There was a wave of patriotic ambience happening at the MtSS drop-in centre at Jurong Port on 15 August 2023.
SMOU officials – Ms Mary Liew, General Secretary, Mr Yong Soon Huat, Treasurer, Mr Gwee Guo Duan, Assistant General Secretary and Ms Joyce Lee, Assistant Secretary; Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) officials – Ms Wan Fei Fei and Mr Sasa Wong Rongde; and the Mission to Seafarers Singapore (MtSS) officials – Capt Rob Walker, Chairman and Mr Toh Soon Kok, Port Chaplain, rallied to celebrate Singapore’s National Day with some 82 seafarers whose vessels had docked at the port.
Celebrating National Day at the MtSS drop-in centre with the seafarers was also about recognising the significant contributions of seafarers to the maritime industry. SMOU GS Mary Liew expressed gratitude to the seafarers for their dedication and hard work in growing the maritime industry.
A festive banquet by Lighthouse Bistro was spread out for seafarers at the drop-in centre. Aside from food, each seafarer was gifted with a 2023 Day of the Seafarers gift pack which included a water bottle and a power bank and Starhub data SIM card. Seafarers were thankful and felt appreciated.
“I have been sailing for about 23 years, and I have enjoyed my time being out at sea. Sometimes, it was hard on me and my crew mentally, especially during the pandemic, but the crew is always very supportive of one another and we find ways to destress and manage the pressure. Every Saturday, we always gather together to bond, and we always make it a point to have our meals together. It was such a treat having SMOU come by with food and snacks. In my 23 years of sailing, this is actually my first time being here at Jurong Port and celebrating Singapore’s National Day too! It was such an amazing experience seeing the energy here today. Thank you SMOU! I hope we can port here again so that we can enjoy this.” – Elmer Cadena, Master, MV Salvia Island
The National Day celebration was a great time of networking and connection as SMOU, MPA and MtSS officials touched base with seafarers, listened to their stories and exchanged words of affirmation. This brought a sense of unity, solidarity, mutual concern, cooperation and shared identity within the maritime community.