Gifts bring joy to workers at sea
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