Sea History 122 - Spring 2008

Page 51

MUSEUM NEWS to take the con at the American Sail Training Association. Ocean Classroom Foundation (OCF) owns and operates three schooners, rh e Sp irit ofMassachusetts, H arvey Gamage, and Westward. Twen ty years ago, I mer Bert when I signed on a schooner as a green hand and he was the skipper. Bert is a fo rmidable mariner and he likes ro sail hard. H e kn ows how ro push a ship to get the maximum performance out of her for rhe conditions, and he did the same fo r h is crew an d students. In 1993, when Bert announced he was leaving the sea ro rake over m an age ment of the programs and ship's operations, it came as a huge shock to most everyo ne he knew. N o one could understan d it then , bur how lucky so many have been that he made that move. Since that rime, Bert has worked with Alix Thorne, president and fo under of OCF, and a couple of generations of "schooner bums," to create strong educational shipboard programs fo r students, while nor neglecting rhe care and maintenance of the crewmembers and their experience as well. As most p eople involved in wooden ship ownership and nor-for-profit educational programming could arrest, it is nor an easy job. Nonetheless, Bert Rogers has thrived and so have rhe sh ips and programs he has nurtured. His dedication is unsurpassed. Ocean C lassroom's loss is, of course, ASTA's gain, bur he has left O cean Classroom in a good place. They recen rly announced they have hi red a new

executive directo r, Jeffrey Parsons, whose credentials are too lengthy ro stare here, only ro say rhar he is eminenrly qualified and is expected ro rake O CF in some new directions, while contin uing ro support rhe programs and goals his predecessor has set

Captain B ert Rogers

up. Alix Thorne has stated that the transition is going well and rhar she and rhe rest of the crew there wish Bert and ASTA the best of luck, and rhar they are expecting great things. O CF recenrly moved its operations ro mid-coast Maine (29 McKown Sr. , Boothbay H arbor, ME 04538; Ph. 800-724-7245; . O ver at the American Sail Training Association, Bert has jumped into that organization ready ro work- they had been a full year without an executive director. ASTA chairman Mike Rauworth explained their decision in hiring Captain Rogers as executive director after a long search : "Bert is recognized as a visionary leader in sail train-

ing, with virtually the whole of his wo rki ng life in rhe field . H e was rhe original executive director of Ocean C lassroom Foundation, which grew ro a three-schooner fleer during his tenure and is now relocating from Rhode Island to Maine." ASTA is based in Newport, RI, and organizes sail training events across rhe country each yea r. Bert seeks to put ASTA on a steady course by keeping rhe focus on "people, ships, and programs," and by wo rking to make rhe organization useful and relevant ro rhe more-than 250 ships rhar are registered as member vessels. (ASTA, 240 Thames Sr. , POB 1459, Newport, RI 02840; Ph. 401 846- 1775; www. rallships. We at Sea H istory and the National Maritime Historical Society congratulate both organizations on their new leadership and wish Bert the best of luck with his new command. We look fo rward to working with ASTA and O CF to fur- DO'R ther our mutual goals.)


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