Gladstone Seafarers Centre is a locally run Human Rights and Welfare charity servicing the Port of Gladstone. With it’s connections to Mission to Seafarers and through its worldwide association of chaplains, staff and volunteers, meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of seafarers regardless of their nationality or faith. The centre reaches out to seafarers by visiting them on their ships and by welcoming them to the local seafarers centre where they can do some shopping, contact home or just simply relax away from the work pressures of the ship.
For many seafarers it can be difficult at sea due to the danger of extreme weather, sometimes sub-standard working conditions, long work contracts that mean being separated from family and friends and the possibility of being subject to piracy. In the midst of this, the Gladstone Seafarers centre is here to provide it’s love, care and support.
The Mission to Seafarers had its beginnings in the early 1800’s when an Anglican priest named John Ashley started visiting ships at anchor in the Bristol Channel in England. During 15 years of ministry he visited over 14000 ships and distributed over 5000 Bibles and prayer books to merchant seamen. The Missions to Seamen was formerly established in 1856 and it was not until 2000 that it became known as The Mission to Seafarers.
The Mission In Gladstone
The Mission to Seafarers in Gladstone was established in 1970 by The Revd Peter Calaminus. The Port Authority provided him with an office and later he moved the MTS to a recreational centre for seafarers located at the Auckland Point Terminal. These were closed as a result of further northern growth of the port. The present Mission Centre, now known as Gladstone Seafarers Centre, was constructed in its current location at the corner of Bryan Jordan Drive and Alf O’Rourke Drive with the financial support of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). The Centre was built in 1997 and is located on Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) land that was offered freely to the Mission and selected as a central location to service the port and any future port expansion.
Facilities provided at the mission centre in Gladstone include:
- Shop (foodstuff, souvenirs etc)
- Foreign currency exchange
- Free Wi-Fi
- Recreation and games area
- Musical instruments
- Free second-hand clothing and food
- Free Bibles and Christian Litereature
- Free bus service for seafarers