|Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson|
Today, social media sites played a vital role in celebrating Day of the Seafarer.
Under the theme: It came by sea and I can’t live without it, Barbados joined the rest of the world and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on June 25, to celebrate the contribution of seafarers to the economic development of their countries.
In his message to mark the occasion, Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, urged all those with internet access to highlight and share with their friends and associates an object in their life they could not live without, acknowledge it came by sea, and to say "Thank you".
"Barbados should take the initiative to be involved in this exercise given the magnitude of imports, especially in the area of food and other commodities," he said.
The Minister added that Barbados had a proud and long history of seafaring, and noted that local seafarers enjoyed employment on British ships such as the Harrison Line Company and the Blue Star Line Limited from as early as 1925.
"These seafarers were able during the war years of the 1940s and subsequently, to assist the island’s economy through the financial remittances they made to their families," he pointed out.
Mr. Hutson also noted that Government was cognisant of the invaluable contribution of national seafarers, and was doing everything to encourage gain and interest in what he described as a noble profession.
"On this Day of the Seafarer, I, on behalf of the government of Barbados wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all seafarers for the immense and invaluable contribution they have made to Barbados and the world. Thank you seafarers," the Minister stated.
In an effort to celebrate and pay tribute to mariners, the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, hosted a luncheon on Saturday, June 23 for 68 men who spent most of their lives at sea working on vessels.
During the event, the seafarers were encouraged to reflect on their life at sea, and were treated to a karaoke session.
Mr. Hutson added that the Ministry had also created a registry to ensure all seafarers could be involved in future celebrations.
June 25 is included in the annual list of United Nations observances as the Day of the Seafarer. It was established by a resolution in Manila, Philippines, at the June 2010 Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978.
The Day of the Seafarer 2012 is a celebration of seafarers across the globe, with emphasis on the positive influence seafarers have on the daily lives of ordinary people through maritime transport.