The Prince Rupert Port Authority has helped a local organization transform a nondescript storefront into a sanctuary for visiting seafarers.
During a reception Saturday afternoon to dedicate the new Prince Rupert Seafarers’ Mission Centre, the Prince Rupert Port Authority announced it is contributing $25,000 toward the setup of the facility.
The Prince Rupert Seafarers’ Mission Centre is run by Lighthouse Harbour Ministries Prince Rupert, a branch of the Vancouver-based agency founded in 1981 to provide spiritual solace and creature comforts to seafarers visiting the port. The organization operates similar drop-in centres in North Vancouver, Surrey, and Nanaimo.
The Port Authority’s Vice-President of Operations and Harbour Master, Gary Paulson, presented a cheque to Richard Knox, President of Lighthouse Harbour Ministries, during a dedicatory program attended by volunteers and supporters.
“During my service career with the Royal Canadian Navy, I learned the importance of finding safe harbour in a port of call,” said Mr. Paulson.
“The mission of the Port Authority is to ensure the security of ships visiting Prince Rupert. The staff and volunteers at this Seafarers’ Mission Centre will care for the souls aboard those ships. By reaching out to visiting seafarers, volunteers from Lighthouse Harbour Ministries demonstrate generosity and hospitality: two qualities never more welcome than after weeks or months at sea.”
In addition to offering chaplaincy and counseling services at the Centre, Lighthouse Harbour Ministry volunteers visit ships, bake biscuits, and knit woolen toques for visiting sailors and officers.
The newly-opened Mission Centre is located at 245 3rd Avenue West, in Prince Rupert’s downtown. In addition to its financial contribution, the Port Authority also made donations of furniture and computer systems to equip the facility.
“The Port Authority’s generosity is a beacon,” said Lighthouse Harbour Ministries President Richard Knox.
“It is a signal that Prince Rupert cares about the professional seafarers who visit our community—and an invitation for others to join us in ministering to the men and women who come here from around the world.”