It says in the Book of Common Prayer that the dayspring from on high has visited us, but for seafarers visiting Hong Kong in future, the Dayspring is more likely to appear at the bottom of the gangway, with the entry into service of the new motor launch operated by the Sailor’s Home and Missions to Seamen.
Several members of the branch attended the naming and blessing of the new launch at Cheoy Lee Shipyard in Lai Chi Kok on 12th February 2015, and there is a long history of cooperation between our two organisations. Most of us have benefited from the services of the Mission, particularly in our seagoing careers, and the branch has supported them for a number of years.
was named by Ellie Wilson, daughter of John and Akina Wilson. John is a long-serving committee member and former branch Chairman whose support for the Missions to Seafarers has even involved running a marathon to raise funds for them.
The blessing of the new Dayspring was conducted by The Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwong, Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, and The Most Reverend Joseph Ha OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese. Their combined presence is symbolic of the way various religions and denominations work together to support seafarers in Hong Kong.
The Mission has operated a boat in Hong Kong since 1891 and the first vessel they acquired was propelled by four oarsmen.
Now the Mission has a launch with the speed and resiliance to make the journey to the farthest reaches of the harbour, including the anchorages south of Lamma. Two MAN engines produce 490 HP at 1800 rpm, propelling the GRP vessel at a top speed of 25 knots. Dayspring is also equipped with VHF radio, radar, AIS, GPS, a loud hailer and a searchlight. It has an overall length of 14.68 metres and a beam of 4.42 metres.
The ceremony was held on a rare afternoon of glorious sunshine. The harbour was looking its best and the guests thoroughly enjoyed their day, although there is no doubt young Ellie Wilson was the centre of attention. Her poise and charm belied the fact that she was just three years and four days old.