I first came across Stella Maris on a voyage to the Far East & Australasia in 1975 calling at Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, Singapore, Fremantle & Sydney. As this was my first trip, I used to go ashore initially with my boss, an experienced senior purser who always made a point of seeking out and calling in to the seamen’s mission. I greatly enjoyed the experience of meeting and mixing with people from different races and cultures not only ashore but in the mission with the added bonus of being able to phone home and relax in a safe and welcoming environment away from the relative confines of shipboard life. The port chaplains and their helpers were always on hand to offer advice and assistance. From time to time I was able to hear mass at local church and I particularly recall Our Lady Star of Sea in Chong Pang village in Singapore.
When I came ashore to work in Portsmouth I kept in contact as a supporter & volunteer ship visitor at Fawley near Southampton and when I finally retired to my home in Scotland I became a parish contact. Stella Maris has been a golden thread throughout my working life and I look forward to this continuing in the years ahead.