On Tuesday, February 26, the Port of Vancouver’s Mission to Seafarer’s Centre, AKA “The Flying Angel” club presented an Open House from 4-8pm. When asked about the occasion, Senior Port Chaplain the Reverend Peter Smyth replied that there hadn’t been an Open House for a number of years and a neighbouring business had donated a generous amount of fresh Pacific Salmon, perfect for grilling.
The Open House drew a crowd of more than 50, keen to learn more about the work of MtS and hear the story of the seafarers.
Volunteers, including folks from St. Michael’s Multicultural Church in Vancouver cooked the salmon and prepared salads and fruit plates.
Well known Christian Communicator, Flyn Ritchie and spouse Margaret were present. Flyn was covering the event for “Church in Vancouver” online magazine. Rector of Holy Trinity, Vancouver, Karl Przywala dropped by as did Gregory and Michiko Tatchell, of St Michael’s who are both ODNW’s. Priest of the Diocese of New Westminster, the Reverend Fr. Ayoob Adwar was on site, as was the Reverend Fr. Wilmer Toyoken, Rector of St. Michael’s. Long time support of MtS, Peter Goodwin was on present, meeting and greeting the guests and enjoying the meal. And of course Rev. Smythe was joined by his colleagues in chaplaincy; Deacon Dileep Athaide of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Rev. Gary Roosma of the Christian Reformed Church.
Pianist, Beverly Neville, performed a selection of standards and everyone very much enjoyed her playing. People commented on the new art work using photographs from the local area and put together by Carolyn Edy.
The decorated tables were a real highlight of the decorations for the event.
In the words of Rev. Smyth, “The centres (Vancouver and Roberts Bank, Delta) are an open house every day of the year for the seafarers and neither is it limited to one day a year that others can visit. Give us a call, drop by and we would be glad to see and talk with you.
After all a stranger is someone who can soon become a friend.
May the Lord continue to give each of us open doors and open hearts for it is his will that is to be done not ours.”
(prepared with files from Peter Smyth)