Home' Aurora : Aurora June 2013 Contents Coffs Harbour: A Holiday Mecca
63 Ocean Pde, Coffs Harbour
02 6652 6599 | Freecall 1800 025 163
From the Big Banana to the Pet Porpoise Pool,
Coffs Harbour has so much to offer.
Sandcastles Holiday Apartments are located
opposite main beach, Park Beach bowling club,
close to restaurants & shops.
1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments
spacious, fully self-contained with own private
balconies and air conditioning.
12m Heated Pool
& hot spas, sauna, BBQs
& U/C security parking.
Plus Austar & free broadband*
machines to raise a massive part of the
engine to work within it. I could hardly walk
due to enormous waves, yet they were able
to fix the engine, setting us back on course.
And yes, I was seasick, with a seven-metre
swell, waves smashing across the deck as
we pounded relentlessly through. It was in
this ordeal that I recognised the beauty of
being a member of such a small community.
People came to offer support and advice. I
found it extremely humbling to have such a
high level of genuine care.
As an Anglican priest I know what it is like
to undertake a silent retreat, meditate and
spend time alone with God in conversation.
The retreats and level of silence are
voluntary and I can always sneak away to
call my wife or respond to an email. My
time at sea has reinforced the need to offer
hospitality: warm friendly places where
seafarers can know they are valued and
cared for. I have a passion for the Mission
and have always known how seafarers
value us. Again I realise that it is not just
the provision of a centre, but the level of
interpersonal care that really counts.
The MTS has a team of volunteers who
give up their time because they have an
authentic desire to love our seafaring family.
What I have been reminded of is just how
precious our friendliness is to someone who
feels isolated or burdened with a problem
that cannot be shared onboard. I have
renewed vigour to increase our ship visitor
team in a bid to offer the warmth and care
that is often needed by those seafarers who
do not have the time to come ashore.
My 21-day adventure has reinforced much
of what I had already learned, challenged
some assumptions, highlighted issues I had
not previously considered and given new
insights and knowledge as well as a deeper
appreciation of life at sea, from the captain's
to that of the ordinary seafarer. I have grown
through the various encounters with the
men of the "Ma Cho". Their stories, sharing
time together and being community, have
irreversibly touched me. The agony of being
separated from my family was an experience
I would not choose again. One can only
guess how seafarers with little or no contact
survive the many months away from home.
As the Port of Newcastle continues to
expand we will need to meet not only
seafarers' physical needs, but also their
psychological and spiritual needs with willing
volunteers to bid them welcome.
The MTS Centre had 10,787 seafarers
visit last year, a 55% increase from
2011. As a result the building at 96
Hannell Street Wickham is about to
be redesigned as a modern facility to
cope with ever-growing demand. The
centre operates 10am-10pm, seven
days. Donations of money, time, men's
clothing, beanies and magazines are
always welcome. To donate or volunteer,
please P 4961 5007.
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
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