The Sailors’ Society SA, was honoured to host Stuart Rivers, the Chief Executive of the Sailors’ Society in the UK.
After 20 years in the Telecom business, including six years as a director of Erichsen Sweden, he did consultancy work for the Salvation Army and served with the Bible Society. In 2012 he joined the International Sailors’ Society UK as Chief Executive.
During his visit to South Africa, Mr Rivers attended a board meeting and shared his plans for the Sailors’ Societies internationally, giving some insight into the projects of the Sailors’ Society UK.
The Mission of the Sailors’ Society
Quoting the mission of the Sailors’ Society –
To transform the lives of seafarers all over the world.
He emphasised that the Sailors Society focuses on seafarers in port, on the sea and at home with their families, to assist with their education and to relieve poverty.
Some interesting projects they are involved with include:
- Rebuilding at Tacloban, Philippines after the typhoon. Here, the Sailors Society partnered organisations to build medical centres.
- Getting involved with abandoned ships’ crews and families worldwide.
Stuart concluded by saying that what the Sailors’ Society in SA does, is of interest internationally, and he will take our achievements, programmes and stories to other countries – (more on this next time).
Productive Meeting in Richards Bay
After Durban, next stop was Richards Bay where a productive meeting was held with the Mission and MTS Chaplain Mark Claassen.
Cape Town Meetings
Then on to Cape Town, where another good meeting was held with Johan Smith, who teaches maritime students at Cape Town University.
He also took time out to visit Robben Island which was of course both an interesting and an emotional experience. Boet and Rev Stephen van Schalkwyk hosted Stuart on the visit and a former prisoner who served with ex President Mandela, “Sparks” was the guide.
It was refreshing to hear his ideas on various projects he and the UK Society are involved with and the impact on Societies around the world.
We are indeed grateful for his insightful discussions and look forward to working with him in future for the optimum service of the Sailors’ Society worldwide.