Leading figures from the UK shipping industry, maritime academics and training officials, and seafarer unions and welfare organisations paid a fond farewell at HQS Wellington to Nautilus senior national secretary Allan Graveson, who retires at the end of March.
Mr Graveson – who served at sea between 1973 and 1993 – is leaving after 20 years of service for the Union, leading its professional and technical work at national, European and international levels. His role is being taken over by professional and technical officer David Appleton.
He trained at South Tyneside and took his cadetship with CP Ships, serving with the company until he obtained his Masters certificate in 1988. He then went on to work on a wide variety of vessels – including the Harwich-Hook of Holland ferry – whilst studying for degree in Business Studies and then an MSc in International Transport at the University of Wales.
In 1993, Mr Graveson came ashore and obtained a position as a lecturer at Warsash Maritime Academy, where he taught masters, officers and cadets. He rose to the post of academic head of the deck section, with responsibility for course content and design, incorporating SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW, before joining the Union in 1998.
His work has included serving as representative to the International Maritime Organisation for the International Federation of Shipmasters Associations (IFSMA), where he was deeply involved in such important initiatives as the 2010 Manila amendments to the STCW convention – helping to secure the long-awaited training and certification recognition for electro-technical officers.
As the European Transport Workers’ Federation representative to the International Labour Organisation, he contributed significantly to the adoption of The Work in Fishing Convention (ILO188) and to the publication of the ILO Guidelines for Implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Provisions of the MLC. Domestically, he played a pivotal part in the development of modern and relevant standards for the training and certification of UK seafarers as chair of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) technical committee and as co-chair of the National Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
Allan has given two decades of dedicated and devoted service, displaying unbridled passion and determination to serve the best interests of seafarers’ health, safety and welfare. He will leave a huge hole for all of us at Nautilus. His drive and determination, together with an absolute refusal to compromise on principles, are an example to us all and we’ll miss him deeply. Nautilus general secretary, Mark Dickinson