Queen Elizabeth II was a young princess when she opened Sailors’ Society’s new Sailors’ Home in Aberdeen. It was October 1944 and her first solo opening ceremony.
In declaring the building open, she said: “It has been brought up-to-date through the care and enterprise of Sailors’ Society, which has done so much for the welfare of seamen.”
Now international maritime charity Sailors’ Society is set to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of its Royal Patron. The Queen, who became the charity’s Patron on ascending the throne in 1952, will become the first British monarch to mark 70 years as sovereign on Sunday 6 February.
Sara Baade, Sailors’ Society’s CEO said: “We offer our heartfelt congratulations and very best wishes to Her Majesty on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee. It is a privilege to have The Queen as our Patron and we are incredibly grateful for her support and longstanding dedication to the welfare of seafarers and their families in need. We look forward to joining with communities around the world to celebrate Her Majesty’s historic reign throughout the year.”
Queen Elizabeth II has marked a number of key dates through the Society’s 204-year history, including the televised Songs of Praise at Southampton Docks to celebrate the charity’s 175th anniversary in 1993.
Paying tribute to the Society at that event, she said: “It is the oldest Christian maritime charity in existence and its mission remains to serve the spiritual and welfare needs of all seafarers everywhere irrespective of their race, creed or colour. The sea has always been the lifeblood of our world; it ebbs and flows through every chapter of this island’s history.
“Those who sail it, whether to trade between nations or to protect others ‘upon their lawful occasions’ are men and women of special skills and fortitude. They are, above all, people who must have the self-reliance to cope with solitude and the deprivation of family life. Their faith is tested much more than for most of us.”
Visit https://sailors-society.org/queens-platinum-jubilee for a look back on the Queen’s support as Sailors’ Society’s Patron over the years or go to https://200stories.org/ to purchase ‘200 Stories from the Sea’, a fascinating commemorative book produced to mark Sailors’ Society’s 200th anniversary.