Gentlemen, and Ladies,
Please forgive my addressing the gentlemen first. It is due to their preponderance in numbers. But yes, happily the Company does have lady Master Mariner members, Three in fact, of which two are members of Christchurch Branch, and the other is a member of Tauranga Branch. And as a result of my recent networking with the Maritime School, I have become aware that there are others who are qualified to join us, as Associate Members or Members, as the case may be. I certainly hope that they may be so persuaded.
I am heartened by events of the last year, and feel that we can move ahead with confidence in our credibility as a professional body.
The most important event is a move toward offering a mentoring programme for nautical students through their studies, their service as cadets, and further if this should be required. We have to thank Captain Darrell Daish for his initiative in raising this topic, firstly by enquiries with the Honourable Company (in person and by email), and then by engaging us in discussion on the matter. We also have to thank Captain Chris Barradale for his willingness to see the programme actioned. To this end, we have circularised a request for those who are willing to become mentors to register with their branches. At time of writing (12/01), Auckland had gathered three prospective mentors, but none reported so far from the other branches.
Another such event is the provision in our rules for admission of Student Members to the Company. We see this as fitting very well with the mentoring programme, and also as invigorating our membership with young blood. Our thanks to Christchurch Branch for this initiative.
Initiatives such as these, provided that they are compatible with the aims of the Company, will be our life-blood, and should be pursued. But not simply with a proposal, expecting others to take up the challenge. The proposer should also be prepared to actively follow up with his/her proposal if accepted, and to have already done some groundwork supporting it.
We have still to see the success, or otherwise, of the above ventures, but nevertheless they are full of promise for the future, and are an example of the new concepts needed to enliven and strengthen our professional institution. They are positive steps to the future, undeterred by negative, and sometimes inadequately researched, argument against.
My comment on initiatives relates to “service”. Service on committee, and on subcommittees should such be set up. Without such support, the Company will wither and die of apathy, or even of old age.
Edward E Ewbank,
New Zealand Company of Master Mariners.