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Part of the audience attending the prayer service for seafarers at Point Cruz in Honiara.
Photo No. : P070715-1
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Local seafarers picking information materials about work of the Mission to Seafarers.
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Sea Sunday offers a time for seafarers to get together once a year.
Photo No. : P070715-3
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Seafarers Remembered
July 15, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Seafarers in Solomon Islands on July 8th joined the worldwide seafaring community to commemorate Sea Sunday in a prayer service at Point Cruz in Honiara.

Sea Sunday is normally commemorated with a prayer service to acknowledge the work done by the sailers and fishers, to remember seamen who laid down their lives for the good of others and also to offer thanksgiving.

Speaking during the service, Solomon Islands Port Chaplain Fr. Wilson Mapuru said seafarers are our nation's lifeline.

"Without them we would have to do without many of the things that we depend on in our daily lives like food, clothes, oil and many other essential items.

"To do their jobs, seafarers have to leave their homes and families for long periods and face loneliness and danger and that?s why the Mission to Seafarers reaches out to them on behalf of the Church to offer them spiritual and practical support in our sea ports," he said

Fr. Mapuru said even though seafarers play such a vital role in our lives, they are easy to disregard as they are mostly out of sight. They spend little time ashore as ships can load in a matter of hours, and many ports are situated far from town and cities. For seafarers, this means that they are not only isolated when they are at sea, but also when they are alongside in port.

He said whilst most seafarers are well treated, some are still abandoned in ports far from their homes, or remain unpaid or forced to work in unsafe or in unacceptable conditions. In such situations, the Mission plays a vital role in providing practical care and support.

Meanwhile in Vanuatu, Port Vila Parish has organized a similar service for the seafarers at the Church of the Resurrection at Tagabe.

Chaplain to Seafarers in Vanuatu Fr. Joseph Tagaro celebrated, with words of encouragement for seafarers coming from Fr. John Steven Huri, a Parish Rector who is also the Chairman of the local committee in Port Vila.

The guest speaker at the service was the Minister of Trade, Tourism commerce and industry, Hon. James Bule, who spoke highly of the work rendered by the local seafarers and also acknowledged the presence of the Office of the Mission to Seafarers in Vanuatu. He said this work must continue to be supported and pledged the government's commitment to assist the Church in running this ministry.