Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs Albany Maritime Ministry Presentation
Albany Maritime Ministry helps crews from all over the world
To the Editor:
At its regular Wednesday evening meeting on Jan. 19 at the Highlands restaurant, the Hilltown Kiwanis club heard about the work of the Albany Maritime Ministry from guest speakers Richard and Maralyn Walker. The Maritime Ministry, led by the Rev. William Hempel, a Lutheran minister and pastor of St. Paul's Church on State Street, who is the official port chaplain, provides a number of services to the crews of ocean-going ships that visit the port of Albany.
These crews come from all over the world and represent many nationalities.
The old-fashioned view of hard-bitten sailors no longer holds true. These sailors, mostly men, are family men with concerns and worries about their families while they are away, often months at a time. Volunteers from the Maritime Ministry are often helpful in getting problems
handled and usually solved.
At its most active, the port handled about 140 ships per year, but this has declined to 67 in 2009 and 65 in 2010, largely because of the difficult economic times. While the number has declined, the needs of the crews has not.
The Maritime Ministry needs more volunteers and, as usual with a group funded by contributions, more money. If you are interested in getting involved with the ministry, the Walkers can be reached at the Seafarers Center, 105 Smith Boulevard, Albany, NY 12202. The phone number is 426-9153.
The <a href="index0254.html?title=Kiwanis_Club_of_the_Helderbergs" title="Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs">Kiwanis club</a> is always pleased to greet visitors and those interested in membership and we encourage any and all to check us out and see if our activities are the kind you might be interested in.
Man with a mission: Richard Walker speaks to the <a href="index0254.html?title=Kiwanis_Club_of_the_Helderbergs" title="Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs">Helderberg Kiwanis</a> about the Albany Maritime Ministry, while his wife listens. The ministry is seeking volunteers and funds to help sailors from around the world.
- Altamont Enterprise - January 27, 2011