Grace New Zealand Blog

Country Manager, Keith Ellis, moved to New Zealand late last year and has already embraced the Kiwi culture of community.

Keith who moved from China to head up Grace Removals in New Zealand recently signed up as a volunteer for the Wellington Coastguard and was fortunate that his first task was at the annual ‘Blessing of the Boats’ ceremony in Island Bay.

The ‘Blessing of the Boats’ is a Wellington tradition that began in 1933 after the fishing boat Santina and her crew of four were lost in a storm off Baring Head. Boats line up and sail around the back of the island and then one at a time pass by a vessel carrying priests who bless the boats and sprinkle them with Holy Water.

Keith and his fellow crew on the Wellington Coastguard were responsible for escorting a tender from the cruise ship Holland America Line through the heads and back again.

Approximately 40 boats participated in the event and the shoreline surrounding the ceremony was packed with watching families.