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Hong Kong is such a mercantile place that one would think the locals do nothing but make piles of money. Not so. Last week, the HK shipping community turned out in force for the second Sailors’ Society gala fund-raising dinner at the Island Shangri-La Hotel. Their generosity that night raised more than HK$1m (US$129,000) to help fund the Society’s welfare projects around the world, including HK$250,000 to sustain the work of a ship-visiting chaplain in Manila for an entire year.

‘Events like this,’ said outgoing Sailors’ Society CEO Robert Adams, ‘can only be put on through the significant amount of encouragement and prime sponsorship that we receive in Hong Kong from Pacific Basin and the Noble Group. We are also very grateful to Clarkson Asia and Gulf Oil Marine for the additional financial support, which assisted us in hosting this event.’ Gulf Oil Marine used the occasion to launch its long-term collaboration with the Society. For starters, it is subsidising sets of ‘emergency care packs’ for seafarers hospitalised at short notice whilst on overseas contract.

The Sailors’ Society and similar organisations are not only helping seafarers in need. They remind us, through their countless acts of altruism, of the gentler, human side of shipping. They may not always be in the limelight but what would shipping be without them? ~Barista Uno

NOTE: Founded in 1818, the Sailors’ Society is a not-for-profit Christian Society associated with all the free churches although it remains independent and is not directly affiliated to any one church. It is multi-denominational in approach, as are its trustees, staff and the service it provides to merchant seafarers. Click here to find out how you can help.

PHOTO CREDIT: Samuel Louie (Base64)

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