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Grey guardian angels hit the road!

Thursday 29 May 2014
Highlighting the trials of life on the ocean, battling piracy, shipwrecks and separation, a South Australian couple are providing a safe harbour for the men and women who crew the world’s large cargo ships.
Media Release

June and Geoff Harrison are on a three-month road trip, visiting towns and regional centres across Australia to help raise the profile of their work for the Mission to Seafarers and will be in Toowoomba on Thursday, May 29, before heading to Goondiwindi on Sunday, June 1, 2014.

As dedicated Mission to Seafarers volunteers, the Harrisons said the road trip was their way of saying thanks to seafarers, as well as raising awareness of how consumer goods get to retail outlets.

The journey will take them from their hometown of Edithburgh on the Southern Yorke Peninsula of South Australia, through Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland.

Mr Harrison said seafarers make great sacrifices, often suffering loneliness and home sickness during long periods away from their family and friends.

“We are travelling through inland Australia to help make people more aware that items that you use everyday often come by sea and farmers also rely on ships to export their produce.

“Seafarers successfully transport our goods to us, navigating the vastness of the world’s oceans, including weather extremes and the tyranny of distance.

“We owe it to seafarers to look after them when they arrive in Australian ports, as they contribute to increasing our quality of life,” Mr Harrison said.

June and Geoff Harrison set up the Mission to Seafarers at Port Giles in South Australia and have devoted their retirement to caring for seafarers, including helping with transport, banking, communication and social activities while they are in port.

There are 28 Australian Mission to Seafarers centres and 260 around the world.

“Port Giles is often the last shipping port crews visit before leaving Australia’s shores and embarking on a long journey across the world’s oceans,” Mrs Harrison said.

The Seafarers National Awareness Campaign is on the road from April through to June and will be towing a caravan, identifiable with Mission to Seafarers and campaign logos.

June Harrison said they get enormous satisfaction from the work they do helping seafarers.

“We have shared in the joys and sorrows of the crew members, including the birth of children in far away cities as well as family members passing away while they are at sea.”