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What do the Sea Cadets and easyJet have in common...?

...the latest Sea Cadets' training ship, the TS Sir Stelios, was named and commissioned in the presence of the man himself...


Well, they both have a Sir Stelios;  and Master David Johnson and I were recently able to make the acquaintance of both as - given our affiliation with the Sea Cadets - we were invited along to a ceremony at which the latest Sea Cadets' training ship, the TS Sir Stelios, was named and commissioned in the presence of the man himself.

We arrived at St. Katherine Docks near Tower Hill on a pleasant September evening to find a throng of people gathered on the dockside, enjoying lemon squash and cake, as befits an event including young people (though we were pleased to discover that more grown up refreshments were to follow!).

The TS Sir Stelios...

Tethered to a specially-constructed platform was the TS Sir Stelios, while on the platform, various dignitaries, including both Sheriffs-Elect and Lord Jeffrey Mountevans, past Lord Mayor and keen supporter of the Sea Cadets, joined the guest of honour, the other Sir Stelios (Haji-Ioannou).


Sir Stelios is a member of The Giving Pledge - an effort to help address society's most pressing problems by inviting the world's wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetime or in their will.  In order to fulfil this commitment, he set up the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation;  and, as he explained, once he’d done the usual of donating to his alma mater, etc., his thoughts turned to ways of helping people to do the things he enjoys.  Being a keen sailor, funding the building of a training ship to allow young people to experience the joys of life on the open waves seemed an excellent way to marry his love of sailing with his support of young people.

For those interested in that sort of thing, the TS Sir Stelios is a Rustler 42 yacht, joining the sister ship, the TS City of London;  both providing nationally-recognised RYA training for those wishing to gain qualifications and experience yacht sailing.  Post the ceremony, the two yachts were to travel in company back along the south coast to Weymouth, and are scheduled to take 12 young people to sea each week through to the end of the season, ensuring more young people take part in “adventures that will launch them for life”.

Back to the ceremony:  after a welcome address from the Sea Cadets' CEO, Martin Coles, and the official naming ceremony carried out by Sir Stelios and some young Sea Cadets, we had the commissioning and act of dedication by the Archdeacon of London, sang (or mimed along as suited!) Eternal Father, Strong to Save, the seafarers’ hymn, and were then all invited to   take a closer look at the yacts. It was   at this point that the Master and I   happened to coincide with Sir Stelios   who happily posed for photos!  


 After that, it was over to Lord   Mountevans’ erstwhile offices at  Clarksons Platou for official cake   cutting and refreshments, as we   mingled and chatted with the Sea   Cadets and made arrangements for   our joining them in the forth-   coming  Lord Mayor’s Show. [see the  Master's statement in the October  Newsletter, plus the Notices.]








Kanan Barot, Assistant