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Prince Rupert Seafarers Mission celebrates the sailor on International Day of the Seafarer

Mission and Port host lunch to honour those who work at sea
Spencer Bradbury and Pastor Dennis Helset man the barbeque at the Seafarers Mission on International Day of the Seafarer, June 25, 2019. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Seafarers Mission of Prince Rupert held a celebration today to mark the International Day of the Seafarer.

In cooperation with the Port Authority, the Seafarers Mission recognized the day with a gathering at the mission that included a barbeque lunch and cake spread. Both sailors and those curious about all the activity on Third Ave. stopped in to see what the mission had to offer.

Inside sailors are offered a place to relax when their vessels are stationed in Prince Rupert. Visitors have a wide range of activities available to them, as explained by the mission’s chaplain Zetho Ante.

Zehto Ante is the chaplain for the Seafarers Mission. He enjoys a meal as part of the International Day of the Seafarer festivities. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

“We have WiFi here that they can use when they call to their family back home. We have snacks and goodies for them to enjoy. And books and counselling and prayers that we offer,” explained Ante.

READ AND WATCH MORE: Heart of our City: Morris Kaardal helps to make seamen feel welcome in Prince Rupert

The mission also has games, a piano, and the opportunity to mingle and share stories with others who have the shared experiences of long stretches of time out at sea.

Ante said it’s important to honour those who have chosen this way of life. “Sailors are a big part of the community and the world because they’re bringing goods to us from other countries. Our homes are full of goods because of the sailors,” said Ante. “This is a day to appreciate what they’ve done for us, and their contribution to us.”

Crew members Rafael Protacio, Wing Dionson, Joey Regala and Simoun Dimla from the Silver Muse come ashore before continuing on their path to Vancouver. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Tens of thousands of sailors have now come through the mission’s doors since it opened. The mission also offers a service to pickup sailors on vessels anchored away from shore, which was how many of those in attendance on this day arrived.

READ MORE: Hanjin Scarlet and crew detained in outer harbour

In 2016 the capacity of the mission was on full display when they brought members of the Hanjin Scarlet to shore for a break after the company that owned the ship went bankrupt and the sailors were left stranded.

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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