CLEVELAND resident Father Bill Pearson has been helping sailors for 56 years and has just been appointed Chaplain Emeritus by The Mission to Seafarers president Captain Dave Ellis.
The organisation does just what its name says – cares for seafarers who often spend long periods away from their families and spiritual sustenance.
Father Bill said he was greatly honoured to receive the award.
He first became interested in the area when in Townsville in 1959.
“I had a bishop who said ‘you will be involved’,’’ Fr Pearson said. “In those days you did what you were told.’’
Father Pearson, 80, said he had something of a connection to the sea, having been born in the great British seafaring city of Liverpool.
“I’ve sailed on the Mersey (River) too,’’ he said.
Father Pearson was ordained in Townsville in 1959 which was where he started his service in the missions.
He also served with the navy and army and in parishes, including Cairns, Redcliffe and Nundah.
The award says he had been visionary in his leadership and dedication to the seafarers mission in Brisbane.
It says his exemplary service merits his always being a part of the mission.
Father Pearson is married to Lorna and has five children and nine grandchildren.