Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shipping Insurance Firm Reach Half Way Mark In Their Appeal

1 million Pound Mark Passed in Just 3 Months
Shipping News Feature

UK – Back in June we told the fascinating story of how specialist shipping and transport insurers Thomas Miller, decided to celebrate their 125th anniversary by attempting to raise around £2 million to renovate the neglected vessel ‘Chauncy Maples’ so she could act as a medical centre for the villagers living around Lake Malawi.

Now we are delighted to report that the company have already reached the halfway point with the announcement they have already passed the £1 million mark. Thomas Miller is the sponsor of the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust, a UK charity which is renovating the 19th century ship as a clinic to provide essential medical services to the lakeside people of Malawi. The Malawi Ministry of Health, the owner of ‘Chauncy Maples’, has committed more than £250,000 to the project, actively planning the renovation work in conjunction with the contractor.

Hugo Wynn-Williams, chairman of Thomas Miller, commented:

"Reaching the halfway stage in only three months since the project launched in June is a truly magnificent effort by our community. I have been genuinely surprised by the very positive response not just to fundraising, but also the desire to participate in all sorts of ways. Since the outset we have wanted to celebrate our anniversary with something better than a party - this has exceeded our wildest dreams.”

Mark Holford of Thomas Miller explained how the funds raised thus far were already being put to good use:

“In the past two weeks, work has commenced in Malawi in stripping out the ship in preparation for major hull work in a dry dock in October. Our next step is to persuade the world's maritime manufacturers to donate the £800,000 worth of parts necessary for the renovation work.”

Eighty-five per cent of the £1 million raised so far has come from Thomas Miller, which donated £250,000, and its business community. Sixteen donors have given at least £25,000 each to become Founders of the project, including five of Thomas Miller's transport clubs: UK P&I Club, UK Defence Club, TT Club, Hellenic War Risks and ITIC.

Three UK law firms have also become Founders: Ince, Holman Fenwick Willan and Reed Smith, which considers Thomas Miller to be its oldest client with US law firms also significant donors, led by New York law firm Blank Rome. Another Founder, the broker Miller Insurance Services, is taking a ‘charity’ slip around Lloyd's and other London underwriters which has produced £65,000 so far.

For further information on the Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust, please see

Photo : The ‘Chauncy Maples’ as she looks today.