At a reception hosted by Consul General Arne Sivertsen on 16 November in Aberdeen, station manager Erna Christie was honoured for her outstanding services rendered to Norwegian seamen.
16/01/2006 :: Present at the reception were crew members from ships, family/friends of Erna, shipping companies, port authorities, the honorary consulate in Aberdeen, representatives from the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (Erling Isaksen), and the Norwegian Seamen's Church (Ole Dagfinn Sky and Jostein Handal).
It all started back in 1977 when Erna was employed by the Norwegian Government Seamen's service as a local assistant. The institution as such was closed down in 1990, but the Norwegian Maritime Directorate decided to maintain the welfare work among seamen in Aberdeen and Erna was then appointed station manager to take this work forward. Still, to day, she is doing the same job and still going strong.
Aberdeen harbour is very busy with 10-15 daily calls by Norwegian ships. Erna's work also covers Montrose and Peterhead. She also keeps in contact with a number of oil installations by phone.
Her work is multifaceted. Here is a handful of the tasks that Erna undertakes:
- keeps the club in Regent Quay open as a meeting place for seamen and other Norwegians.
- calls on ships and offer services like supply of local newspapers, books, organise shopping/sightseeing tours, sporting activities, offer sales of videos
- keeps contact with harbour authorities, Seamen's Mission, seamen's organisations.
Consul General Arne Sivertsen pointed out that Erna's work over all these years was an extraordinary contribution which went beyond the call of duty. He presented Erna Christie with a diploma from H.M. King Harald V stating that she had been awarded H.M. The Kings Commemoration Medal in Gold.
The medal was instituted in 1906.
Consul General Arne Sivertsen and Erna Christie.