Boats blessed in local tradition

2015-12-01 06:00
 Bishop Geoff Davies (right) and other religious leaders bless fishing boats in Kalk Bay harbour during the Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday. PHOTO: nicole mccain

Bishop Geoff Davies (right) and other religious leaders bless fishing boats in Kalk Bay harbour during the Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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After 15 years, an age-old tradition in Kalk Bay has been reinstated.

This as a ceremony to bless fishing vessels took place on Sunday.

Started in 1977 by Bishop Geoff Davies – who then served at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church – the blessing ceremony became an annual tradition, explains Tony Trimmel, chairperson of the Kalk Bay Ratepayers’ Association.

The festival was previously held before the official opening of the snoek season on 30 November, although nowadays the snoek season is open year round. 30 November is also the feast day of St Andrew, the patron saint of fishermen, Trimmel explains.

The Blessing of the Fleet used to begin at the Fisherman’s Flats, and would follow a brass band in procession to the harbour.

However, it later “dropped off the radar”, Trimmel says, although numerous community members have requested it be reinstated.

“It’s about appreciating what we get out of the natural environment. So many make a living and feed many mouths from the marine environment and the Blessing of the Fleet is a way to give thanks and praise for that. It’s to not take without giving thanks,” he says.

Davies presided over Sunday’s multi-faith service, with leaders from various religions and denominations in attendance.

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