HMS QUORN Cemetery Workparty

March 10, 2014 in Dean's Blog

CemeteryA great job has been done by the men of HMS Quorn, a minehunter based in Bahrain. I had a request from the ship’s Captain for a volunteer workparty to do some work in the New Cemetery in Salmabad. The obvious area of attention was the War Graves area for those servicemen who lost their lives in the Gulf War and they have done a terrific job, weedingWar Graves (the green brought on by the recent rain) sweeping up leaves, cleaning and repainting the walls and clearing rubble. The before and after photos tell the story and I am hugely grateful to all the sailors and officers who have given their time and energy for this task. The work is not quite complete, but they want to come back on Thursday morning to finish painting the outside of the War Graves area walls and painting the front wrought iron gate in black and gold. HMS QuornHopefully the team photo with Kumar, our Cemetery Supervisor will receive some good publicity in the Navy Newsback in the UK. It is wonderful to see this special area of the cemetery looking shipshape. Thank you!

Contemporary Art in Bahrain

March 9, 2014 in Dean's Blog

LVDThis was the subject that Frances Stafford, a Senior Exhibition Specialist with the Ministry of Culture, made the subject of her Living Room Dialogue. Many of us, a week earlier, had attended the opening of the Makie(gold Japanese lacquer) Exhibition at the National Museum which Frances had curated. Contemporary ArtAs well as highlighting the various art spaces that there are in Bahrain, she spoke about a number of Bahraini artists and highlighted the vibrancy of the contemporary art scene. She spoke about her work and in particular what is involved in organizing a major international exhibition. It was a very stimulating evening.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

March 7, 2014 in Dean's Blog

Women PrayerAs usual the Cathedral was the host for this annual ecumenical service focussing on a particular country and prepared by women in that country. This year, appropriately, the focus was Egypt and Nancy Habib was the speaker. She highlighted the very important place Egypt had in both Old and New Testaments and in the early church period. The country is chosen many years ahead of time, rather like the Olympics so there would have been no thought of the radical changes that have happened in Egypt in these past few years. The theme was Streams in the Desert highlighting the importance of the River Nile in the nation’s life and as a significant symbol of spiritual renewal in a parched land.

Bahrain TV

March 6, 2014 in Dean's Blog

Ahdeya AhmedIn the aftermath of the bomb blast which killed three policemen I was invited to be interviewed on Bahrain TV. As I was given a choice of 15 minute slots, I imagined that it was only 15 minutes, but in the end it was an hour’s live programme, which included phone-ins from Bahrain and overseas – there was one call from an Arab specialist in London. I was a little anxious as what would normally be a twenty-minute journey took nearly an hour, but no-one in the studio seemed too anxious that I was late. The interviewer was Ahdeya Ahmed, who focused particularly on the pain that the families of the bereaved must be facing and how Bahrain should respond to the terrorist attack on the police.  At 11pm that evening, when I was sound asleep, my phone rang: a Bahraini friend telling me that I was on TV and then passing me over to the new US Navy Fleet Chaplain, who I haven’t yet met. The only other comment I received was an e-mail from Dubai from Helen Waddilove, the Administrator of Christchurch, Jebel Ali. Her husband was flicking through the channels and chanced upon it and they watched it to the end. As she wrote: we learn to lead our lives in the places we live.

Tricia’s 60th Birthday Bollywood Barn Dance

March 1, 2014 in Dean's Blog

BollywoodNearly everyone seemed to be happy to dress up for a “parish” celebration of Tricia’s 60th birthday and it was a joy that so many people were there from all sorts of walks of Tricia’s life: from the Churches, AlRajah School from the embassies, from the ladies who go bowling on a Wednesday morning and from friends made over our four and a half years in Bahrain. Barn DanceThe children were very much involved and had prepared a Bollywood dance. Barn dances are a wonderful way of mixing people of all  ages and many nationalities. Everyone excelled in the bring and share food that was brought. A big thank you to Fozia who masterminded many of the arrangements and to our faithful staff who helped prepare the hall for the occasion.