It was a great honour and a pleasure for me to be invited to participate in the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Odessa National Maritime Academy. In fact it was a double pleasure for it allowed me to not only visit this world famous maritime Academy but also to meet with the committee and members of the Nautical Institute of the Ukraine.
The Honorary Branch Secretary is Professor Vladimir Torskiy — a man of amazing enthusiasm and energy. I had been aware of the excellent work of Professor Torskiy for quite some time — since I have been regularly receiving my copy of the splendid publication Sea Review. However, I was truly overwhelmed to see at first hand some of the things he has achieved in the Ukraine branch of the Institute.
What became very clear at an early point was that the activities of the Ukraine branch and the role of the Maritime Academy were closely intertwined. The Academy provides very real and practical support and assistance to the branch. I could well imagine many branch secretaries around the world being most envious of the facilities and support provided to Professor Torskiy to allow him to promote the activities of the branch in Odessa.
Much of this support comes from another dynamic and charismatic individual — Professor Mykhaylo V. Miyusov — Rector of the Odessa National Maritime Academy. Rector Miyusov is man who oozes leadership qualities and is very clearly at the helm of the Academy and proceeding full ahead to success.
The enthusiasm and drive of Rector Miyusov can be seen in the eyes of every cadet as well as the academic staff who clearly share his vision of producing truly professional mariners of the highest calibre.
The days of the mighty fleet of the Black Sea Shipping Company may have passed, at least for the time being, and therefore the demand for seafarers for the home fleet is very much reduced. However, the Academy is producing high calibre cadets and officers for international ship owning and ship management companies.
This has a very significant, beneficial, effect upon the national economy of the Ukraine — bringing in substantial amounts of foreign currency.
The close cooperation and support between the Academy and the Institute branch can thus be understood within the concept of truly promoting professionalism. It being perceived and understood that a truly professional mariner is recognised and valued by employers and potential employers around the world and the standards are the Nautical Institute are a true representation of that professionalism. I was most fortunate to have had the opportunity to be given a guided tour of the Academy. This was most impressive indeed with modern and sophisticated navigation, cargo and power-plant simulators as well as a well equipped survival centre. Both cadets and academic staff wear full uniform and they beam with pride and confidence. I very much enjoyed participating in discussions about the future of shipping with a class of about 100 cadets. Their dreams and vision for the future were most positive and they deserve success in their future careers. They also seemed to welcome the opportunity to show off their ability with using the English language. Of course Professor Torskiy could not achieve all the success of the branch on his own — he is ably supported by an excellent branch committee and enthusiastic membership.
I came away from Odessa not only having been very impressed with the National Maritime Academy, its staff and students but also with memories of a very warm, friendly and welcoming group of individuals who I feel confident I can now call friends.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Professor Tosrkiy, members of the branch committee, branch members as well as Rector Miyusov, his staff and students for their warm welcome and hospitality the memory of which will remain with me. With best wishes to you all for a happy, successful and safe future.
D. Phil Anderson, BA (Hons.), D. Prof., FNI, Master
Mariner President — The Nautical Institute