NEW BUILDING ARRIVES
On a cold and windy day in December 2009 the new Museum building arrived. Packed on over a dozen skids, the two tons of steel have been safely stored in a warehouse just a few miles from the Museum. Ground breaking for the foundations will take place in the spring. Although we have raised the money needed to build the "shell", we still need additional funds to complete the interior.
STEVEN W. MacCAFFRIE
Former Seabee and Corresponding Secretary, Steven W. MacCaffrie, 65, died October 17th following an extended illness. He used his knowledge as an engineer and construction supervisor to guide and direct the development of the Museum and was frank with his opinions. He was a key motivator in the museum’s current drive to build a main museum building. MacCaffrie was a proud Navy Seabee veteran of the Vietnam War serving in Delta Company of Mobile Construction Battalion ONE THIRTY THREE. He was active in SVA and in his community. For his full obituary, click HERE. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Museum Building Fund.
PROVIDENCE COLLEGE 'GIVES BACK' TO SEABEES
On September 5, 2009 a group of college freshmen and their Site Leaders from Providence College spent a day at the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park. It was part of the college's freshmen orientation Building Bridges, Day of Service program. The mission is to encourage college students to continue to serve the community while they are enrolled at Providence College and beyond. Teams of students fanned out across the state to help non-profits and municipalities. At the Museum they painted, did lawn work, cut grass and began a retaining wall along our service drive. The Museum was pleased to be a Community Partner and is grateful for this assistance. We hope the students got to appreciate Seabee heritage during their stay.
On August.18, 2009, the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park lost a great friend and loyal supporter: Richard A. "Fess" Parker, EQCM, USN (Ret.). Fess, 74, was born in Arizona. He served for 32 years in the US Navy Seabees and retired as Command Master Chief. After retiring from the Navy, he worked at Electric Boat for 15 years. He was a past National Commander of the Seabee Veterans of America and a 40-year member and Past President of the Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 42. He was a plank owner of Island X1, Davisville, Rhode Island. Fess was a driving force in the creation of the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Museum.
MONUMENT TO FALLEN SEABEES OF GULF WARS
On July 31, 2009, over 200 people gathered to observe the dedication a memorial to the Fallen Seabees of the Gulf Wars on the grounds of the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park. Centered on a 50-foot flagpole, a memorial wall includes a plaque for each of the Seabees killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The first flag was raised, lowered, folded and presented to Frank and Sharon Toner or Narragansett, RI, whose son LT (jg) Francis Toner IV, was killed in March 2009 in Afghanistan when a militant dressed as a Afghan police offer opened fire.
The new memorial was made possible by Quonset Development Corporation that donated the pole that originally served as the regimental flag pole of the 27th NCR when they were home ported at Davisville; Commodore Joe Albanese, 7th NCR, who arranged for the services of members of NMCB 27 (Res) and as president of a Massachusetts construction company provided most of the material.
In recognition of his key role, Commodore Albanese was presented with a RI State Proclamation that read: "The Rhode Island House of Representatives hereby extends appreciation to men and women of the 7th Naval Construction Regiment, Newport, Rhode Island and Mobile Construction Battalion 27, Brunswick, Maine in recognition of their efforts to create a public memorial at the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park in North Kingstown, Rhode Island to honor the memory of the men and women of the U.S. Navy Seabees who gave their lives in defense of freedom during the Gulf Wars."
Speakers included RI Treasurer Frank Caprio, who praised the work of the Seabees who daily put their lives on the line to protect American freedom. Col. Larry Gallogly, 143rd Airlift Wing Commander for the RI National Guard that is stationed at the nearby Quonset Point Airport, is the son of a WW-II Seabee. He said, "I wonder if my father would ever know how much the Seabees have helped me and thousands of other soldiers. He’s smiling down now."
Keynote speaker Rear Admiral Scott A. Weikert, Deputy Commander of the FIRST Naval Construction Division; spoke about the current role of Seabees throughout the world. "It’s easy to forget that we are a country at war," said Weikert, and that many have plans for the weekend, "plans made without consideration to a ‘ruthless’ enemy whose only objective is to kill every American. So let’s take a moment and thank those Seabees and soldiers for letting us still be able to make those weekend plans."
NEW BUILDING CLOSE TO REALITY
As the Seabee Museum & Memorial Park's fund raising efforts to build a modern museum building move forward, a significant milestone has been reached. In July, New Boston Funds presented the Museum with a $50,000 check. This recognized that the Museum's fund raising efforts qualified for the matching grant six months before the deadline. A new, pre-engineered building has been ordered and by next year we should see this new arched steel structure forming an ideal complement to the Museum's seven vintage Quonset huts. The Museum's Building Committee worked with Powerbuilt Steel Buildings, Inc. of Virginia Beach. The new, modern Quonset style hut will be 64 foot wide by 120 foot long.
Although the actual
building has been selected, we still need to raise
funds. We have made great progress even in this
challenging year. If you have donated, we thank you. If
not, or if you can donate more, please take a look at
BUILDING FUND page.
In recognition of these historic events, the State of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations has declared
March 5, "Seabee Day." This will help to preserve the
heritage to present and future generations.
To read the full Resolution, click
SEABEE MUSEUM RECEIVES 2009 GRANT FROM RHODE ISLAND COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES
On February 9, 2009, the Rhode Island Council
for the Humanities (RICH) announced a major grant to the
Seabee Museum and Memorial Park.
The Museum will use the grant to create educational
signage for exhibits. This will give the public a better
understanding of the historical importance of the Seabee
Museum and Memorial Park. The signage will also help
tell the story of the founding of the Seabees to new
generations of visitors.
In addition, the three unused windows in the first hut have been transformed into a window on the past. The photos of WW-II era Seabees in the windows came from the Museum's collection. North Kingstown Sign*A*Rama owner Joe Lamastro generously created and donated the three aluminum panels.
CONSTRUCTION REGIMENT BEE DEDICATED
MEMORIAL TO FALLEN NMCB-58 SEABEES DEDICATED
On Sunday, September 7, 2008, the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park, North Kingstown, RI, dedicated a memorial to four Seabees killed in Vietnam forty years ago. The memorial is located on the grounds of the Museum in North Kingstown. The Navy Seabees who were honored were CE3 Cress P. Salazar of Albuquerque, New Mexico, killed at Cat Lo, Vietnam on July 7, 1968; BUL2 Gregory P. Hensley of Butte, Montana, died at Dining, Vietnam on July 23, 1968; SW3 John S. Staff of Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, died on June 7, 1969 at They Neon, Vietnam; and BUN Robert A. O’Connor of Chicago who was killed at Camp Shields, Chu Lai, Vietnam on August 12, 1969.
“Providing this lasting
memorial is the least we could do for these men who gave
all in the service of their country,” said Nick Frisch,
President Elect of the Museum.
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