by Dr. Jason Zuidema, ICMA/NAMMA
Seafarers’ missions in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and many countries abroad have shared notes of sadness upon hearing of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and have expressed their thanks for her devotion to duty and faith.
For several ICMA members, the loss is direct, as she served as their Patron. Sailors’ Society, The Mission to Seafarers and the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen (The Fishermen’s Mission) all benefitted formally from her encouragement and support through the years.
Sailors’ Society has written: “Queen Elizabeth II was our Patron for 70 years, from her ascension to the throne when Winston Churchill was Prime Minister to her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022. We share the deep sadness at her passing with those in the maritime industry across the globe and extend our heartfelt sympathies to the entire Royal Family for the loss of a beloved mother and grandmother, and to the nation for the loss of their Queen. We also give thanks for her years of tireless service.” From their archives, Sailors’ Society shared articles and photographs of engagements Queen Elizabeth performed for them.
The MTS shared this statement: “The entire Mission to Seafarers family is profoundly saddened to hear of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. We send our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family and all those mourning this great loss. We are honoured to have had Her Majesty as our Patron for the full length of her reign and give thanks for her supportive association with us over so many years. We owe her a particular debt of gratitude and share the sadness felt by countless others around the world.” MTS also has shared a prayer to mark the Queen’s death.
The Fishermen’s Mission also noted their sympathies: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all staff of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen (The Fishermen’s Mission), we convey our great sadness at the death of our Patron, Her Majesty the Queen. We extend our deepest sympathy to our Royal Family for their personal loss and pray for them and for our country in united grief. Her Majesty was our dedicated Patron who, through her resolute Christian beliefs, was an ardent supporter of the Fishermen’s Mission for the entirety of her long and inspirational reign. Her knowledge of both the needs of our fishermen and our work to support them in their time of need was remarkable. We express our utmost gratitude for her faith and compassion, which was always at the fore of every aspect of her commitment to our cause, and the very significant contribution she has made to the lives of everyone right across our society.”
Though these three had the Queen as their patron, many other seafarers’ missions in Commonwealth countries and among ICMA partners have shared messages of sadness and thanks on social media.