Wellington June Meeting

The June meeting held at the Bolton Hotel was attended by 14 members and 1 guest.

After working lunch 4, which included a very spicy coconut and lemongrass soup, we were briefed and entertained by the talk given by our member, Katherine Walker.

Katherine recounted her life and experience leading up to her gaining a Masters Certificate and work and life history since. Ship Brokering, Lecturing, Examining, Moving around the World, Parenting and other business interests reinforced the dictum of School of Navigation (Warsash) Director Captain Wakeford, given to cadets leaving the establishment, that, a Master Mariner can do anything.

With the aid of a power point presentation and supported by John Mansell, who was at the meeting, Katherine guided us through the maze that can be encountered on the route from deckhand to Master.

Nomenclature has changed somewhat. Watch-keeper Deck has superseded Second Mate, Mates are now Chief Mates and Extra Masters have disappeared into oblivion. As much time is spent in the classroom as is spent at sea. All of this provides for the opportunity for fierce debate on today’s marine qualification system which, in truth, is a reflection of education generally in NZ. 

Our thanks to Katherine for her illuminating talk which was given under the pressure of just having shelled out a couple of weeks pay to a vet, for two operations on her dog!!

Other Business

a    It was pleasing that two members at the meeting volunteered their services in response to the appeal from the NZ Maritime Law Society for Master Mariners to appear as expert witnesses in their forthcoming mock trial for lawyers. This can only help raise the Branch’s profile.

b    The Bolton Hotel, unlike the Bay Plaza, are pretty understanding when a number of meals are ordered and there are no shows. There were three on Wednesday. Understandably people find that, despite having said that they will be at a meeting, find at short notice they cannot make it. Under such circumstances I am open to an email or telephone call before 10am on the meeting day with advice of cancellation.

c    Next month we have arranged to have Derek Nind, Chief Executive of CentrePort address us on the progress in restoring the port to full operating conditions following the devastation resulting from the Kaikoura Earthquake. This should be very interesting.

Hoping to see you in July

Ken Watt


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