Sydney pilots have committed to each donate $1 per day to the Stella Maris Seafarers centre to assist them in the work they do to assist with the well being of the international seafarers that come to Sydney Ports.
Sister Mary addressed the pilots at our monthly pilots meeting at Port Botany and reminded us of the hardship that many seafarers endure during their lengthy periods at sea. These ships crews rely on organisations like Stella Maris and the Mission to Seafarers to support them during their time in port. A bus to the shops, a chance to phone home and a compassionate ear goes a long way to make their time on board bearable.
Sister Mary explained how she councils crew members who have been bullied, underpaid, deprived of shore leave and at times malnourished. She is concerned at the increasing suicide rate among seafarers. She also explained how some organisations have withdrawn their support and funding is becoming increasingly difficult.
Our small contribution will assist her organisation to put fuel in the bus and pay the road toll.
I am encouraging all pilot services to consider undertaking a similar commitment to the Stella Maris or Seafarers centre in their port and we will publish this on or website. Our challenge is to have all Australian ports on the list of supporters.
Good luck and as Sister Mary would say "God bless"
AMPI president & Sydney Pilot