Loved chaplain leaves Dampier
A changing of the guard has occurred for seafarers coming into Dampier, with long-serving Seafarers Centre chaplain Ian McGilvray calling time and a new harbour master at the helm of Dampier Port.
Mr McGilvray will leave Dampier this week after 13 years in the port town, bound for Queensland.
He said it had been wonderful to call Dampier home and watch the port expand over his tenure.
“It has been a privilege and a joy, and of course I will miss those things, but it doesn’t mean wherever I’m going I won’t be able to be involved in a different way,” he said.
“I am going into retirement from paid work, which means there’s plenty of work out there to do and I’ve already been asked to be involved in the Port of Brisbane in an honorary capacity, so that’s where I’ll be heading.
“Goodness knows what’s around the corner — isn’t that the beauty of life?”
Stepping into his shoes will be Jake De Salis, who has moved to Dampier with his wife and children to take up the chaplain’s position.
Mr De Salis said it would be impossible to fill his predecessor’s shoes, so he instead wanted to beat his own path in his new hometown.
“We live in a really big country with lots of different opportunities and we thought this was a big opportunity, so why not have a go?” he said. “We’re in Dampier which is a lovely small community, and I think we can get to know just about everyone here.”
In the port of Dampier itself, new harbourmaster Vikas Bangia has taken over from Gavin Giblett.
Mr Bangia said the size of the port made it a big change coming from Broome to Dampier.
“To give you an idea, there are roughly 17,000 movements (a year) in this harbour,” he said.
“I think it’s a privilege to work with an authority like Pilbara Ports Authority.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work Gavin has done, but I have been given the responsibility to take the port forward, so I look forward to working with all the proponents.”
Mr McGilvray said he was confident the seafarers coming into Dampier had been left in safe hands with Mr Bangia and Mr De Salis.
“I once commissioned a ship, I took it out of the dock, and you know when you get to a certain stage you need someone to take it over, and I think that is what has happened here,” he said.
“Vikas will take the port further than Gavin has and Jake will take the Seafarers Centre further than I have.
“We need people to take things into the future.”
Incoming chaplain Jake De Salis, Pilbara Ports Authority chief executive Roger Johnston, Port of Dampier harbourmaster Vikas Bangia and outgoing chaplain Ian McGilvray.