Commander Mark Mellett Captain L.E.Ethne
“Such was the welcome that we received in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil we would gladly travel another 30,000 miles to sense that support. Over 6000 people visited our Ship while we were in South America, we entertained over 600 children and held 150 events during our visit, and the services we delivered was quiet remarkable, the disposal of a major navigational hazard off the coast of Brazil, to the setting to work of a generator denoted by the people of Ireland to a small school on a small Island 200 kilometres from Buenos Aires between Uruguay and Argentina. That school was called Admiral Brown and it had no electrical power until we installed the generator. Not only did we do work on the diplomacy side but also on the economic side. We showcased Irish services and Irish Goods and you may find it interesting that the paintings you see here by the Mayo artist Gerard Sweeney who loaned us these paintings so that during our journey through out South America we can do our power bit for Art in the Navy. What I think was most remarkable was the support building on our strong links with Crumlin
Children’s Hospital when we got a new sense of our instutional responsibilities as an Instution of the State and our social responsibilities and it was great the Mr. Frank Feeley Deputy Chairman at Crumlin Hospital and Brendan Ryan came with us and gave us an introduction to a lot of Paediatric Hospitals in Argentina. Because we received so much support from Crumlin Hospital and inspired by the support from the Dublin Diocese, who gave us the presents that were left over after Christmas, which turned into an avalange of support from all over the Country. People as far away as Cavan drove down to our ship before we sailed, to bring toys that we could dedicate to children in South America. Our ships company responded to this support with enthusiasm we had over 600 children some very sick some terminally ill, some abandoned. We had them on the ship or we went to visit them”.
In his conclusion Commander Mellett praised his crew and his technicians, plumbers, carpenters, electricians who spent long hours and days helping the needy in South America.
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