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Conferences aren't all business. A great feature of Nautilus General Meetings is that members from all three of the Union's national branches can come together and get to know each other.
The 2023 Nautilus General Meeting was held in the Hilton Hotel on the Liverpool waterfront, and we took advantage of this wonderful setting to organise a maritime history night at the end of the first day. The second day culminated in an enjoyable formal dinner where we honoured members and staff who had made an outstanding contribution to the work of our Union
Historic setting for Union history launch
To celebrate, members and guests gathered for an evening event at the Liverpool Maritime Museum.
Speeches were given, toasts were made, and a huge round of applause greeted author Andrew Linington when he read out extracts from the book.
A deep dive into the Old Dock
After the conference business closed at the end of the first day, members were treated to a special private tour of the Liverpool Old Dock.
This interesting archaeological site is hidden beneath a shopping centre near the Hilton Hotel, and the visitors were taken down to see where the city’s first commercial dock was constructed in 1715.
Filled in over later years to enable the construction of the Victorian docks visible today, part of the Old Dock has recently been excavated, and highlights of the underground visit include the entrance of a secret passage that used to lead up to a castle.
Rewriting Women comes to the General Meeting
Before the launch dinner for the new Nautilus history book Pulling Together, members were given the chance to get up close to another history project that the Union took part in this year.
As featured in the September/October Nautilus Telegraph, Rewriting Women into Maritime History is a cross-industry project that tells the untold stories of women in maritime – including Nautilus members past and present.
In September 2023, the project staged a major exhibition at the International Maritime Organization, and reproductions of some of those displays were donated to Nautilus and presented during the General Meeting history evening at the Liverpool Maritime Museum.
Contributors to Rewriting Women were invited to the Pulling Together launch dinner, and the role they played in the Union's story was celebrated alongside the history book – with a funny and moving speech by 1970s engineer officer pioneer Marion Pettigrew Sambridge really bringing the house down.
Making money at the Maritime Book Tombola
Throughout the General Meeting conference, members and guests enjoyed having a go at the Maritime Book Tombola organised by the Nautilus Communications team.
The books were all good-as-new publishers' review copies of titles previously reviewed in the Nautilus Telegraph, and to win one, all you had to do was make a donation to the Nautilus Welfare Fund and pick a number from the lucky dip bucket.
Thanks to the wonderful generosity of all those who took part, general secretary Mark Dickinson was able to announce at the awards dinner that the tombola had raised £500 for the Nautilus Welfare Fund.