PAISC: New Building Update

The new Port Arthur International Seafarers' Center building is under construction now located at 401 Houston Avenue at the end of Procter Street. This is your source for updates on the building progress - check back often! If you have questions please feel free to call us at anytime!! (409) 409-982-4504

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Center opens Seafarers' Section!

At long last! The New Center is open!!!!!!

The Seafarer's Section is open. This includes:

  • Recreation area

  • Communication Room

  • Store/Office Area

  • Bar

  • Restrooms

Now don't run off too know there are several areas still awaiting funds for completion...........

This includes:

Meeting Room /Banquet facilities

Interfaith Chapel


Volunteer Workroom

Office for Chaplains

OH! And did I mention furniture???? Do you notice the chairs in front of the nice new TV donated by BASF? We sure would be interested in a couple of sofa's or Lazy Boys to go into this section. If you or a friend can assist with this, the seafarers....and our volunteers would certainly be grateful!

Our new Center sports a modest bar, for those seafarers who would like a drink or two...(no more than that,, thank you very much!) It will also be available for those who wish to rent our meeting room/banquet facilities.

Here, Robert Collins, our driver ... and Baptist Chaplain ...tempts our volunteer Frank to a drink.....Frank took the coffee! (Actually....Robert doesn't drink it's all in good fun!)

We've had a Cigar Evening and a Bike Blessing in the New Center, and this last weekend, we were finally able to make the official move from the Old Center to the New Center.

We hope you'll give us a call and let us show you around the New Center. There are many completed areas to enjoy, and several incomplete areas to view and assist with.

Thanks to everyone for the on-going support!


Interfaith Chapel for New Seafarers' Center

One of the more interesting sections of the Seafarers' Center, will be an Interfaith Chapel.

Interestingly enough, we did not know the significance of the area where we planned to place the chapel, until after we made our plans.

It turns out, that when the old depot was originally built, there was a section on the tower nearest the canal, where people of minority populations were made to go to get their tickets and wait away from the "whites". That was a sad time in our country, when people were afraid of cultural, language, religious, and really any visible differences.

Imagine how thrilled we were to realize that really by accident, our new center will be helping to mend old hurts. Now, instead of a place of division, the new center will house an Interfaith Chapel on that very spot. Not only will this be a place of prayer, but a place for people of all faiths to come and worship and reflect. What a beautiful thing to happen to a place which originally made people mistrust our we celebrate them!

The chapel is one section of the Center that is still undone. We are still needing funds for this section. We have already been given an Altar for the chapel....and what an altar!

A local mariner with Moran Towing, Mr. Bo Dumesneil, has created a one of a kind altar for us. It is created with 2 actual port holes, a propeller, and legs made to look like out-riggers of a shrimp boat. It is really quite awesome. Later, I'll put pictures of the completed item on line. For now, there are pictures of the altar under construction.

Bo and his wife Karen were able to get many local individuals and businesses in on this project. ... but I'd better not mention any of them until I have the full list...
If you, your organization or church can assist us with the funds for the chapel, or any other part of the Center, I welcome you to call me at 409- 985-4545 and let us give you a tour of the Center, and ask any questions you may have....and of course...we welcome your Donations!

Thomas the Tank Engine visits Seafarers' Center!

Well, I guess everyone wants to see the Old KCS Depot back in service. This Christmas Season, even Thomas the Tank Engine came to see the old depot in it's new form.

The KCS retirees onboard, enjoyed viewing the "old depot", though they had to be reminded that this is actually a new building. It gave us the opportunity to explain the mission of the Seafarers' Center to them, and to provide a few of the same services to them as we do to our visiting mariners.

Fr. Sinclair and all the other grown boys enjoyed his collection of trains which he showed inside the new center.
The little kids enjoyed watching all the "big boy toys".

Keep a look-out for the holiday train next Christmas Season. It is quite a thing to see...and now there's a nice warm Center to view it from!