On 19 November, the Portsmouth Submarine Memorial Association (PSMA) held its annual business meeting at the Strawberry Banke Visitor's Center. After PSMA President Phil Munch welcomed everyone, he introduced Executive Director Jim Craig who presented the following items that are on his "wish list" related to the museum: During the winter shutdown period, Jim would like to:
1) Revamp the Gift Shop area to increase space for displaying merchandise,
2) Install new displays inside the museum back room,
3) Re-organize/re-use the Workroom space located off the museum's back room,
4) Explore possible sources of corporate sponsorship and ways to increase tour bus visitation, and
5) Investigate making a new video detailing the history of the Albacore.
Following Jim Craig, Acting Treasurer Ken Herrick addressed the state of PSMA's finances: Income from admissions decreased slightly from 2014 but net income from museum shop sales increased slightly. Operational expenses increased while maintenance expenses decreased. PSMA remains on solid financial footing with investments held valued at $1,678,527. Most of that money comes from the purchase of a corner of the Park by the State of New Hampshire in support of the Sarah Mildred Long (SML) Bridge (Route 1 By-Pass) replacement project.
Next, PSMA Maintenance Manager Jim Wakefield addressed the following items:
1) All the aged and deteriorated fluorescent light covers have been replaced throughout the boat. Those fixtures are being upgraded with new starters, light bulbs, etc. There is a plan to convert the main deck level lighting to be all LED.
2) Repairs to damaged Formica in the Wardroom have been completed.
3) The original HVAC system in the museum building has been replaced with a new, more efficient unit.
4) Three of the four deteriorated outdoor Audio Tour kiosks have been replaced. The fourth will be replaced in 2016.
5) The weed prone crushed granite walkway in the Memorial Garden is being replaced with paving blocks and will be completed this month. (FOA has contributed $3,000 toward the cost.) When available, pictures of the refurbished walkway will be posted on our website's Photo Galley.
6) PSMA intends to engage an engineering firm to design a support structure to display the Submarine Rescue Chamber which is currently undergoing refurbishment at the shipyard. A permanent display site is anticipated to be located in the grassy area across from the submarine rescue buoy just outside the Memorial Garden.
7) Repairs to the portside external hull plating are underway with the first group in a series of new plates in place. Work has ended for the year and will resume when warmer weather returns. See photo on next page.
8) Permits are in hand for the rebuilding of the basin. Final design and costs have been agreed upon with a contractor start the first week in January. Owing to the extensive amount of basin excavation work involved (thank you OSHA), access to the boat will be cut off for about 18 weeks. The museum building and the rest of the Park will be closed during this time except for maintenance projects.
9) The Winter Shutdown period began in December and will end mid to late April depending upon the completion of the basin rebuild.
10) Work by the State of New Hampshire to do the final alignment, grading and setting of permanent barriers on Submarine Way (formerly known as the Albacore Connector Road) is not expected to begin until late fall of 2016 when access to the old Sarah Mildred Long bridge is shut down as the contractor prepares to construct the access ramp to the new bridge.
Portside Wrinkle Removal
President Phil Munck introduced two proposed changes to the PSMA By-Laws. The first would allow for the addition of up to three Associate Directors who would serve for a maximum of three years. The second would provide the means to remove a board member. After some discussion and ammending, both were adopted by unanimous vote of those present and voting.
Nominating Committee Chairman Jim Wakefield reported the results of the committee's actions. The election of officers followed. Phil Munck was returned as President, Gerry Sedor as Vice President and Ken Herrick as Secretary. Paul McEachern and Joe Gluckert were returned as Board Members. If anyone is interested in joining the PSMA Board of Directors, please contact Jim Wakefield at either "firstname.lastname@example.org" or call him at (207) 363-2485.
Walt Murphy's correct mailing address is P.O. Box 218, Red Rock, TX 78662.
Rob Moran reported that his father, Francis Joseph Moran, Jr., departed on Eternal Patrol on 2 February 2000. His dad, who at the time was a Lieutenant Commander serving at the Naval Ships Systems Command, was assigned to Albacore as the Project Officer on Project Surpass and Slurry during the period of August '71 to April '72. He subsequently served as the assistant manager of the design team for the Los Angeles class submarine. Rob's uncle, John Moran, was an ERT2 while serving on Albacore during 1965-1966.
Wreaths Across America made a stop at Albacore Park on Saturday, 12 December. Additional pictures from the ceremony may be viewed on the Photo Gallery of our website "ussalbacore.org".
Wreaths Across America Display
Due to death and infirmities, only two of the original eight founding members of the Friends of Albacore Committee remain active. Thanks to Frenchy Tranchemontagne joining our depleted numbers, we continue to function as a group. However, two of us travel over 150 miles to attend the monthly meetings at the Park. One of the two will be relocating well out of driving range in the near future. Without the participation of several more Albacore shipmates, the FOA Committee will be forced to close up shop. There are a fair number of you living within a short drive of Portsmouth. We are appealing for your help in keeping FOA alive and continuing to contribute to the betterment of OUR boat and the Park. The drive is worth it. If you are interested or have questions about what FOA does, please contact Jack Hunter or just attend our next meeting scheduled for 1100, February 6th at the museum building.
If you are receiving this newsletter via Uncle Sam's postal service, it is because we do not have an e-mail address for you. In addition to the 179 copies sent out electronically, there are 40 more that go out as hard copy. We would prefer to be totally GREEN and deliver the newsletters electronically to save on paper and stamps. If you have recently had a change of address, telephone number, or e-mail provider or if you just have something you would like to submit for posting on the website, please pass that information along to Jack Hunter by email, snail mail or telephone.
Until next time, shipmate.
11 Admiralty Drive, Apt 3
Middletown, RI 02842-6254