The 86th Members’ Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 26, was a great success with milestone members from numerous generations in attendance joining Mystic Seaport trustees who were also holding their annual fall meetings. In addition to presentations regarding the fiscal year 2015 (completed April 30, 2015), we acknowledged approximately 50 members who were celebrating anniversary years ranging from 25 to 70 years as members. Yes, 70 years as a member, but more on that later. Some 900 of our 16,000 members celebrate a milestone this year, and we were happy to make presentations to those who could join us, some from quite far away.
FY 2015 was a great success by all accounts, and among other things it featured two of its own milestones that will long be remembered: the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan and the groundbreaking for the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle project with the new Thompson Exhibition Building as the clear focal point. For a complete accounting of FY 2015, please see the Mystic Seaport Annual Report.
Peter and Norma Stanford came to the Annual Meeting to celebrate their 70th year as members, one of three such members (although not attendance, the others were George Wendell and Thomas M. Russell). How remarkable! Let’s see…70 years ago I was…well, never mind. Their attendance gave us the perfect opportunity to make a presentation that has been on my mind for a few years now. Here’s the background: Peter Stanford, with loyal support from Norma, has been a significant leader over time in the maritime heritage community, making a significant difference to numerous maritime organizations with which he has been involved. It is not hyperbole to say that he is an icon in our field. As an example, Peter was founding President of South Street Seaport Museum (1976) and has long been one of the leading forces in the National Maritime Historical Society (now President Emeritus). There are countless other organizations in which he has been involved and which have benefited directly from his wisdom and passion. Mystic Seaport is certainly one such organization.
After Peter and Norma were acknowledged for their 70 years of membership, we presented Peter with the J. Revell Carr Award, given to an individual in recognition of his/her significant and enduring contributions to the maritime heritage community. The award is a perfect fit for Peter, and we were so pleased to honor him as the first recipient of this award. So who is Revell Carr? Well, that could be a long story too, and many of you know Revell or worked with him. Like Peter, Revell is an icon in the maritime heritage community. He worked at Mystic Seaport for more than 30 years, first serving as Chief Curator and then as Director and President for 23 years until his retirement in 2000. Revell was involved in virtually every maritime and preservation community, and admired for his knowledge and dedication. It is Revell’s dedication and leadership that we wish to honor by creating this award, and it will be presented to a deserving leader in the maritime community from time to time and as warranted. We congratulate Peter for receiving this honor, and we thank him for doing so much to promote and preserve maritime heritage. Three cheers!