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Ernestina Update Dec 09

Ernestina Update - December 26, 2009

Dear Friends of Ernestina ,

I hope you are all enjoying your Holidays. Many of you have responded to our appeal to match the Challenge. Thank you! We have met the $5,000.00 challenge from Chuck Smiler but SEMA needs more donations to meet Bob Hildreth's challenge of $10,000. You can mail your check to:


P.O. Box 2995

New Bedford, MA 02741-2995

We now have the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts

as our fiscal sponsor. They can accept secure internet donations for us at DONATE

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Programming activities for 2010

Programming activities

The Programming Committee established by the Commission and led by Laura Pires Hester has begun discussing the need to restart and expand programming in advance of the Ernestina sailing and even if the vessel is not available in New Bedford. Because there is no full time staff, the committee will try to coordinate a series of events and possibly even restarting of regular education programming on board or relating to the Ernestina. Some financial resources are available for education programs. The idea of paying someone to plan and coordinate such programs has been raised recognizing the need to define the scope and function of such a person. Ideas are welcome.

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Nov 21 Workday productive

We had 20 people at the work party on Saturday, Nov 21 to scrape & prime the aft bulwarks and help take some equipment off the ship in preparation for yard work. Steve Swift helped Manny in winterizing the ship's systems and Fred & Fred worked on reefing the seams on the aft cabin.

Mary Anne McQuillan's picture

SEMA announces fundraising challenge

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Assn, Inc.
November, 2009
Dear Friend of Ernestina,
Since Paul Brawley, former Executive Director and Annie McDowell, former Ship's Accountant have been discharged due to the severe shortfalls in the State budget, I will be keeping you apprised of the ship’s status. Some members of the Schooner Ernestina Commission and some volunteers have formed the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc. The purpose of SEMA is 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. Our goal is to raise the $3,000,000 needed to rebuild the aft section of the vessel and refit her. SEMA is committed to the ship’s receiving full Coast Guard sailing school vessel certification as soon as possible so that she can return to serving the Commonwealth as she has in the past. Once we have achieved this goal we will continue to support the vessel as needed. SEMA has applied for 501 c 3 non-profit status and expects to receive the determination from the IRS in January, which will be retroactive for 2009. We do have a Certificate for Solicitation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and can accept donations.

Mary Anne McQuillan's picture

Schooner Ernestina Commission

Chapter 6, Section 182A. Schooner Ernestina commission; membership; term; compensation; meeting.

Chapter 6, Section 182B. Powers of Schooner Ernestina commission.

Chapter 6, Section 182C. Schooner Ernestina commission to be placed in department of environmental management; annual audit; home berth.

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November Update

Key Dates:

Programming Committee Meetings: , Thursday, November 19 and December 10, 5-6:30 p.m. at the National Park Visitors Center in New Bedford

Commission Meetings: Friday, November 20 and December 11, 1-3 p.m. at the National Park Visitors Center in New Bedford

Volunteer Day: Saturday, November 21, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Dear Friends,

As many may already know, effective Friday, October 30th, Annie's and my positions have been eliminated along with 35 others within the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) due to the state's revenue shortfall. (see links below.) click on "read more" on next line.

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"Set the Mainsail"

Discouraged? Not Me!
It is easy to get discouraged about losing Paul and Annie, but think about what the boat has been thru, and these are jut a few of the stories.

I was on board in 2002 when the keel dropped down in LI Sound - we ran pumps and with help from another Coast Guard pump, we got back to Greenport and secured the boat. We got the keel refastened and were back sailing after a month of hard work refastening things. Not easy.

When Ernestina left Cape Verde for the US in 1976, it was dismasted. They towed it back, built new masts and did a lot more work on the boat,, and sailed to the US in 1982 were it was given to this country. Not easy. Click on "read more" in the next line below.

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OH NO !!

This was a bad week for the boat. The state of MA has been doing layoffs because of budget problems and Ernestina's office was eliminated. Both Paul, the executive director, and Annie, the office manager were cut. This leaves Ernestina without an office or a director. One of the DCR's carpenters will look after some of the boat maintenence. There can be no fund raising without someone to raise funds, or even answer the phone or mail. There is no one to organize activities such as volunteer work days or boat visits by school children.

We will find out more at the Schooner Ernestina Commission meeting on Oct. 23rd. Click on "read more" below

Welcome Home Ernestina! - May 6, 7 and 9, 2009

Schooner Ernestina returns from Boothbay, Maine, to her home port in New Bedford on May 9, with stops in Gloucester on May 6 and Boston on May 7.

Come see the extensive work done to the forward half of the ship. Celebrate her return and contribute to her rebirth with musical and other fundraising events. Paul Brawley, Executive Director of Schooner Ernestina, and Harold Burnham, master shipwright who supervised the work on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will be on hand at each port to talk about the work and the future.

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Back in the Water

Ernestina was relaunched and she is floating peacefully by the dock in Boothbay.
Congratulations to all who worked (in many ways) to get the front half redone.

Ernestina Floating Again