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Interesting Guest Speaker

Members of the Combined Probus Club of Whittlesea at the July meeting, welcomed Sue Dight, the Chief Executive Officer of The Mission to Seafarers, Melbourne Centre, as guest presenter. Sue kept the audience in awe as she related the activities of the Mission. As an island Nation, Australia relies on seafarers! The work of the Mission to Seafarers is a way of acknowledging their work and hardships, by provision of support.

Ninety percent of the world’s freight is carried by sea and there are one and one half million seafarers plying the ancient trade. Australia, which has managed to downsize or eliminate manufacturing, is almost totally reliant on sea transport by foreign owned and crewed ships. Indications are that only a few weeks would pass if shipping to Australia ceased before chaos would reign.  

In normal times each Mission centre houses the ‘Flying Angel Club’ where seafarers are welcomed by a friendly face and can contact their families by phone or internet, and receive counselling during times of injustice or distress. Last year globally over eight thousand care packs were delivered, 736 hospital visits made and nearly three hundred thousand letters written by or written to seafarers.

When the advice that the Mission was short of knitted goods, the Combined Probus Club of Whittlesea, the Epping RSL, the Whittlesea Country Women’s Association (CWA) and the local Whittlesea Happy Yarners (WHY) set out to fill the gap. The connection between the Whittlesea Probus Club and the Mission to Seafarers has been formed and in the next few months the Mission we will be making a site visit to their Melbourne Headquarters.

After the presentation, Sue was presented with a small token of appreciation by Teresa for speaking at the Club, and was also presented with many bags and boxes, full of hand knitted scarves and beanies and some chocolates.