Fairwell to Kay Ellis

Kay Ellis, Gloucester, MA

Kay Ellis, Gloucester, MA

Kay (Bonaventura) Ellis, 65, of Gloucester passed away at home on March 2, 2016 after a yearlong battle with ovarian cancer. Kay was the loving wife of Tom Ellis whom she shared 37 years of marriage.

Kay was born in Beverly, MA on October 22, 1950 to the late Louis and Margaret (Larkin) Bonaventura.

Kay grew up in Beverly and graduated from Beverly High School in 1968. She studied at UMass Amherst and graduated in 1972 with a BA in Sociology. Kay spent most of her life in Gloucester.

Kay’s husband Tom always dreamed of building a schooner to help bring history alive and introduce tourist and locals alike to the amazing wonders of Gloucester. Tom was the dreamer, but Kay made it happen. In 1997, Kay and Tom sold their other businesses, borrowed every nickel they could, and built the Schooner Thomas E Lannon. For the last 17 years, every 5th grader in the City of Gloucester has come for a sail welcomed by Kay and Tom. She and Tom played host to many of the best parties in town.

Before owning the Schooner Lannon, Kay also co-owned Essex River Basin Adventures in Essex. Kay had previously been a reading teacher, Realtor, and worked for the Beverly Housing Authority.

Kay served the City of Gloucester and the Cape Ann community in many ways. She served on the West Parish and O’Maley School PTOs, the School Connection, the North of Boston CVB, and helped start the Discover Gloucester DMO.

Kay loved life. She and Tom often told their friends and sons that their goal was to have all the fun of retirement early. And so for the last 8 winters, they would drive a few thousand miles from Gloucester, MA to Driggs, ID. There, they would ski 80+ days every winter at Grand Targhee in Wyoming. Kay was always first on the chairlift in the morning for fresh powder. She would ski hard all day and then go cross-country skiing with her dog, Lucy in the afternoon while Tom read cowboy and pirate books. One of Kay’s favorite memories was taking her granddaughter Sydney skiing for the first time. She loved travel, skiing, horseback riding (she grew up riding at Pine Tree Equestrian Center in Beverly Farms), and most of all adventure.

Kay is survived by two sons, Heath J. and his wife Yvonne G. Ellis of Gloucester and Brian T. and his wife Malisa K. Ellis of Arlington. Kay is also survived by her grandchildren, Sydney K. Ellis and Eliza G. Ellis. Kay was the sister to the late Paul Bonaventura. Kay is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Kay’s celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at the Gloucester House 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, 6:00 pm. Relatives and close friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be in Dolliver’s Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Kay’s honor to “Turning the Tide Ovarian Retreat” which was a great encouragement to Kay in her last year. They should be sent to the

Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center
Michael Reisman, Director
PO BOX 322
Elsworth, Maine 04605
Please put IN HONOR OF KAY ELLIS in the memo line on the check.

(written by Kay’s son Brian Ellis)

Maritime Heritage Day — Update

As part of the Gloucester Schooner Festival line-up, Maritime Gloucester will host its annual Heritage Day celebration from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The event is free to the public. Over 30 artisans, food vendors and community organizations will be set up on Schooner Way and down Webster Pier with maritime art, handmade wares, demonstrations. family activities & more! Visit the schooners tied up at the pier, including the long-awaited Columbia!

Performances by Daisy Nell reading her new childrens book, Tilly & the Pirates & performing songs from the accompanying CD and Country Blues & Swingin’ Folk artists, Chick & Ellen & Friends performing Dory Shop deck.  “How to Really Eat a Lobster” Demo, Knot Tying and Block Printing Activities.  Lunch & refreshments available onsite. To celebrate Schooner Festival, Maritime Gloucester’s exhibits and aquarium will be open throughout the day for half-price admission!

We’ll be selling all the Gloucester Schooner Festival gear as well as raffle tickets for the beautiful painting for John Caggiano. Great, fun event for families and visitors to Gloucester for Schooner Festival weekend. For a complete Heritage Day schedule, visit www.maritimegloucester.org/maritime-heritage-day.

USS Fort McHenry

USS Fort McHenry Public Tours

Update 9/6/2015

The USS FT McHenry will be open to free public tours Sunday, 9/6 (12:30-4pm) and Monday, 9/7 (10am-4pm). Launches leave from 67 Rogers Street in downtown Gloucester. First come, first serve. Restrictions apply.


Update 9/5/2015

Due to mechanical difficulties with the launch, Sept 5 tours on the USS MCHENRY are indefinitely postponed. We hope to have everything up and running soon.

The 610-foot USS Fort McHenry, one of the Navy’s fleet of Whidbey Island Class dock landing ships, is scheduled to dock about 9 a.m. Friday in the Outer Harbor and will be open to free public tours Friday, 9/4 (noon-4pm), Saturday, 9/5 (1-4pm), Sunday, 9/6 (12:30-4pm) and Monday, 9/7 (10am-4pm). Launches leave from 67 Rogers Street in downtown Gloucester. First come, first serve. Restrictions apply.

Maritime Gloucester Evening Under the Spars Auction 2015

savethedatespars2015b-w528The Maritime Gloucester Evening Under the Spars Auction 2015 is now open. The auction will run from August 28, 2015 to September 5, 2015, with proceeds going to Maritime Gloucester in order to support our programs.

Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. So, tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin!

Now is your chance to not only get all the great items you want, but to do it knowing you are helping support our organization and mission to inspire students and visitors to value marine science, maritime heritage and environmental stewardship through hands-on education and experiences.

Columbia Arrives Thursday, August 27

Come down to Maritime Gloucester (23 Harbor Loop, downtown Gloucester) to celebrate the arrival of the schooner Columbia on Thursday, August 27, at 10am. All attendees will be entered into a raffle for a free 2015 Schooner Festival Hat and Schooner Festival T-Shirt! (must be present during the drawing to win)

Help us welcome the Columbia is proper Gloucester style!

Gloucester Schooner Festival Celebrates Essex Schooners

The story line of this year’s 31st annual Gloucester Schooner Festival, which runs from September 4th to September 6th, is all about Essex built and Essex inspired schooners. And the arrival of the 610’ USS Fort McHenry, but we’ll get to that.

The Schooner Columbia-- yesterday and today

The Schooner Columbia– yesterday and today

The signature or attraction schooner at this year’s Festival is the replica Columbia. The original Columbia was a 141’ classic Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts in 1923. That fall, the Columbia, designed for speed,  challenged the Bluenose, Canada’s legendary schooner in the International Fishermen’s Cup Races in Halifax. Nearly winning the title, the Columbia was narrowly defeated by the Bluenose and was one of the few American schooners to provide a challenge to Bluenose. (The other being the Gertrude Thebaud which beat the Bluenose in the Lipton Cup in 1930. The trophy is on display at Maritime Gloucester.). The replica Columbia was built by Brian D’Isernia at his boat yard, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, in Panama City, Florida. The Schooner is currently sailing to Sable Island, where the vessel was lost with all hands in a gale on August 24, 1927.  Following a memorial service at sea, the Columbia will make the return trip to Gloucester that never occurred. The Columbia is slated to arrive in Gloucester on August 27, 2015 in advance of the Schooner Festival.  “This is such a great story,” says Schooner Committee Chair, Daisy Nell Collinson. “We hope the public will come out in great numbers to welcome the Columbia and, over the weekend, celebrate the great history of schooners from Essex and Gloucester.”

This year’s schooner race also includes three of the remaining five Essex-built working schooners. The schooners Adventure (1926), Lettie G. Howard (1893), and the Roseway (1925) will all be racing this year. The Highlander Sea (1924) will be resting comfortably at the Gloucester Marine Railways as it enviously observes its wooden brethren compete for the Esperanto Cup. Of the remaining “intact” Essex-Built Schooners, only the Ernestina-Morrissey will be missing from this austere group. The Massachusetts owned schooner is being rebuilt in the state of Maine. Joining their elders will be the schooners Thomas Lannon, Ardelle and the Fame, all built over the last 20 years by 11th generation boat builder Harold Burnham at his boat yard in Essex.

USS Fort McHenry

USS Fort McHenry

The Schooner Festival will also feature a major attraction vessel — the USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43), which is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was named for Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, the 1814 defense of which inspired The Star-Spangled Banner. This 610’ vessel is actively deployed around the world for combat and humanitarian purposes. It carries as many as 22 officers and 391 enlisted sailors. The ship will be available for public tours on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. “The City of Gloucester is honored to have the USS Fort McHenry in our historic harbor,” says Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken. “We hope the community and weekend visitors take this opportunity to board the ship and honor the great men and women serving our country.” For more information about this Navy vessel, go to http://www.fort-mchenry.navy.mil/.

For a complete list of the Gloucester Schooner Festival schedule, go to http://gloucesterschoonerfestival.net/?page_id=23

Lead sponsors of the Festival include: the City of Gloucester, First Ipswich Bank, Market Basket and Institution for Savings. For a full list of sponsors, go to the Festival’s website. The Festival raises much needed funds from the community by offering Schooner Festival raffle in addition to corporate support. Please purchase raffle tickets (available at Maritime Gloucester) or during Maritime Heritage Day. These funds directly support our efforts to put kids on the water.

Maritime Gloucester is a 501(c) (3) non-profit institution whose mission is to inspire students and visitors to value marine science, maritime heritage and environmental stewardship through hands-on education and experiences. Its one-acre campus is located on Gloucester Harbor at 23 Harbor Loop, adjacent to the Coast Guard Station. For more information go to www.maritimegloucester.org or like us on Facebook.