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“TANNA” the movie invitation from MSM Vanuatu – 7:00pm, Fri 1 Sep 2017

Greetings from Medical Sailing Ministries 



As Mission 3 gets underway to the islands of Pentecost & Maewo, for those in Melbourne (or able to get to Melbourne) – plus their friends and family of course – we extend an invitation to a very special Vanuatu Night on Friday 1st September.

After receiving personal permission from the director and producer Bentley Dean, we are really pleased to be able screen the film TANNA and invite you along!

Details can be found in attached flyer   and below:

VANUATU NIGHT – TANNA the movie & much more

A night of entertainment, fun & inspiration

Friday 1st September, 2017 7.00 p.m.

North Ringwood Uniting Church, 14 Dickson Crescent, North Ringwood

Evening highlights…

– Acclaimed movie Tanna

– Latest news from MSM Mission 2017

– Uplifting stories from “The Clinic Files”

– Last minute “Supporters Tour” invitation

If possible … RSVP to Rob at  … if last minute, then just come along anyway. The more the merrier.

Donation at the door.   


View the trailer (and extra bits) here …


Producers Background to the making of the film Tanna

Tanna Movie – What do the tribe members think?

Long God yumi stanap

Sunday 9 July 2017 [See also post for Saturday]
Port Vila Sea Wall, Efate

In God we Stand … it’s on the Vanuatu coat of arms, the currency – everything official and Government related.  The constitution refers to the country and the laws it passes, as being grounded in the Christian faith and today this was seriously reaffirmed when the newly elected President of the Republic of Vanuatu participated in a service of Dedication and Commissioning at the Paton Memorial Church.


It was a big afternoon, with the man himself, Paster Obed Moses having been a Presbyterian minister (of 30+ years standing) up until just a couple of weeks ago – talk about one serious promotion!  In fact Paster Moses was living in a church house next to the central office up until his official inauguration the other day at parliament house, when a big black car came and took him off to his new residence.

Paster Moses, now His Excellency President Moses, either ran or attended many of the church meetings I’ve attended over the years here in Port Vila and he was well aware of the work we have been doing through Medical Sailing Ministries in support of the people of Vanuatu

The service started at 2:00pm – (not all that long after the usual morning service had wound up) and to say it was well attended would be an understatement – I’ve never seen the place so packed, with rows of seats outside as well.  There were speeches, singing, prayers, but most importantly the address from President Moses, who reaffirmed the need for national unity, peace, honesty at all levels of society, the importance of remembering the vision and struggle of independence and a reminder that this is a Christian country, with laws and values based on the teachings of Jesus.

Given the political turmoil of the past couple of years (read: 14 members of parliament out of a house of 52 sent to jail for corruption) President Moses seems just what the country needs, the challenge to deliver, effectively starts tomorrow.
Around 3:30pm the service was winding up and as the President and his wife filed out, closely followed by the church leaders and other dignitaries, I leaned over to Barry Stewart and wondered out loud “I wonder if they do the hand-shake thing with so many people here, it’ll take hours”

Well guess what … they did the handshake thing!  And 30 minutes later we were still sitting in our seats waiting for our row to get its turn to stand and shuffle to the middle aisle for the final push to the exit and the personal handshake with His Excellency.  Barry Stewart was just in front of me and having been one of his patients, Paster Moses, sorry, His Excellency President Moses, warmly shook Barry’s hand and thanked him for coming.  My turn next and with a big smile and a strong handshake The President said, “hello Rob, when did you get back?” … “Ah … yesterday and congratulations, well done, we wish you every success!”

So there you go, quite definitely the ONLY president of any country in the entire world that knows my name !!     Quite apart from knowing we’d sailed off with a medical team around 2 weeks ago and were due back about now!   I felt really privileged.
(as fond as I am of taking photos, even I thought a selfie on the steps of the Paton Memorial Church – just me and the President – would appear a bit crass?!)

I got back to the boat around 4:30pm and after a day without an internet connection – apparently you need credit in your account, which I was able to remedy with Barry’s technical assistance – I sifted through a collection of emails before heading up to Deb’s place overlooking the bay for a group sunset and pizza night; something of a farewell too as many people are flying home over the next few days – Doug, Tami, Antonio, Martin, Gerry and Annette, with Daniel and David leaving today.

Having been such a dynamic and talented sailing and medical group – brought together through a pretty random, self-selection-volunteer-application-process – it’s somewhat sad and anticlimactic to have everyone drift away, back to their usual, normal lives.

If I was getting poetic I’d say it was a bit like a “sandcastle on the beach of life” … a thing built at one particular time, and for one particular purpose, only to be washed away by the incoming tide; leaving only a memory … plus of course a stack of photos, videos, blogs, Facebook posts and comments etc etc.  Although in this case hopefully a lot more – with a swag of very satisfied dental, medical and optical patients – plus the all-important Oral Health Survey data … 154 participants from 7 separate locations on 4 different islands!

While I was mixing it with the President up on the hill, Peter and (Dr) Doug made their way over to the Boat Yard to meet “the Germans”, check out the underwater damage to their boat, while also dropping into the yacht club there.  They spoke with the marine surveyor and in order to complete his insurance assessment, of the German’s damaged yacht, he indicated he’ll be coming over for a chat at some stage.

It’s a full moon tonight.  The air is still, it’s cool (by local standards) and very quiet.  It’s just Peter and me aboard at the moment with new crew, for the second mission due in the next few days.  Tomorrow it’ll be case of continuing the clean-up and starting the sorting and restocking for the next team – the show must go on !

Smooth seas, fair breeze and Long God yumi stanap

Rob Latimer

Graeme Duke – Doctor Gadget of the South Pacific

Please pray for Graeme and Sue Duke as they complete a week-long stay in Port Vila. 
Graeme’s purpose on this, probably his 9th “Tour of Duty” to this small developing nation, is to locate and install a swag of much needed medical equipment at the Port Vila Central Hospital. 
Equipment salvaged by Graeme, donated by Box Hill Hospital as part of their recent re-fit and transported by Rotary in Geelong earlier this year.
Read about it in the Vanuatu Daily Post
Graeme’s daily blog makes for very interesting reading.  
Just click the link …

MSM Member Update – April 2017

Greetings from Medical Sailing Ministries

We trust you find the  April 2017 MSM Member Update   of interest and welcome any comments or feedback you might have.

Just 30 days to cast off !


Blessings to you


Robert Latimer & Mike Clarke

MSM Co-ordinators, 

29 Wonga Rd, Ringwood North, VIC, 3134

Vanuatu MSM Volunteer Update – latest news 22/3/2017

Greetings MSM Volunteers – both Medical & Sailing,
A big thank you to those who have already confirmed their participation in this year’s mission.  
The latest Volunteer news is available to download.
The various stages of the mission are starting to fill up and I’ve included a summary of how we stand with each, (in the Volunteer Update) in case you were wondering which team to join.  
In most case we should still be able to get you aboard for your chosen mission.
The Volunteer Application form can also be downloaded, but if you’d like a Word version, just sing out …
I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, it would be a great assistance to our planning if you could send through the written confirmation of your participation asap; even if further information needs to be sent through at a later date.

Latest MSM Mission 2017 Volunteer Application & Guide

We have just returned from a very successful 8 day “Test Sail” with a “survivor” shot attached FYI, featuring  (l-r) me, Mark Stephenson, Matt Bryant, Edith & Bruce West and Skipper Ian (Johnno) Johnson
Our journey took us from Westernport to Refuge Cove, then an overnight stop at Hogan Island, before spending a couple of nights at the ever-popular Deal Island. 
The boat maintenance-list is now a bit longer, but as they say, better to find out now than out at sea. 
The much anticipated Volunteer Application & Guide can be downloaded and a very big thank you to everyone who has already indicated a desire to come aboard!
I’ll be sending out more specific communications shortly to those who have made a firm commitment.  But in the meantime, could I encourage everyone who is interested in joining this years mission (even those who have already indicated interest) to complete and return p 4-16 of the attached application (ASAP)
You might also consider passing this message onto others you know who might be interested.
And of course get back to me if you have any further questions.  A copy of the overall Mission Plan 2017 can also be downloaded.
All the best
Rob Latimer & Mike Clarke

What next in North Efate?!

First they get the BEST Public toilet, now a police prison cell.
Interesting article about Paunangisu and North Efate …

Chimere, Port Welshpool 7 Jan 2017, View from above

My business partner Sitparan did some filming with his drone-camera on Saturday 7 Jan, when we we had the Folks Afloat day-sail out of Port Welshpool.

He edited some of the highlights which can be viewed below.

It was certainly a beautiful day for it and he did a great job
Thought you’d enjoy a look

MSM Member Update – Dec 2016 Edition

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

thank you for your ongoing interest, encouragement and support of the work being done in Vanuatu by Medical Sailing Ministries and others.

We trust you find the December 2016 MSM Member Update of interest and welcome any comments or feedback you might have.

In conjunction with the 2017 MSM Mission to Vanuatu, we are having another MSM Vanuatu Supporters tour in October 2017. Click to download 2017 Vanuatu Supporters Tour flyer.

Chimere is currently sailing in Bass Strait. Click here to track her progress.

Blessings to you for a safe and joyful Christmas

Robert Latimer, Barry Crouch & Mike Clarke

MSM Co-ordinators, 

29 Wonga Rd, Ringwood North, VIC, 3134



Just 2 more sleeps and it’s on again … Friday 11 November

70s Music, Nostalgia & Variety Night – It’s on again … Friday 11 November

Call now on 0417 390 245 to book your place – or to book your table (for groups of six or more)  Just 2 sleeps to go.

That’s right, it’s back by popular demand …   the 70s Music, Nostalgia & Variety Night  – Friday 11 November in support of next years Medical Sailing Ministries (MSM) Vanuatu Mission 2017.

Thanks so much for your interest, encouragement and support and we look forward to keeping in touch with Vanuatu “Member Updates” as the planning for MSM Mission 2017 hots up in the months ahead

As they say in Vanuatu

Lukim Yu and Tank Yu Tumas  (see you later & thank you so much)

Rob Latimer & Mike Clarke
MSM Coordinators, Melb 

PS  This video was prepared for the earlier 70s night, but it features some of the work being done in Vanuatu by MSM…