The crew of Jewel of Muscat met up with school students who gave them a hero's welcome.

Many a fairy tale that children are fed with are related to the sea; featuring heroes who personify courage in mastering the waves and conquering the winds to pursue their dreams in ships.

Rousing welcome

So, for the students of Rajagiri Christu Jayanthi Public School at Kakkanad, it was like those heroes coming alive when the crew of “Jewel of Muscat,” an 18-metre-long wooden sailing ship modelled on a ninth century cargo vessel and the wreckage of which was discovered in 1998, visited them last week.

The school, with students waving national flags of Oman and India, accorded a rousing reception to the crew of the vessel led by its captain. A cultural extravaganza featuring various art forms followed. M. C. Roy, Director of Opal Asia Logistics and the agent for the vessel in Kochi, gave the students a very informative power point presentation on the vessel.

Emil George, a Std IX student, prepared an excellent power point presentation highlighting the various phases during the development of the project and the course of the vessel's voyage. Bulletin boards based on the vessel, its construction, crew, and voyage were also put up. Close interaction between the students and crew was the major highlight of the visit.

“The Jewel of Muscat” is a very interesting project that made history come alive and gave us a glance into the past,” said Ditty Manoj, of Std VIII. Aparna S. Stephen, another Std VIII student, was amazed at the knowledge that the ship was rebuilt with the same materials as that of the ninth century ship and without the use of screws and nails.

Fr. Varghese Kachappilly CMI, the Director of the school, and. Saji Varghese, the Principal, found the event a great learning experience for students and faculty alike.

Poetic tribute

Poems on the vessel composed by the school's budding poets Megha Mary Biju and Kripa Robinderdeep were recited during the reception. “It was a very exciting moment for me when I was asked for a copy of the poem and to recite it on the occasion,” said Kripa Robinderdeep.

The Captain and the members of the Crew were presented with miniature models of the Jewel of Muscat designed by the students. As a return gesture, a photograph of the vessel signed by the captain and the crew was presented to the school.

The programme culminated with a group photograph of the students and school authorities along with the crew, which was followed by a multi-cuisine lunch. Fr. Jose Alex CMI, Director Rajagiri Vidyapeetham was also present.