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Some Britons say their maritime industry has declined and that the nation has even lost its love for the sea. Yet, London is arguably still the shipping capital of the world. It is home to the International Maritime Organization (IMO); the Baltic Exchange; and the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the largest of the international shipowners’ associations. The City is much more. It is a major seat of maritime charity, a reputation that should be bolstered by the inaugural London International Shipping Week in September.

The week-long celebration is to benefit four venerable charities: The Apostleship of the Sea (UK), The Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society and Seafarers UK. The fund-raising starts off with a Charity Golf Day on 9th September at the Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey. In the LISW Conference which follows, delegates can donate cash in special envelopes provided in their conference packs. There will also be tables at the Gala Dinner to receive additional donations.

The Brits have a long tradition of helping seafarers, both in the UK and overseas. The Mission for Seafarers, for instance, was founded in 1856. The Sailors’ Society began even much earlier, in 1818. We have no doubts that the donations will pour in during September’s LISW. Yet, it is more than the money to be raised that should gladden Jean Winfield, Director of LISW organiser Shipping Innovation Ltd. It is the thought that the Brits have the opportunity to inspire more kindness and acts of charity toward seafarers in other cities of the world. Not least, of course, in Manila. ~Barista Uno

NOTE: Further information on London International Shipping Week can be found on the dedicated event website: www.londoninternationalshippingweek.com