Charitable giving is not confined to their annual installation for Merchants’ Lodge No 241, the oldest lodge meeting in Liverpool. It is ongoing for many and Barry Marsden, master of Merchants’ Lodge along with other members of the lodge, Frank Daniels and Glyn Pine, went along to present John Wilson, the CEO of the Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) with a cheque for £250.
There are two members of Merchants’ Lodge who are involved with the Liverpool Seafarers Centre, they are Jhun Ranario who is a full-time employee of the LSC and Frank Daniels who supports the LSC on a part time basis.
Why the Seafarers Centre? That is easily answered, Merchants’ Lodge has been operating continuously since the issue of its warrant in 1780, then meeting at The Golden Lion, Dale Street. Merchants’ Lodge, and its long history, reveals that past brethren of the lodge were engaged in commerce and shipping within the City of Liverpool for many years, and the present brethren felt that by supporting the LSC over the last few years that this link has been continued.
Imagine being at sea for many weeks without sight of land, at the mercy of the elements and the increasing risk of pirate attack and having no contact with your loved ones. And when you reach port, 1000s of miles away from home, you have no guaranteed ticket home. That’s what a seafarer can go through on a merchant vessel to bring you the fuel for your car, almost everything you can see around you in your home and the food that you eat.
LSC offers welfare services, advice, practical help, care and friendship, communication, transport, recreation, and financial aid when necessary. So next time you switch on the TV, give your child a teddy bear to play with, or just make a simple cup of tea, remember who brought it to you. At the centre, or aboard ship, LSC chaplains are always ready to provide advice and assistance, irrespective of a person’s beliefs or nationality.
The LSC delivers a front-line service offering support to 50,000 seafarers passing through the Port of Liverpool each year. LSC’s mission remains firmly focused on providing a lifeline to seafarers, both active and retired, offering a safe and secure place to rest and receive practical and emotional support. It is thanks to the members of Merchants’ Lodge, along with other generous donors, that Liverpool is viewed by many sailors as a safe, secure and welcoming.
The Merchants’ Lodge crest displays a sailing ship with the Latin motto, ‘Virture Mercatura’ which means ‘virtue in trading’.