KITTERY THRESHER MEMORIAL PROJECT
UPDATE, July 29th, 2014
The Group expresses greatest
appreciation to the Raytheon Company, led by Vice President Gibson G. Lebeouf, for
its $2,500.00 contribution to the Thresher Memorial in memory of employee
Maurice Jaquay who was aboard Thresher when she went down.
1955, Maurice enlisted in the naval service and served aboard the aircraft
carrier USS Tarawa (CVS 40), until his honorable discharge in
November 1959. In 1961, he accepted a position
with the electronic services operation of the Raytheon Co. of Burlington, MA,
where he was engaged in sonar equipment field engineering.
Maurice was considered a brilliant sonar engineer. Although he was a member of
Raytheon's electronic services operation, Maurice was on temporary duty with
the Submarine Signal Division in April 1963. His mission aboard Thresher was to service
sonar equipment during her test period.
GAIL ANN ANDERSON
heartfelt gratitude, we also thank Ronald Anderson of Kittery for his
commemorative sponsorship in Memorial Park to honor the memory of his wife of 49
years, Gail Ann Anderson.
his own words, “I was on the shipyard,
stationed on the John Adams when Thresher went down. So I remember it vividly, friends
with lots of the crew members and knew most by sight …..”
sir, and sincerest wish that your grief for your lady’s passing be filled with
nothing but the warmest and fondest memories.
MEMORIAL PARK SERVICE
the Portsmouth Herald, June 26, 2014, By Deborah McDermott
submariner who loved the Navy and his country was remembered at a July 4
ceremony with full military honors at the town's new memorial park near Town
Hall. The ceremony honored the life of Elbert "Fergy" Ferguson, who
served for 20 years aboard submarines in the Navy and another 20 years as
rigger at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Not only was
Independence Day an appropriate day to honor this patriotic man's life, said
his friend Rhonda Pomerleau of Kittery, it is his birthday, and so a fine day
to pay tribute to someone his family called a wonderful person.
MEMORIAL PARK LAST PAVER
heartbeats of issue of the last Project Update several recipients asked to have
the last Silver Anchor, all of whom are previous contributors! So very heartwarming to receive that kind of
endorsement! And the winner was…Ken
Bonnell, SMC(SS) USN, Ret. Of Greenville, MS.
With that, if
anyone wishes to make a donation, or add a special memorial feature in the Park,
the Group will most certainly try to make it happen. Just be in touch.
MEMORIAL PARK PARKING
Department of Transportation license for the Thresher Memorial Flagpole in
Memorial Circle requires discouraging pedestrian access across the very busy US
Rte 1 travel way (fairly obviously why).
It was the impetus,
but not the whole reason, Memorial Park with the Thresher monument, Circle of
Honor Courtyard, and Irene Harvey flagpole, were created.
It is truly a
place for quiet reflection, and “a monument where we (Thresher family) could go to on April 10 to place flowers
and acknowledge their sacrifice.” Where, “the sacrifices that have been made by so many brave men & women who,
without thought for their own safety, defended our beautiful country,
often at the expense of their own lives”, can be fully appreciated. (quotes
from Tim Noonis & Carol Abrams Norton).
Memorial Project Group hopes time may bring other tributes to all veterans,
first responders, and Peace Corps members with that same respect and veneration
to those paying, or having paid, the price of freedom.
A new sign at
the driveway entrance now says, “Memorial Park Parking”, with thanks to the
Kittery Planning Board for their Town code “joint parking facility”
consideration (other than occasional
single visitors…Park events are most likely to occur when T0wn Hall is closed).
D. Allan Kerr has been invited and will attend the following are upcoming
events which would provide an opportunity to promote the Thresher's
legacy and the Memorial Project:
Appearing at New England
Authors Expo, Wednesday July 30, 4 to 9 pm at Danversport MA Yacht
Club, The Harborview Ballroom 161 Elliott Street (Rte. 62) Danvers, MA
Speaking at Kittery Estates,
Kittery ME, Aug. 14th at 6:45 p.m.
Speaking at US Submarine
Veterans USS Maine Base in Augusta, ME on September 21st , American
Legion Post 205 on Eastern Ave. (Rt. 17) at 12:30pm.
Speaking at New Castle
Congregational Church Parish Hall, Main St., New Castle NH, October 8 at
5:30 p.m. Potluck Supper.
Speaking at St. Marys
Submarine Museum in Georgia, first week of November, during their Annual WWII
Submarine Veterans Memorial, an event they’ve had in Kings Bay for the
past 25 or so years.
TURNKEY – TURNOVER??
And so it came
to pass. As it was meant to be. Call it karma, kismet, or simple influence of
the almighty. And no one was in charge.
With only a few
bits & bobs to be done, the Kittery Thresher Memorial Project is nearing
its end. Wrapping up those details, with
a pitch to the Town Council to accept these stately, dignified, symbolic,
significant, “improvements” as a gift to the Town….for its history….and its future….
tribulations, and challenges along the way, perseverance prevailed because so
many… people, companies, organizations…
gave so much in so many ways, small and large, to make it be so. Because they accepted the rightness….that any
who may see and reflect can acknowledge its simple justness and superlative magnificence.
With that comes
to mind, (with thanks to Madeline Field,
Senior English Teacher, 1963)
Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
The point being,
once the moment is past, it's gone. There's no way to recapture it, regardless
of prayers or cleverness or anything else. Once the "moving finger writes,"
time marches on and nothing will ever be able to change whatever happened
during that instant in time. The incident is over and done, recorded and
unchangeable. Nor would any of the Group wish otherwise.
So mote it ever
be. Now then, a listing (hesitant to say
full or complete and miss someone unintentionally) of those responsible will be
But it must be
known that the Project Group could not have achieved anything without the
first, firm, and foremost, support of the Kittery Maine Improvement
Foundation. Judy Spiller, George Dow,
Duncan McEachern, Gerry Mylroie (many hats here), and former Town Manager
Jonathon Carter were/are truly visionary in establishing an organization simply
to support efforts designed to benefit the Town of Kittery.
It goes without
saying….and usually nobody does say it….the
Group has very much appreciated the cooperation and support from Kittery Police
Chief Ted Short & company, Fire Chief Dave O’Brien & company…and especially
Commissioner Norman Albert and the Public Works Department. With this and everything else they do, there
is no question this Town is well served.
It yet remains
that repositing the Project history…nurturing the Memorials’ future…. and
continuing the entire “Never to be forgotten” memories should have a
If anyone would
care to take up the torch…be in touch.