2017 Peter G. Bernard Award Recipients

This year's Peter G. Bernard Volunteer Award was presented to both George and Grace Couperus who have been volunteers for The Ministry to Seafarers of the Christian Reform Church for over 20 years. George and Grace would move to Montreal from Trenton Ont for up to six months at a time to serve as the hospitality couple to the seafarers at the Mariners House of Montreal.  They now continue to visit anywhere from 2 weeks to a month at a time.

In the words of their proposer – “Not only do they serve the seafarers with kindness and respect and with genuine care but they use their other talents to help where ever they can.  Even now, although they are over 80 years old when they heard that we were without volunteers during our upcoming move to our new facility they have once again stepped up to help out.  Dedicated, caring, hard working and dependable - George and Grace are a fine example of what it means to live a life of service.”

On behalf of the seafarers, thank you George and Grace.  

Sign up for the Peak Challenge 2017

Grouse Grind

The International Sailors Society Canada is holding an industry Peak Challenge in North Vancouver on Thursday, June 29th on the Grouse Grind® at 1500 hrs.

We encourage companies to put together a team of three to compete in this inaugural event in  celebration of Day of the Seafarer.  This event is about building awareness and reminding us all that #SeafarersMatter.  The ISSC provides annual grants to seafarer centres across Canada and we encourage teams and individual climbers to help by collecting pledges in support of the challenge. Tax receipts will be provided for all donations over $25.

Please note that as this is a trial year, the number of teams will be limited so register early to avoid disappointment.  If you don’t have a team, we invite you to join us at the top of Grouse Mountain for our awards ceremony and barbecue. Complete the registration form.  All teams and completion times will be listed on this website. 

We hope you can join us and thank you for your continued support! 


Day of the Seafarer 2017

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Join us in celebrating the Day of the Seafarer this Sunday, June 25th.  View the IMO Secretary-General's video message for Day of the Seafarer 2017 under the theme Seafarers Matter


The International Maritime Organization is encouraging ports and seafarer centres from around the world to show how they help support seafarers. Ports and seafarer centres are encouraged to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them.  For more information visit: http://www.imo.org/en/About/Events/dayoftheseafarer/Pages/Day-of-the-Seafarer-2017.aspx

The International Sailors Society will be holding an event on Grouse Mountain on Thursday, June 29th in celebration of the Day of the Seafarer.  More information to follow.


Apply for a 2017 Maritime Bursary

We are now accepting applications for the ISSC Maritime Bursary created in honour of long serving director and corporate secretary, Sue Hanby.  Two bursaries of $1000 each are available this year. The bursary is open to students who are enrolling in marine related studies with a recognized educational institution, however, please note that preference will be given to students who are preparing for a sea-going career.

To apply for an ISSC Maritime Bursary, complete the Bursary Application Form and return it to our offices by mail or email a PDF to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To qualify for the 2017 Bursary, applications must be received by the ISSC secretariat no later than July 28th, 2017. 

Submit nominations for the Peter G. Bernard Award 2017

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The ISSC Board of Directors established the 'Peter G. Bernard Volunteer Recognition Award,' in 2015 to recognize Peter's notable contribution to the Society as a member of the ISSC Board from 1977 to 2014 (37 years).  

This annually awarded honour seeks to recognize others that generously contribute their time to support the welfare of seafarers.  We are seeking nominations of volunteers who have shown an exemplary commitment to improving the welfare of seafarers in a Canadian port.

Deadline for this year's nomination is May 15, 2017. Send in your vote for volunteer of the year through our ISSC Nomination Form.


Count down to our 2019 Peak Challenge