Remembering Newt Kirkland

posted in: News, Volunteers | 0

Independence Seaport Museum and the Philadelphia maritime community are remembering the life of Newt Kirkland. Newt passed away on Monday, September 15, 2014.

After logging countless miles in ocean racing yachts, Kirkland shifted gears and began building wooden boats in 1993 at the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild. He later joined Workshop on the Water, the traditional boat shop located at Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since joining the Seaport Museum, Newt worked tirelessly to uphold the tradition of wooden boat building, passing his skills on to students and volunteers in the shop.

Visitors to the Seaport Museum loved interacting with Newt as he worked on various projects. He left an indelible impression on visitors and brought a great deal of personality to the Boat Shop. He will be missed by all.

Independence Seaport Museum will host a memorial service for Newt in the Workshop on the Water at 3:30 p.m. on October 18, 2014. Light refreshments will be served, and guests will have the opportunity to speak if they choose.

Please RSVP to Gina Pickton at

Gazela departs for Baltimore

posted in: Events, Gazela, News, Trips | 0

Gazela departed Penn’s Landing shortly after 10 a.m. for the Star-Spangled 200 in Baltimore. We expect to anchor at the mouth of the Sassafras River tonight for arrival in Baltimore tomorrow. Photo shows sails up on the Delaware River.

Another dory shout-out

posted in: News, Repairs | 0

This time in Tony Souza’s own words on Old Salt Blog:

To enhance Gazela’s role as a 113 year old living museum teaching ecology and the preservation of natural resources it is important to show how fishing was done in the days of the long line where only the larger fish were taken, one at a time, in a way that preserved the fishstock. So in 2011, Tony Souza of Ottsville, PA, a volunteer member of the Gazela crew decided to build a new dory in his home workshop. Dory, ‘37’, joined the ship in May 2011 and has been with the ship on its visits to ports on the east coast ranging from Norfolk, VA to Nova Scotia.

Letter from our new Guild President

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Al Ponessa addresses the Guild as our new President:

As I start my tenure as your President, I want to personally thank Eric Lorgus for his service to the Guild, having served over 10 years on the Board of Directors and over 6 as President. His legacy is great with untold time, effort, financial contributions and leadership. He has kept the Guild vibrant and the ships the centerpieces of the organization. We will miss his leadership, but wish him well in his future business and personal endeavors. I know he will continue to support our efforts and I also know I can rely on him for counsel and advice as we move forward. Good Luck, Eric. We wish you the best.

I the near future we will have an all hands meeting. Date, time and location will be announced. To support that effort, the Board is meeting with some members of various committees and groups to solicit ideas and concerns. This meeting will be held this weekend. I will keep you posted on developments.

In the meantime, remember Gazela 43 next Tuesday, July 8th. There are some great auction and raffle items. This is also a great chance to brag about what you do for the guild among ‘civilian’ guests. Thanks to Marston Black-Simmons and Bob Wombwell for pulling this together. You can get tickets at the following link Gazela 43. Looking forward to seeing you there and thanks to all the volunteers for the several successful dockside events we have had so far this year.

Al Ponessa
President, Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild

Changing of the watch

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Our tireless, hard-working Guild president, Eric Lorgus has announced his plans to step down soon from his post after more than ten years of service to our organization. We wish him all the best as he refocuses his efforts toward his business, Great Valley Industries. He will be replaced by our good friend and vice president, Al Ponessa. Read Eric’s letter to the guild after the jump. Continued

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