Retired seafarer and publican Tony ‘Mac’ has been facilitating Seafarers’ Link groups for several years now and he thinks they are a great idea.
Tony was a steward in the Merchant Navy for 20 years, from the age of 15, working with several different companies.
When he came ashore, Tony went to work in the licensed trade, firstly as a steward at an RAF club, then with a leisure group. Once he had his publican’s licence, he took on the management of a pub in Manchester. Later, he managed a club at a holiday caravan park.
Retiring in 2000, Tony started giving talks about life at sea and the White Star Line. “But now it’s all the Titanic – it’s taken over my life!” It was through this that he was asked to do Seafarers’ Link.
“On Mondays I help facilitate a phone group with other seafarers and on Wednesdays I do a group with fishermen in their 80’s. I do another with officers, who made it a career. I was just a rating!”
“People come from as far south as Whitstable and Felixstowe. We have two on the south coast and we had one in the Midlands. There’s a group from Merseyside and the Wirral, and I live near Blackpool. It makes it interesting that we didn’t all do the same jobs in the same areas.”