Galveston Historical Foundation on Saturday presented the Spirit of Elissa award to F. Carrington Weems, a long-time supporter of Elissa, Texas' Official Tall Ship and the sailing vessel’s home in Galveston's harbor, the Texas Seaport Museum.
GHF President Dwayne Jones began the evening with a toast to Weems, the founder of the Elissa Maritime Society, then introduced Jamie White, director of the Texas Seaport Museum, and presented a video of tribute to Weems.
Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
Weems said he was overwhelmed by the honor. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“Mary Ann and I, when we go over that Causeway, we are in a different world,” Weems said, explaining that the island is an escape from the pace of Houston; but he added that the larger city to the north should contribute to the support of Galveston treasures, such as the Elissa. “Galveston needs to be supported by Houston.”
Weems led a special toast to Galveston Historical Foundation.
“The heroic job that these men and women did, led by Dwayne Jones, to deal with the ravages of Hurricane Ike,” he recalled. “GHF will always be here; and I have to say that GHF holds the historic keys to this Galveston city.”
Jones thanked the supporters of Elissa who attended the event, and asked for additional help. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“There are some challenging times for Elissa,” Jones said. “We found some things in dry dock this year that we had not anticipated, some electrolysis that has occurred since Hurricane Ike.”
Jones said the ship will require additional work.
“We're now in a phased project of looking at restoration of Elissa in a way we had not anticipated a few months ago,” he said. “So we are going to be talking to you all again soon about ideas about how to restore her and get her back sailing.”
Jones said for the first time in 17 years, Elissa is not having day sails in the spring. However, the ship is back in its berth at Pier 21.
“She’s back there, as an attraction vessel for people to see and visit for the next few months; and we are going to look for a long range plan to get her back sailing as soon as we can,” Jones stressed. “One of the things that’s really special about Elissa, and most of you know this, is she is a sailing vessel. She’s one of the few tall ships in the world that still sails; and that’s extremely important to us.”
Guidry News Service is the lead sponsor for the Elissa Dry Dock Campaign.
Visit http://www.galvestonhistory.org/1877_Tall_Ship_ELISSA.asp to learn more about how you can help in this effort.
For Lynda Guidry's recent interview with F. Carrington Weems. Click Here
From the Guidry News Archives: The Tall Ship Elissa participated in the Parade of Tall Ships at the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July in 1986. This report includes audio from a live broadcast on that day. More