News from our chaplaincies

It was with great sadness we received the news of the passing of Henri Dammane in Nice. Henri has been a long time member of IACAC and attended many conferences  where he and Denise formed life long frirndships with chaplains from around the world. He served as President from 2007 to 2009 and hosted the 2008  annual conference in Nice. Henri was a devout christian and was laid to rest following a Requiem Mass at Saint-Joseph church in Saint-Laurent-du-Var on Monday March 27. Flowers were laid in the name of ICHTUS and IACAC. Our prayers and sympathy were extend to his daughter, Dominique and her family. May Henri rest in peace and rise in glory.


Our prayers and sympathy are also extended to  the Rev Romeo Dabee from JFK, New York, who sadly lost his mother over Easter. Her funeral service was held on the 15th April and our prayers were  with Romeo at that time. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.


Good news from  Rev Hanna Similä who has worked hard to establish a chaplaincy at Helsinki Airport in Finland. She has been able to establish an agreement with the airport management, Finavia, and celebrated the opening of a Quiet Room within the airport in January.  As the first airport chaplain in Finland she has attracted a large amount of media attention,(one TV interview, twice on radio and up to ten newspaper articles)  during which she has spoken of the great support she has received from her IACAC colleages. For this she is very grateful as she does not feel alone. During one interview she was asked what ‘Holy’ means to her. Her reply “ The trust that in the upper most control tower there is always someone who is awake and hears us” rings true for each of us. Hanna is an inspiration to us all and we look forward to hearing more about the development to the Chaplaincy in Helsinki.


The chaplaincy at Melbourne Airport has also attracted some media interest with a TV film crew spending five hours with members of the team filming a day in the life of the chaplaincy. The segment went to air as part of the daily news broadcast on the 1st of April. It can be viewed on the Melbourne Airport Chaplaincy Facebook page.


 Fr Gabriel Feyisetan from Lagos, Nigeria sends his greetings  and thanks very much for the Newsletter. He asks that God may bless us in our daily struggle to win the victory of glory and be among the family of saints. Gabriel went on to say,”May God guide and grant us the grace of Eternal Easter. Bless you all happy preparations for our next conference.  Greetings to our beloved colleagues, God bless you all. Have a blessed week and a blessed month”.


The team at Nairobi Airport gathered together for a day of fellowship and growth. Those chaplains who attended the Nairobi conference in person or online have many wonderful memories of the friendship offered by the Nairobi team. The Airport Chalaincy in Nairobi  is one of the longest existing airport chaplaincies in Africa and it is wonderful to see it going from strength to strength.

Major Melvyn B. Ackroyd

Greetings to you and to all who remember Betty and me from our days at Heathrow.  As you will recall, we retired in November 2012 after serving an extra 2 years before retiring.  It is always interesting to receive the IACAC Newsletter – thank you – and to catch up a little on what is happening in the IACAC world. After retirement I served as a hospital chaplain for 8 years before Covid got in the way and I had to stop frequenting the hospital because of my age and the danger being there imposed on me.  Unfortunately, getting back proved an issue mostly because Betty’s health has deteriorated and I didn’t feel it appropriate for leaving her alone for long periods of time.   I’m still doing a form of chaplaincy, visiting other retired SA officers with Betty in tow.    I’m also the Vice President of the Retired Officers Fellowship in South London and editor of their magazine.  So I keep myself busy! We have wonderful memories of IACAC. Betty joins me in sending our greetings. Major Melvyn B. Ackroyd