Friday, September 15, 2006

Seafarers' Center

Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
Eugene Madeja of the Philippines (left) talks on the phone while Avinash Jernandes of India (right) communicates via e-mail at the Seafarers' Center inside the Port of Beaumont in Beaumont on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006. For security and safety reasons, Port of Beaumont commissioners would like the center moved from inside the port to an area outside the port.

The Seafarers' Center remains inside the Port of Beaumont. The center provides services and protection for visiting sailors. Volunteers are needed to help sailors while staff transport sailors from the port to area shopping locations or for medical or legal help.

Chaplain Bill Peterson poses for a portrait in the chapel at the Seafarers' Center inside the Port of Beaumont. Although he likes being accessible to sailors within the port, he said a more visible location would help the center raise funds.

Currency from around the world is posted at the Seafarers' Center inside the Port of Beaumont. The center also has a small snack bar with mostly empty shelves because the income has been used to support the center.

Sherwin F. Batayola of the Philippines watches TV in the recreation room at the Seafarers' Center inside the Port of Beaumont. Since security has been tightened on all ports, the center has had difficulty recruiting volunteers and raising funds.

Donations for the center can be delivered to the front gate at the Port of Beaumont. Video tapes (of TV in particular) and DVDs are greatly appreciated as are reading materials in any language. Of keen interest are any magazines with recipes as well as fishing and outdoor lifestyle magazines.

Fayrouz and I dropped off a box of books and magazines today. The Port Authority Police officer was thankful and courteous.

Anyone wanting to volunteer time needs to have an absolutely clean background and expect to have some difficulties entering and exiting the port area.

To learn more about the center, please read "Beaumont facility that serves sailors facing new start" by Mike D. Smith.

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