A senior ship’s crew member with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has received a prestigious award for helping develop the career of young seafarers in the Island.
John Halsall was awarded the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service, presented each year to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to the maritime industry.
The state award was introduced in 2015 and is given ‘to those who are serving or have served in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets of the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands for exemplary service and devotion to duty, rewarding those who have set an outstanding example to others’.
John has worked for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for more than 22 years.
He joined as assistant bosun in February 1996 and was soon promoted to Bosun, a position he has held ever since.
John from Douglas said: ‘It is a tremendous honour and very humbling to be recognised in this way and a wonderful experience to share this accolade with my family.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said John has played an invaluable role in the career of young seafarers.
‘John has tremendous respect from within the Company and his peers and has always gone above and beyond his duty for the benefit of others,’ he explained.
‘He has encouraged and supported young seafarers who have joined the Ben-my-Chree and regularly takes time to make sure they are looked after and comfortable in their roles.
‘He has passed on his knowledge in many different ways over a number of years and it speaks volumes for his character that he didn’t actually ask for time off to attend the ceremony as he did not want to draw attention to the award.
‘It’s this kind of dedication for which John has received the Merchant Navy Medal and it is richly deserved.’