal for 2014 office bearers
The Durban Chaplains Fraternal for 2014 office bearers for the new committee are:
Rev. Boet van Schalkwyk, CEO of the ISSSA
Chris Venter of the CSO (Christelike Seemansorganisasie)
Ronnie Odendaal of Biblia
The program for the year is drawn up in conjunction with the core values and vision and mission of the ISSSA Ministry.
Durban Chaplain’s Program for 2014
Meeting once a month they have set a program for the year, the agenda for each meeting comprises a discussion following by an action and activity meeting.
* In March, the focus will be on Human Trafficking in Durban and beyond.
As we all know, human trafficking – also known as modern day slavery – has become one of the scourges of the world
* In April the Chaplains will visit the Richards Bay Mission Centre along with the Manager and staff of the Durban Centre at Bayhead.
It is vital to have contact with other missions, to meet those involved as well as to exchange ideas. All can learn from each other.
* In May the Chaplains will focus on the Chinese Seafarer and his Culture.
It must be remembered that now, more than ever, seafarers’ crews comprise a vast array of cultures, nationalities and beliefs and to enable chaplains to minister successfully to seafarers, it is important to understand different cultures and ways of life.
In future reports, information will be released on the activities as well as future programs.