A DAY FOR PRAYER & REMEMBRANCE

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A DAY FOR PRAYER & REMEMBRANCE

All Souls Prayer > Diocese of Norwich

by FR Chowdhury (1N) 6 May 2020

When Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971, we had no ocean-going ships. The only maritime assets we had were a few mariners (whom we call pioneers) and two sea-ports, badly damaged by mines and wrecks. With the blessings of Allah, the merciful we managed to activate our seaports almost in no time and opened our doors for international trade and commerce.

Within mere two months of liberation, Bangladesh Shipping Corporation was created. Next five years will always remain as the glorious chapter in our maritime history. Since then we have come a long way. Today we have over 40 sea-going ships, most of which are under private sector ownership. Bangladeshi officers are serving on many more foreign ships than ever before. Ex-mariners are now serving in many other countries in associated jobs like harbor pilots, shipyard and workshop managers, surveyors to classification societies, company superintendents and many other jobs and business relating to maritime and shipping. Our mariners are also employed by other governments and that is the reason we see Bangladeshis on the IMO floor representing UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Bangladesh, Bahamas and other countries. There is a large community of Bangladeshi mariners well-settled in Australia, Singapore, USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. We achieved tremendous success.

Many of our pioneers are no more with us. Unfortunately some of the younger mariners also left us – many of whom died in accidents. At this moment many mariners are fighting for life under poor health condition. The Corona-virus has made life miserable for those afloat. It is a time for prayer and reflection.

The BMMOA has endorsed and supported a call for observing a day (Friday, 8th May, 2020) for prayer and remembrance. It is requested to all Bangladeshi mariners, wherever they may be, to please express our gratitude (thanks giving/ shukur guzar) to Allah for all that He has given us. Please remember all mariners who are no more with us and pray to Allah to grant them peace in heaven and also to pray for those in ill health for their quick recovery.

We must not forget two key institutions which played very important role in the development of maritime sector in Bangladesh – The Marine Academy and the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation. We would also like to remember the private sector ship-owners – past and present. They contributed to the development of trade and commerce, provided much needed employment to seafarers and above all opportunity to young cadets to start their career.

Please pray for a better future and also tell others to pray. Thank you.   

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