Sea History 121 - Winter 2007-2008

Page 10

NMHS: A CAUSE IN MOTION Eighth Maritime Heritage Conference, 9-12 October 2007, San Diego ith some 350 participants, the triennial Maritime Heritage Conference at the Maritime Museum of San Diego was the successful culmination of several years preparation-bringing together leaders in the field to share scholarship and research, chart new courses, and forge partnerships. Ian W. Toll, author of Six Frigates: the Epic Founding of the US Navy, opened the conference from the deck of USS Midway against the backdrop of the San Diego Embarcadero. Mr. Toll discussed the topic of his book within the context of world histo ry, reminding his audience that the maritime heritage of our country is inextricab ly interrwined in our culture and our history. The National Maritime Historical Sociery was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the conference and to host a gala reception for NMHS members and conferees aboard the deck of the 1863 barque Star of India, the Aagship of the host museum. NMHS members, staff, and trustees were well represented over the course of the threeday conference, presenting papers and chairing sessions: President Emeritus Peter Stanford and Sea H istory editor Deirdre O 'Regan


(above, 1-r) Lord Ambrose Greenway, Chairman of the World Ship Trust, author Ian Toll, and D r. Timothy Runyan, of NOAA's Maritime Heritage Program pose on the bow of USS Midway during the opening ceremony of the Eighth Maritime Heritage Conference. (below, 1-r) Among the NMHS officers and trustees who attended the conference were Bradford Smith, Philip Webster, Robert Kamm, and Ronald Oswald.



Leaders in the field of maritime heritage participated in the conference. (l-r) Quentin Snediker, Mystic Seaport, Paul Fontenoy, NC Maritime Museum, Dana Hewson, Mystic Seaport, Walter Rybka, Erie Maritime Museum, Jeff Nilsson, H istoric Naval Ships Association, Ray Ashley, Maritime Museum ofSan Diego, john Summers, Antique Boat Museum, and Channing Zucker, North American Societyfor Oceanic History. participated in a seminar on the role of records and publi cations; Dr. Joshua Smith discussed rhe NMHS reader he is authoring in a session on maritime education; Chairman Ron Oswald and fellow NMHS trustees Bradford Smith, Bill White, and Bob Kamm each chaired sessions on topics ranging from the maritime aspects of the American Revolution to submarine history, from the Age of Sail to San Diego's naval history. I chaired a session , "Building Tall Ships," which featured presentations by Dr. Ray Ashley, executive director of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and well-known chronicler of tall ships, photographer Thad Koza. Dr. Ashley was a gracious host, and the conference, spread across the decks and holds of four ships (USS Midway, Star ofIndia, ferry Berkeley, and SS Lane Victory), proceeded smoothly in every regard. The many sessions, so capably organ ized by Kevin Sheehan, the museum's librarian and archivist, and Robyn Gallant, director of public events, were intelligently organized and supported. Many thanks to them and to the rest of the MMSD staff and volunteers, who were always available to help and in good humor, despite the complex logistics they were managing behind the scenes. Lord Ambrose Greenway, chairman of the World Ship Trust, traveled to San Diego from England to present an award to SS Lane Victory, which had traveled down from San Pedro to participate in the conference. In a moving ceremony on board the histo ric Victory ship, speakers acknowledged the great debt owed to volunteers for keeping maritime organizations alive and their ships aAoar. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration celebrated their 200th anniversary with a major presence at rhe conference. Dr. Alex Roland, author of The Way of the Ship: America's Maritime History Re-envisioned, gave the concluding presentation aboard a dinner cruise ship, where a capaciry turnout relaxed after three days of papers and seminars. Ir was a fittin g event on the final night to allow conferees to enjoy the warm southern Cali fornia night air before returning home to, for som e, less ag reeable October weather. -Burchenal Green, President

SEA HISTORY 12 1, WfNTER 2007-08

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