The SIU recently helped formally celebrate the addition of a new Jones Act vessel.
Seafarers-contracted Pasha Hawaii on Aug. 9 hosted a christening ceremony in Oakland, California, for its containership MV Janet Marie. SIU President David Heindel was a featured speaker at the gathering; SIU Vice President West Coast Nick Marrone also attended, as did rank-and-file Seafarers.
As reported in the August LOG, the LNG-powered vessel was delivered July 11. In addition to the christening, the company also previously conducted smaller commemorations for the Janet Marie’s first calls on the ports of Long Beach, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii, respectively. During the christening, Heindel underscored “the significance of brand-new, state-of-the-art, American-built tonnage entering the U.S. fleet and sailing with American mariners. This is truly something to celebrate.”
He saluted the company’s “incredible commitment to our Seafarers, to our flag, and to our national, economic and homeland security. I know that our members are doing great work aboard this fine new ship, and George (Pasha IV, company president and CEO), you can count on us to continue taking good care of your mother’s namesake and to assure the delivery of her cargo.” Heindel also pointed out that “ships like the Janet Marie help our country maintain a pool of well-trained, reliable, U.S.-citizen seafarers who are available to work aboard military support ships as needed.”
The Janet Marie is the second of two new ‘Ohana Class, 774- foot containerships built at AmFELS in Brownsville, Texas. The company’s first vessel in the class, the SIU-crewed MV George III, began service in August 2022, becoming the first LNG-powered containership to call on the Bay Area.
Pasha Hawaii is a subsidiary of the 76-year-old, third-generation, family-owned company The Pasha Group, whose roots were planted in the Bay Area in 1947. The George III and Janet Marie are named in honor of the late parents of George Pasha, IV.
“These ships represent the legacy of my parents and the company they helped build from humble beginnings in San Francisco,” said George Pasha IV. “The success of our family business has always been based on ingenuity, striving for excellence and doing what is right for our customers and the communities where we live and work. Both George III and Janet Marie provide our customers with best-in-class vessels, while setting the standard for environmental stewardship when it comes to ship design and construction. Today is a very proud moment for the entire Pasha team and our family.”
Chris Connor, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities and board member of The Pasha Group served as emcee for the christening ceremony. Connor was joined by guest speakers Danny Wan, executive director of the Port of Oakland; Oakland Deputy Mayor Kimberly Mayfield; Heindel; and Pasha IV. Pastor Michael Ryan and Sister Judy Ryan, of St. James Cathedral in Seattle and siblings to the late Janet Marie Ryan Pasha, conducted a Catholic blessing, followed by a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kahu (Pastor) Kordell Kekoa of Honolulu. George Pasha IV’s sister, Mary Jane Pasha, served as the ship’s sponsor, overseeing the breaking of the champagne bottle.