ith NELL finishing its 10th anniversary
year and the American Lighthouse
Foundation (ALF), our parent organization,
celebrating its 15th anniversary, 2009 proved to
be a good year.
NELL members waiting to
climb Castle Hill Lighthouse
|NELL started out the new year
with our annual Lighthouses, Hot
Chocolate and You (LHHC&Y).
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel in Newport, RI with a
beautiful view of Goat Island/
Newport Harbor Light right
outside our windows. It was
bitter cold during our visits to the
area lighthouses. Nonetheless
all, including many first time
attendees, enjoyed the weekend.
One couple that will forever
remember this LHHC&Y is Alan Ells and Yadiira
Tarnilla. Upon returning to the hotel and thawing
out, Alan asked Yadiira to marry him. Yadiira
happily said yes.
As the weather warmed up in April and May, it was time for our scheduled Project H.O.P.E. work. The first lighthouse to receive an interior sprucing up was Long Point on Cape Cod. A small group of members spent Friday and Saturday nights at Race Point Lighthouse, allowing us to get to Long Point at low tide Saturday morning and return to Race Point just before high tide in the afternoon. After breakfast Sunday morning and a satisfying job well done, we departed Race Point and headed home.
As the weather warmed up in April and May, it was time for our
scheduled Project H.O.P.E. work. The first lighthouse to receive an
interior sprucing up was Long Point on Cape Cod. A small group of
members spent Friday and Saturday nights at Race Point Lighthouse,
allowing us to get to Long Point at low tide Saturday morning and
return to Race Point just before high tide in the afternoon. After
breakfast Sunday morning and a satisfying job well done, we departed
Race Point and headed home.
The next project was at Rockland Breakwater in
Maine. Members drove from New Jersey, New
York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts on
Memorial Day weekend to paint the walls, trim
and ceilings of the dwelling’s kitchen, living room,
and two second-floor bedrooms, as well as the
stairwell within the keeper’s house at Rockland
With the arrival of spring, came our long awaited
cruise and meeting in Newburyport, MA. It was a
dreary start to what proved to be an enjoyable day as
the sun started peeking out from behind the clouds to
grace us with its presence for the rest of the day. Our
cruise took us to 13 lighthouses as well as the
Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester Harbor, MA.
|As summer gave way to autumn, it was time for our
fall event. NELL cruised NY Harbor and Long Island
Sound, seeing Execution Rock and some
Connecticut lights. Since we were ahead of schedule,
we also saw Jeffrey’s Hook -- after we were
redirected by the U S Coast Guard
due to a sailboat race in NY Harbor
to help celebrate Henry Hudson’s
400th anniversary of the discovery
of the river bearing his name.
The following day, we held our fall
membership meeting, introducing
the first of NELL’s six special edition
Little Light of Mine Harbour Lights
sets -- Race Point Light, Cape Cod,
MA. This special edition, which is
consecutively numbered from 1 to
500, also sports the NELL logo on
its back stamp.
The weekend of September 19, we held our 10th
Anniversary Family Picnic at Lighthouse Point Park,
CT. Many members rode the antique carousel,
climbed the lighthouse, and walked the beach. The
weather was beautiful which helped make our first
picnic in many years a big success with many
requests to do it again.
Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse
In November, the American Lighthouse Foundation
celebrated its Fifteenth Anniversary Gala and
Volunteer Award Dinner. The event was held at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, ME. We all had
waterfront views, with some having a view of the
Nonantum Lighthouse. Many awards were given out
that night with each chapter of ALF having a
recipient. NELL member Walter Mills
received the Len Hadley Volunteerism Award for his hard work
as Membership Chairman.
The donations and grants that NELL presented this
year raised our lighthouse preservation total to an
amazing $134,402.88. Congratulations to all
members, past and present. Without your dedication
and hard work, this would not have been possible.
In addition, our Preservation Committee has been
working on the first grant for 2010.
As of today, our 2009 membership is 341 members,
slightly down from a high of 349 in 2008.
Next year holds the promise of being more exciting
than this year for lighthouse aficionados of New
England and beyond. Besides the events that are so
adeptly planned by Ron Bandock and Mike
Boucher, I am working on a “bonus” lighthouse trip
for sometime in the first half of the year.
We will also collaborate with ALF on a fundraiser to
run through the summer and culminate in the fall.