Thirty three years ago today the SS Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with 29 souls. Here’s a very moving video about this tragic event.
At the recommendation of the Just One More Book podcast, last year I purchased the children’s book The Edmund Fitzgerald: The Song of the Bell for my then 4 year old son Luke who not surprisingly loves ships. (Listen to the podcast here) The book is beautifully illustrated and the authors do a great job telling the story of this magnificent ship and her loss. Death can be a challenging subject for young children but the authors handle it superbly. I highly recommend it.
The fateful voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Jenny Nolan / The Detroit News (Nov. 11, 1975)
US National Transportation Safety Board Report (PDF)
“In this same New Bedford there stands a Whaleman’s Chapel, and few are the moody fishermen, shortly bound for the Indian Ocean or Pacific, who fail to make a Sunday visit to the spot.” – Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville 1851
Yesterday my cousin Phil was elected president of the New Bedford Port Society at the Annual General Meeting. He’s a good guy who will bring some new energy to this 179 year old organization. I was also accepted as a member and look forward to helping any way I can.
The New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park website:
During the years 1828 – 1829 when the whaling industry of New Bedford was at its height, a number of the city’s leading citizens gave their deep consideration to the “character building” of nearly five thousand seamen employed out of this port. Accordingly, on June 2, 1830 they organized under the title of the New Bedford Port Society, for the moral improvement of seamen and later became incorporated under the following act: An Act To Incorporate The New Bedford Port Society For The Moral Improvement Of Seamen.
Across the street from the great New Bedford Whaling Museum, the New Bedford Port Society is responsible for 2 very important historic buildings located in the heart of the National Park: Seamen’s Bethel and The Mariner’s Home.
Continue reading New Bedford Port Society – Helping Mariners and Preserving Our History
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is one of my favorite maritime museums. I’ve written about it before as a place that launched my passion for and career in the maritime world. (The World’s Largest Ship Model). Today the museum continues to stir the imagination of future captains like my son Luke (above). It’s always a regular port of call for our family adventures.
Last month the museum appointed James Russell as it’s new president. Most recently Mr. Russell was vice president at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI and prior to that he was at the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, RI.
Last week the New Bedford Standard Times published an interview with Mr. Russell about his thoughts about his new job and the future of the museum. Here’s a link to the article: After two weeks on the job, new president of Whaling Museum has only positive impressions (October 12, 2008)
Under the former president, Anne Brengle, who moved on to the Coast Guard Foundation last year, the museum expanded significantly and really became a world class institution. Of course, with growth comes challenges and I’m sure the new president will have his hands full for some time to come.
We wish Mr. Russell good luck and great success in navigating this great museum into it’s next era.