For the first time in the history of the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards, an organisation rather than an individual was named as Maritime Ambassador of the Year for 2021. Each year, this special award category is made to an individual who, in the opinion of the judging panel, has made an outstanding contribution to the maritime sector, over the course of their life and career. Previous winners have included Ian Higby (former Managing Director of Atlantic Container Line), Pamela Brown MBE (Director and Trustee, The Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Charity) and Dick Welsh MBE (former Director, Isle of Man Ship Registry). After an exceptional year, the unanimous decision of the judges was to do something a little different on this occasion and recognise the Royal Navy in this way.
The award was generously sponsored once again by Beech Group, with Managing Director, Chris Wainwright, making the presentation at the MMIA21 which was held on Friday 17th September 2021 at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield stadium.
Speaking prior to the award being given to representatives of the Royal Navy, Chris Wainwright said:
“In times of peace and conflict, to say the Royal Navy is vital to Britain’s prosperity, survival and success, is an understatement to say the least. They help to stabilise the seas, keeping the maritime trade that’s the lifeblood of our island nation flowing. Which we can all appreciate with the challenges we have all faced over the last two years.
“Our region has an incredibly deep and long relationship with the Royal Navy: Whether it’s the countless vessels built on the banks of the Mersey, to literally keeping our island supplied with food, fuel and armaments 80 years ago, or more recently the visit of the most powerful and advanced aircraft carrier in the world, HMS Prince of Wales, to Liverpool last spring, to the continuing support for our community with outreach projects, career and STEM programmes. They really are the best of British.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the Royal Navy, Commodore Phil Waterhouse ADC RN, Naval Regional Commander for the North of England, said:
“We are very humbled to receive this award which recognises the contribution that the Royal Navy makes to the broader Maritime endeavour. Moreover, it recognises the close and fruitful relationship between the Royal Navy in the North of England and sector operators and facilitators in Merseyside and the wider North West – it’s been a pleasure to be involved and a delight to see such meaningful progress over the past five years. Long may the relationship continue, particularly as we strive collectively to build back stronger.”
Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke, added:
“We are immensely proud of Mersey Maritime’s association with our partners in the ‘Senior Service’, the Royal Navy. Our region, and Liverpool in particular, has a deep and very personal relationship with the highly skilled men and women who come from all backgrounds and ways of life to excel at their roles within this most important section of our country’s armed forces. From the sacrifices made in countless conflicts over the centuries, including the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II which was commanded from the city, to the diplomatic, humanitarian and peacekeeping of today, we pay ongoing tribute to the values that run through our incredible Royal Navy friends. They are worthy winners of his distinguished award.”
The image above includes:
Chris Wainwright, MD Beech Group, Rear Admiral Iain Lower, Director Strategy and Policy, Rear Admiral Rex Cox, CE National Ship Building Office and the local team of Cdre Phil Waterhouse and Lt Col Guy Balmer – Naval Regional Commander and Deputy Naval Regional Commander respectively.