The Rockport Navy Committee is making lemonade out of lemons.
After receiving the disappointing news that Rockport would not be getting a Navy ship in conjunction with the Harvest Festival weekend, October 17th & 18th, the Rockport Navy Committee (RocNavCom) switched to plan Bravo. They invited sailors from the USS Constitution and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to Rockport in hopes of keeping the fledgling tradition of hosting the US Navy alive.
CMDR Timothy Cooper, the Commanding Officer of the USS Constitution, has graciously accepted their invitation. He has authorized a replica of an 1812 gun deck complete with a 5,800 pound, late 18th century long gun to come to Rockport. A master gun team, in 1813 period uniforms, will be giving hourly demonstrations on T-Wharf Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The demonstration is open to the public free of charge.
From USS Constitution official site http://www.history.navy.mil/USSconstitution/index.html
MMCM Thomas Mills, Command Master Chief at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PSNY), has enthusiastically accepted the RocNavCom’s invitation on behalf of approximately 100 sailors. These sailors include crewmembers of submarines presently at the PNSY, the USS Helena, the USS Oklahoma City and the USS Dallas and those assigned to the shipyard. They will bring with them a twenty foot scale model of a nuclear submarine.
For the past two years the RocNavCom and the town of Rockport successfully hosted Navy ships, the USS Boone in 2007 and the USS John L. Hall in 2008. The sailors participated is various sporting and social events hosted by several different groups and the RocNavCom. The RocNavCom is extending the same hospitality to the sailors visiting this year. None of which would be possible without the heartfelt support of town residents and businesses. The RocNavCom has worked diligently to include as many members of the community as possible, from the sailors playing kickball with the schoolchildren to visiting veterans at the local nursing home.
Saturday at 1:30 p.m. there will be a kickball game with the sailors open to Rockport schoolchildren who preregister, aged 6 to 16. The children and sailors will be divided into mixed teams. All are welcome to come cheer the teams on at Evans Field.
Saturday at 6:30 p.m. the Rockport police/fire softball team will play against a PNSY team. The public is welcome to watch the action at Evans Field’s Parisi diamond. Dress warmly!
Sunday morning 8:00 to 10:00 the public is invited to enjoy a pancake breakfast with the visiting sailors at Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant, 25 Main Street. Admission is $5.00, all proceeds go to the RocNavCom. Advanced tickets can be purchased at the Stoffa Gallery, 41 Main Street or through Roger Lesch and Sharon Grandmaison. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
The RocNavCom is looking for volunteers to man the drop-in center at the Roy Moore Fish Shack Restaurant, 21 Dock Square on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The RocNavCom relies on the generosity of the community. Baked goods, a favorite of the sailors, are needed for the drop in center. For more information, please go to www.rocnavcom.org or call Sharon Grandmaison at 978-290-1393.
Rockport Navy Committee Member David Arnold , retired Commander US Navy, paints the cannon in from of the Community House on Broadway in preparation of the visit of a USS Constitution master gun team. The cannon is from the USS Constitution and was donated to the Sandy Bay Historical Society in the 1930s by descendants of Richard Tarr.
Please pass this email on to spread the news!