Plant seeds, bear fruit

Tuesday, 22 November 2016   ::   Spain

hopd20561The crew of Logos Hope was pleased to welcome the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo Batlle, to the ship’s official opening in the port of Las Palmas, Spain. Director Seelan Govender (South Africa) told the president he was excited to return to the island because Las Palmas was the place where he asked his wife to marry him.

Mr Govender said that he had been back since, along with his wife and daughter, and on this visit they now have a younger son with them - but joked that perhaps he shouldn't return to the island in the future, because he has no plans to increase the family further!

President Fernando Clavijo Batlle told crewmembers that his community respects the purpose of the ship, and said, “The example that you have shown to us helps us to become better people.” Alluding to the port purpose statement for the ship’s visit to Las Palmas, ‘plant seeds, bear fruit,’ Mr Clavijo said, “I assure you that the seed that you are going to sow is going to give fruit, and fruit in abundance. You are a good example of the community that we want to build here in the Canary Islands.”

Captain Chris Hughes (UK) said that during a personal conversation with the president, Mr Clavijo shared that he heard of the ship’s visit from a close friend. The president said that he was so excited at the news that he told his staff, “Clear my schedule! I want to go to the official opening!”

Mr Govender gave the president a tour of the Visitor Experience Deck, and the president was surprised to see the prices of the items in the book fair. “How are you able to sell the books at such low prices?” he asked. Mr Govender explained that GBA Ships’ 40-year relationship with several publishing companies allows the organisation to acquire books at a discounted rate, offering access to knowledge at an affordable price for all who visit the ship.

The crew hopes that the excitement of their leader to revisit a place close to his heart, combined with the excitement of the Canary Islands' leader, will lead to many lives being impacted through Logos Hope’s visit to Las Palmas.