A NEW angel has joined the seafarers club on Queen Victoria Street.
Melva Stone, 68, a Member of the Order of Australia, is on deck after spending most of her life raising awareness and funds for non-profit groups in WA.
Having lived and worked in the Pilbara for more than 20 years, Ms Stone was appointed the first female president of the royal flying doctor service in 2000.
She was the first female resident of Newman and co-author of Red Dust in Her Veins, published 2008.
She told the Herald over a cuppa she’d wanted the flying angel club to be seafarers’ preferred home away from home. Wasn’t it already?
“Yes, but there is huge potential here,” she says, surrounded by workmen and stacked furniture.
“We could expand the site.
“We have 30 rooms but we can accommodate more. We provide transport from the wharf, and work with agents who prefer to have seafarers stay here, they are isolated in hotels.
“There is more camaraderie here.”
Seafaring runs in Ms Stone’s family—her stepdad was in the navy, her aunty was a radio operator in the war and her brother is a skipper who spent 23 years building his own boat.
The club, which employs three paid workers and about 30 volunteers, mostly seafarers, celebrates its half-century in 2016.
Its origins date back to the British and International Sailors’ Society in 1818 and Mission to Seafarers in 1856.
by CARMELO AMALFI