QSHE Bulletin Vol.26

Healthy Living Sports has always been an integral part of the human society. Right from the beginning of human civilization to the 21st century, sports has played a crucial role in explaining and elaborating the terms like Team work, Leadership, Physical strength, Stress buster, Never-give- up-attitude, Positive thinking and above all the most important “practice makes the man perfect” attitude. All of the above mentioned behavioural characteristics are much required for seafarers on board. On M. V. “Houston Bridge” we all organised a Cricket Tournament and Table Tennis Tournament. These sports tournaments are found to be very effective as far as building a good team work on board at various levels is concerned. It resulted in development of a comfort zone between everyone and all are sharing their thoughts on various topics. These sports tournaments have proved to be an ice breaker between each rank, between different departments and among different nationalities. In the view of MLC 2006 where more emphasis is given on recreational activities and physical and mental health of crew members, 30 to 40 minutes of sporting activity every day is the perfect combination of both the aspects. One feels physically strong and mentally refreshed after playing any sport resulting in better quality of life on board. Apart from the individual improvement the most important outcome of these sports activities was that it enhanced the harmony and team spirit between crew members. Even though some weren’t good enough in particular aspect of cricket but everyone participated due to high motivation and developed their skill which could be summarised by a phrase, “A man who practices enough might still makes a mistake but a man who never started will never realize what was the mistake”. Finally the tournament was a grand success and we hope that this trend continues for the overall well being of all sailing staff not only on Houston Bridge but across the entire KLSM fleet. (Contribution from Capt Sameer Dhawan, the Master of HOUSTON BRIDGE) Volume 26 11 31st March 2014 Sports for physical and mental fitness O-Fuda Changing Ceremony on board (Capt Rajakumar, an MSI in Tokyo office, wrote about a ceremony that takes place every year. It may be interesting for seafarers from non-Japanese cultures. Strictly speaking, this small article is not concerning the health, but it would be good for you to know the meaning of the ceremony, for the small amulet, or “O-fuda”, in the altar on the wheel house which bears the company’s prayer for our seafarers’ healthy, safe and happy life on board. ) You might have seen the O-fuda which is normally placed on the Wheel House of our managed vessels be-ing changed during the beginning of the year. Please find some information for the benefit of our Non-Japanese Seafarers about this tradition. O-fuda (a charm) is a type of amulet or talisman, issued by a Shinto shrine/Buddhist temple, which is believed to give protection. It is made by inscribing the name of a kami and the name of the Shinto shrine or of a repre-sentative of the kami on a strip of paper, wood, cloth, or metal. The kanji written on O-fuda can be translated as "Evil Spirit Disperse". It is to be renewed yearly, be placed inside a small shrine (kamidana) in accordance with the way of en-shrinement which has been guided in the past by MSG. It is believed to protect the place and the occupants from general harm, accidents, fire, disease etc. You might have noticed two O-fuda are being renewed on board the vessel. One is from Kompira shrine (Kompira is the God of Merchant Sailors) in Kagawa Pre-fecture and Other one is from Zenpoji temple (Guardian deity of fisherman) in Yamagata Prefecture. They are the shrine/temple believed to be protecting our ships and seafarers from all evils throughout the year. For the safety of our vessels KLSM senior shore staff prays at these shrines every year and bring the O-fuda which are later sent to vessels. Old amulets are usually returned to the same shrine or temple they were distributed at so they can be disposed of properly. It is most common for amulets to be returned on or slightly after New Year’s. Throwing an amulet in the trash is also highly discour-aged but rather treated with respect. Usually they are burned. Burning the old amulet is meant to be a sign of respect to the deity that helped out throughout the year.