Commissioner Pastore Honored

Commissioners Fred Sterner and Karl Pastore and SEMA Secretary Mary Anne McQuillan

Schooner Ernestina Commissioner Karl Pastore represents DCR on the Commission.  Recently he was awarded “DCR Friend of the Year” award.

SEMA, a member of The Massachusetts  Forest and Park Friends Network, nominated Karl.    Our nomination best describes why we feel Karl deserves this award.

NOMINATION: We at the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. (SEMA) met Karl Pastore two years ago when he was appointed director of the newly formed MassParks South and was designated as the DCR representative to the Schooner Ernestina Commission.  The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey is an unusual asset for MassParks.  The 120-year-old Essex built ship joined the State Parks system when DCR was formed 10 years ago.  Since 1982 her primary mission had been education until she lost her Coast Guard certification in 2004.  Karl quickly understood her importance and his enthusiasm grew as he learned of her history as a Gloucester fishing schooner, an Arctic explorer, a Cape Verdean packet, and of her years since 1982 educating thousands, a sovereign gift from the Republic of Cabo Verde to the people of the United States entrusted to Massachusetts.

Karl has listened to Ernestina-Morrissey’s many friends and clearly understands her unique history and special challenges.  He has worked to insure that the ship renewed her Dock-side Attraction certification from the Coast Guard and also that deferred but critical maintenance was completed.  Karl has also made sure the ship was staffed with a seasonal interpreter providing the DCR presence for SEMA volunteers to offer tours and “Open Ship” This year was special because Charles W. Morgan visited New Bedford for 10 days.  It was important that the Commonwealth’s Official Vessel be shipshape for the occasion and Karl provided the staff to work with SEMA volunteers both on ParkServe Day and the National Park’s “Lend a Hand” work days.   Then Karl worked with SEMA so that the ship could be open to visitors for 10 days while the “Morgan Homecoming” was going on.  Many visitors commented that the ship looked better than she had in a long time.  And we made many new friends who had their first introduction to this amazing ship and all her ”Lives”

The most exciting news is that Ernestina-Morrissey will be traveling to a shipyard soon to complete her reconstruction so that she can sail again.  Over the past two years Karl has worked with the Schooner Ernestina Commission and SEMA and Commissioner Murray on this project.

Karl has listened, has coordinated, has followed up on promises, has seen work done to completion, and has been a wonderful partner.  I look forward to the day when he can sail on Ernestina-Morrissey for the first time and see why we are all so excited about what he has helped us accomplish.

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Assoociation nominates Karl Pastore for Friends Network DCR Friend of the Year.  He certainly deserves it!