• Belfast Between The Wars

MISSIONS TO SEAMEN: THE WORK OF THE BELFAST BRANCH

Belfast News-Letter, Wednesday 25th March 1936


The annual meeting of the Belfast branch of the Missions to Seamen was held, yesterday, in the recreation hall of the Institute, Donegall Quay, Belfast, Lord Justice Best presiding.


The financial statement presented by Mr. E. R. Stephens, hon. secretary, showed a total income from all sources of £1,4333, an increase of £152 over the year 1834. This increase was largely due to an anonymous donation of £150 from a well-wisher in the Irish Free State, and £80 raised by Mrs. Clarke, Upperlands, from the sale of a cookery book.


Rev. O. A. J. Nibbs ( London), assistant superintendent of the society, said that seafaring men in all parts of the globe looked to the various missions as being a “home,” and the home associations meant more than could be adequately expressed. From the Royal Family down everyone did what they could for British seamen. The mission was out to help the sailor, no matter what might be his creed or nationality. They prevented many young sailors in port from “going the pace” and perhaps from being ruined. The institutes provided a harbour of refuge. Mr. Nibbs said he had been commissioned by the committee of the society to bring sincere and hearty greetings to the Belfast branch, and very real congratulations on the success of the work being carried out.


Rev. J. W. Doherty, chaplain to the mission, in a short address, spoke of the work of the mission and of the work being done by the staff as distinct from mission work. The job called for all sorts and conditions of men, he said, and one never knew what situations would arrive next.


Lord Justice Best said he was pleased to hear that those in authority at headquarters considered that the work in Belfast was very satisfactory. He commented on the various contributions, saying that the mission still had many loyal and enthusiastic friends. The missions to seamen was doing a splendid work throughout the world, and the sailors themselves were potential missionaries. Christianity was judged not so much by what people said as by what they did. If the sailors did not believe in Christianity, how were people who had never heard of Christianity to place any faith in it? Lord Justice Best concluded with a comprehensive expression of thanks to all who had helped the mission in any way.


The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chairman and speakers, proposed by Rev. M. H. G. Willis, M.A., M.B.E.


The Archdeacon of Down (Ven. C. C. Manning, M.A., M.C., proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs. James Campbell for kindly entertaining those present to tea.


The Benediction was pronounced by the Dean of Belfast.


To read more about The Mission to Seafarers to Belfast click here.


To view a selection of images of Belfast Harbour click here.