Hoping for an Exciting 2013 for Ernestina-Morrissey
SEMA President Britto’s Year-end Report
At this time of year, our mailboxes are often flooded with year-end appeals from the various organizations we support, including SEMA. This year, however, things are a little different here, and so we are not asking you for a year-end contribution.
We are preparing for a major capital campaign in the spring, which has been kick-started by the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation, led by SEMA Vice President Bob Hildreth. He announced earlier this year that the Foundation will provide $700,000 toward the repairs to Ernestina, with the conditions that SEMA will raise $700,000 in matching funds and that the ship will be operated as an educational enterprise.
And, there are more exciting developments to report:
• Through the generosity of SEMA’s donors, we were able to purchase a new foremast for the ship last summer, and the rigging is currently being repaired.
• In addition to the $700,000 challenge gift, other substantial donors from across the globe have come forward and expressed an interest in ensuring a sustained, lively (sailing!) future for Ernestina.
• The agencies and organizations committed to her stewardship (including DCR, the Ernestina Commission and the National Park Service) are working collaboratively and have made great progress this year positioning Ernestina to take advantage of funding and operational opportunities.
• SEMA recently developed a “Vision Statement,” which clearly articulates our plan for the ship. The main focus of the vision is that Ernestina will be an educational service provider in and around Massachusetts, reborn in the best way possible within the next two years.
Please visit www.ernestina.org to read the “Vision Statement” in its entirety and share it on your social networks.
Because of these developments, I feel more secure about Ernestina’s future today than I did three years ago when SEMA began this journey. While this is not an appeal, if you had planned to give SEMA a 2012 tax-deductible donation, we will most gratefully receive it at www.ernestina.org or by mail at the address listed below.
Thank you for your continued support and for being a voice for Ernestina, our national treasure.
Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season,
President, Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association
P.O. Box 2995
New Bedford, MA 02741
SEMA Vision for Ernestina-Morrissey’s Future
Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association Vision Statement
The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. (SEMA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with the purpose of raising funds to provide for the maintenance, equipment, manning, programming and operation of the Schooner Ernestina ex Effie M. Morrissey as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise.
On October 30, 2010, over 200 diverse peoples — from as far as Newfoundland and Philadelphia — sailors, Cape Verdean-Americans, civic and business leaders, educators and students convened at the New Bedford Whaling Museum to discuss the future of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey. The resounding consensus was that “something special happens” when you are aboard Ernestina-Morrissey; she is a “one-of-a-kind” historic ship that we cannot allow to deteriorate.
While SEMA’s main purpose is to raise funds, SEMA also plays an important role as a convener and voice for the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey’s various constituents. SEMA believes it is increasingly important, as the ship has increasing maintenance needs, that it is publicly known how SEMA envisions the ship’s future. SEMA offers a vision to help consolidate the various reasons why SEMA and many others are committed to supporting this historic vessel, despite the fact that the organization does not own or operate it. SEMA offers the vision now because time is of the essence – the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey needs attention quickly before her maintenance situation worsens.
The long history of this vessel reflects many facets of Massachusetts’ past and present from global maritime trade, fishing, exploration and science, shipbuilding, war-time service, to sail training and education. Indeed, the most recent active years of her history have been in educational service for students of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
SEMA’s vision is to see this unique function, as an educational service provider in and around Massachusetts, reborn in the best way possible within the next two years. SEMA feels strongly, based on information from maritime experts, that the wisest and most effective path to Ernestina-Morrissey’s rebirth is one that results in a ship that is actively sailing. It is important to SEMA and Ernestina-Morrissey’s many supporters that all her histories are honored in her educational service:
1) Grand Banks fishing schooner
2) Arctic explorer
3) U.S. Naval ship
4) Cape Verdean trans-Atlantic packet
SEMA believes that the critical, time-sensitive task of defining resources required for Ernestina-Morrissey’s restoration should encompass a thorough and skillful refit and concurrent development of the finest educational and sailing programs possible.
In the next six months, the following actions are necessary to produce SEMA’s vision:
1) A partnership (Memorandum of Understanding or similar document) where SEMA will have a voice regarding the use of the ship.
2) A convening of the various entities with an interest in the ship’s future, resulting in a proposal that will outline a repair and long-term maintenance plan as well as future educational uses of the ship.
3) Unearthing a large matching donation(s) to the $700,000 challenge gift put forth by the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation, presumably resulting from the aforementioned long-term maintenance and usage proposal.
There are difficult steps that need to be taken, but once we move forward, Ernestina-Morrissey will shine brighter as an experiential and inspirational beacon of Massachusetts’ global maritime heritage for generations to come.
Effie M. Morrissey’s “Record Run” Centennial
On December 10, 1912 Frederick William Wallace boarded the “Morrissey” for what would become her “Record Run” from Portland, ME and Yarmouth, NS.
“From the dock in Portland to anchor in Yarmouth, she had made the 200 mile passage in 20 hours – an average of 10 miles per hour. The mainsail and jib were on her for four hours of that period; for eight-and-a-half hours she carried foresail and jumbo only, and the last seven-and-a-half hours of the passage was made under foresail alone. Allowing for the time working our of Portland and into Yarmouth, the easy 25-mile jog from off the Lurcher into Yarmouth, the old hooker must have been travelling 16 knots at times. In the sea that was running, it took a stoutly-built and well-geared vessel to average 10 miles an hour under the conditions prevailing.” from Wallace’s “Roving Fisherman”
Wallace had his camera along as well as his notebooks and took some amazing photos of the voyage. Some can be found in the book “A Camera on the Banks”. An archive of photos and negatives is held by The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, NS.
Wallace also penned a ballad “The Log of the Record Run” “with the names changed to protect the innocent” which is still sung in chantey fests today!
This kind of history can’t be found in any replica, support the “real thing” today!
The holidays are upon us! How about the gift of music?
by the New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus and the Rum Soaked Crooks on Amazon.com. Proceeds benefit Schooner Ernestina.
Vote for Ernestina’s sake
This is a very important election. Not just in Massachusetts. What happens in Washington, DC is important for Ernestina. The Massachusetts’ Legislature is important for Ernestina, and the Congress, House and Senate is important.
Consider Ernestina when you choose your candidate, no matter where you live!
Ernestina Secure after Sandy.
All is well with Ernestina after the passage of Hurricane Sandy. I wish I could say the same for the Bounty. Many of Ernestina’s crew sailed on Bounty and know the missing captain, Robin Walbridge.
We all need to thank the Coast Guard for their work every day and especially for their heroic service off the Carolina coast that saved 14 lives.
Preparations have begun to erect the winter cover. That is the extra rail you see.
Ernestina Hosts Working Waterfront Events
The New Bedford Waterfront was “Working” all weekend as festival goers braved the damp weather to celebrate the “real thing”, a working harbor and the oldest fishing vessel, the famous Arctic explorer, the beloved Cape Verdean packet and exciting sea-going educator. Massachusetts Official Tall Ship, our own Ernestina ex. Effie M. Morrissey.
Ernestina volunteers and DCR’s Manny Silva welcomed over 600 people to tour the ship and enjoy the activities.
SEMA President Julius Britto answered questions and guided festival visitors to Ernestina from the information booth at Coast Guard Park.
Daisy Nell and Capt’n Stan visited on Saturday and shared stories and songs during WWF Story Time . Daisy’s two new children’s books and the accompanying songs were a great hit. The Stowaway Mouse and Rocky at the Dockside both feature Harold Burnham’s schooner Ardelle.
Our neighbors the Buzzards Bay Rowing Club introduced many to whale boat rowing.
Commissioner Fred Sterner showing the new foremast. He also explained all the work to be done before the masts can be stepped and the rig can be raised.
On Sunday, despite the damp weather, WWF Story Time presented Meghan Lapp on deck. Families joined Meghan as she read her children’s book Fast Friends about the Fire Island Ferries.
The Blessing of the Fleet was scheduled for Ernestina’s deck but the weather forced the ceremony inside the Ferry Terminal. After the formal ceremony the Very Reverend Constantine S. Bebis and the Very Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Avila boarded the New Bedford Fire Rescue boat to bless the ships around the harbor.
Sunday afternoon closed with a rousing presentation by the New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus. The Chorus has carried the songs of Lovely Ernestina to many festivals across New England this summer. Contact us if you would like to purchase a CD. Proceeds benefit Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.
We hope to see you next year at the 10th Annual Working Waterfront Festival!
Working Waterfront Festival this Weekend.
The Working Waterfront Festival showcases the New Bedford waterfront Saturday September 29 and Sunday, September 30 and
Ernestina is in the center of the action. The ship will be open for deck tours 11:00-3:00 each day.
will be reading from their new books on the foredeck at 12 noon and 2:30
and at 1 pm on Sunday the Blessing of the Fleet will be presented from Ernestina‘s deck.
This year’s theme is Fishtales: Fact, Fiction and Narrative Tradition
Stop by our booth at Coast Guard Park to sample some of Effie M. Morrissey/Ernestina amazing tales of fishing, exploration, voyaging and learning.
Thank you, Tom Lopes
Ernestina has lost a tireless supporter. In 1978, as Representative Tom Lopes, he was the primary sponsor for the legislation to create the original Ernestina Commission. 40 years later Tom Lopes, videographer extraordinaire, was still working to insure a good future for the ship.
Condolences to his family and everyone who loved him. He will be sorely missed.