Storm Doris Fails to Sink Seafarers UK Centenary Dinner
Storm Doris tried its best with 100mph winds to thwart plans for a Centenary Dinner for Seafarers UK (King George’s Fund for Sailors), the leading maritime charity, but a very successful fundraising evening took place on 23 February at Liverpool’s Merseyside Maritime Museum to raise funds for a local welfare project.
Despite a number of key people, including Lord Prescott as guest speaker, not being able to travel due to rail disruption, guests and local VIPs braved the awful weather to ensure their participation. They included the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, the High Sheriff of Merseyside, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and the Mayor of Wallasey.
Captain Derek Peters MNM, chairman of Seafarers UK’s Felixstowe Committee, ably stepped into the breach after dinner, giving an engaging talk on his experiences in the Merchant Navy and time as a young sailor in Liverpool.
The dinner was attended by Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson who — in his capacity as a Seafarers UK trustee — raised a toast to its future successes: ‘The funds raised tonight will be in support of the Nautilus Mariners’ Park Seafarers UK Centenary Wing, and for that you have my personal gratitude’ said Mr Dickinson.
Mr Dickinson paid tribute to the charity’s grants funding programme: ‘In 2016 Seafarers UK awarded over 70 grants — a total of £2.5 million. Globally there are over 1.5 million seafarers of whom 30,000 are active British Merchant Navy seafarers, and a further 633,000 ex-seafarers and dependants in the UK who potentially need the charity’s support.’
Music was provided throughout dinner by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland and local Sea Cadets were on hand to escort guests to the reception. Sponsorship for the event was provided by Peel Ports, Prospect Capital and the Propeller Club Liverpool.
Photo: Mark Dickinson, Trustee, Seafarers UK