Site Network: Home | My Life | My News | Party | photograph

Logos Hope Ship Penang

THERE is probably a book for you on Logos Hope and make sure you find it before you leave — those were the words of ship captain Tom Dyer who welcomed guests to the world’s largest floating book fair that is docked in Penang.

And with some half a million books on board, one would be happily inclined to believe him.

Warm welcome: Tan (centre) cutting the ship-shaped cake donated by Wong. Looking on are Logos Hope captain Dyer (left) and managing director Walser (second right).
Logos Hope, which is run by non-profit organisation GBA Ships, opened its doors to the public yesterday — the first day of its month-long fair at the Swettenham Pier.

While some may remember the docking of the ship’s predecessor — the Doulos — in Penang in 2002, the Logos Hope is definitely the new and improved version of the floating book fair.

For one, ship managing director Gian Walser said, the area of the book fair is now air-conditioned, allowing visitors to browse the over 5,000 book titles in comfort.

The prices of the books are also very affordable, with many paperbacks going for RM8 to RM16.

There is a small Tamil, Chinese and Malayali section along with a music corner.

“It’s our aim to bring books to people at affordable prices.

“Being a non-profit organisation in which our crew and staff (who hail from some 50 different countries) are not being paid salaries makes it possible for us to offer books at very low prices,” Walser said, adding that the ship also had long-lasting relationships with several publishers.

Captain Dyer said Penang would be an important stop for the ship as about 100 of its 340 volunteers serving on board would be disembarking after finishing two-year stints.

“A group of about 80 will come on board here in Penang.

“Aside from that, we’re taken on two to three containers of books (that have been shipped in from places like the United States and United Kingdom) that are being processed for sale now,” Captain Dyer said, adding that each container weighed about 40 tonnes and contained some 50,000 books.

He also said the ship spent an average of 50 to 70 days at sea each year, making about 20 port calls around the world.

Former Penang Port Commission chairman Tan Cheng Liang, who represented Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong to officiate the launching ceremony, said the Transport Ministry had agreed to waive a percentage of port duties for the ship.

“We hope this will help Logos Hope reach out to more people in fostering hope, love and peace,” Tan said.

During the ceremony, Tan cut an over 100kg cake in the shape of the ship.

The massive chocolate cake, which had a built in steam releaser, was given to Logos Hope by Swens Wong — a local cakemaker who had read about the ship’s good deeds.

Also seen helping out with the cake distribution was Matthew Lee, 23, who is one of over half a dozen Malaysian volunteers on board Logos Hope.

“I got on the ship in Sri Lanka in mid-June for a two-month stint.

“It was a bit of a culture shock for me at first (mingling with people from so many nationalities), but I quickly got used to it,” said the mechanical engineering graduate who works in the pantry.

Penang is Logos Hope’s first stop in the country.

From here, the ship will make her way to Port Klang, Kuching and finally, Kota Kinabalu before heading for Singapore.

The ship is open to the public at the Swettenham Pier from 10am to 10pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1pm to 10pm on Sundays until Sept 25.

It closes on Mondays. Entry fees are RM1 per person. Children under 12 can enter for free but must be accompanied by an adult.

This copy from the star