Gifts bring joy to workers at sea

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Un­like many of us, sea­far­ers don’t get a break over Christ­mas, but the Dampier Sea­far­ers Cen­tre has made sure those com­ing into port here will at least get a bit of fes­tive cheer.

Sea­far­ers chap­lain Jake De Salis said the cen­tre, to­gether with ev­ery­one in­volved in port op­er­a­tions out of Dampier, Cape Pre­ston and Port Wal­cott, had bun­dled to­gether 500 ham­pers as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for work sea­far­ers do.

Mr De Salis said the ham­pers were filled with ev­ery­thing from food and toi­letries to boomerangs, post­cards and other small gifts to take home as sou­venirs.

“We are hand­ing ham­pers to each sea­farer in our port as a gift be­cause they are alone at sea away from fam­ily,” he said.

“At a time like Christ­mas, the lone­li­ness of be­ing away from the peo­ple you love most re­ally hits home.“There are so many peo­ple that come to our port and we for­get some­times they are all away from home.

We want them to know Aus­tralia is a place where we care for each other.” Mr De Salis said the help from the com­mu­nity in or­gan­is­ing the ham­pers had been hum­bling.

“We got a lot of sup­port putting to­gether these ham­pers,” he said.

“Not only from mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, but ba­si­cally ev­ery­one in­volved in the port has put in not only their time to­day but with fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions and do­na­tions of items in the bags ... there have been hun­dreds of peo­ple help­ing out be­hind the scenes.”

Mr De Salis said the ham­pers were a small way to put a smile on the faces of those away from home this Christ­mas.

Dampier Sea­far­ers Cen­tre chap­lain Jake De Salis, right, and his ham­per helpers at the cen­tre. Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

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