This time last year we partnered with members of the maritime industry locally and attempted to bring attention to the vital work undertaken by the men and women who go to sea each day. We organised Flash Mobs in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Mossel Bay to publicly acknowledge the role of seafarers.
I’ll be honest and say that getting some of the industry to buy into the concept of a Flash Mob was hard and the traditionally conservative industry tended to shy away from the idea of standing up in a public place and thanking seafarers. Yet there were those who stood up and came out.
Coming out in support of seafarers like that seemed totally alien to the industry – an industry totally reliant on their seagoing crew and I wondered: if the actual maritime industry was reluctant to stand up and thank seafarers; how on earth was the man in the street going to be able to conceptualise the need to thank them?
At the time we had grandiose ideas of what we would be doing this year to mark this day. From street parades to organising a harbour run; we were keen to expose landlubbers to the risks, challenges, duties and responsibilities of the seafarers!
But we decided to get in line with the rest of the world and embrace the social media campaign that marked last year and that again marks this year’s dedication to and celebration of seafarers.
And so this morning I got to work ready to start tweeting and blogging about the things in my life that I cannot do without that happened to be here after a journey by sea. And so as I sit at my desk and consider the contents of my office, my house and indeed my life I can’t help think that I have let down those seafarers that I was prepared to come out for last year.
I regret not organising that street parade. I regret not setting up the harbour run. And I believe we should be doing more than tweeting and blogging our thanks.
Next year – let’s take it to the streets and drive the message to the very doors of the consumers who simply cannot live without seafarers!