Great Lakes sailors and their family members traveled from all parts of the United States to attend last Saturday?s Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum?s 16th annual Celebration and Gathering. Members of the Idalski family traveled from different areas of the country to see the induction ceremony for the late Philip J. Idalski, a linesman for several decades on the Bradley Transportation line. There were 32 members of the Idalski family in attendance from places such as Jacksonville, Florida; Ashville, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; as well as northern Michigan. Idalski?s wife, Pauline, received the award on behalf of her husband. She was brought to the front of the room in a wheel chair to receive a certificate. Her eyes welled up as she looked down at the award.
ABOUT 400 people attended the Gathering. The event is conducted to honor the men and women who served the Great Lakes shipping industry. The museum is not just for those that served on the steamships and freighters, though, as Capt. Robert Preifer was inducted Saturday as well. Priefer began to sail on the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper, a new passenger ship on the lakes. After the Milwaukee Clipper went out of business, he continued to work in various Great Lakes jobs until his retirement in 1988. ?Today we honor the men and women who so nobly served the Great Lakes shipping industry and to always renew our remembrance for those who lost their lives and to those who survived,? said Mike Eustice, who gave the invocation. ?We dedicate our efforts in providing the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum as their Port of Call and that generations yet to be will visit and share.? After a greeting, the Nauticals began the program with a stirring rendition of ?America.? That was followed by an animated and humorous song about Christopher Columbus.
AFTER A CATERED lunch and the annual business meeting, Erickson and board member Bill Valentine introduced the candidates that were to be inducted. The 40 folding chairs were set up the front area of the stage. The inductee, or a family member representing someone passed on, approached the stage to receive the award from Erickson. Museum board member Dave Mulders rang the bell once for each name announced, while Valentine read the names. ?I am pleased and honored to be among you today,? said Valentine. ?I am a Pisces and I love the seas and these Great Lakes of ours.? Valentine told the audience he has sailed and dived under water from Presque Isle to the Mediterranean, as well as the Caribbean. ?Why do men and women go down to the sea in ships? For love and fortune and sometimes for eternity,? he said. ?The company of kindred spirits and the solace of sunsets builds character and turns our gaze toward homeport and family.?
THE 2006 inductees include: Joseph O. Baker (1957-1987), assistant conveyorman, Inland Lakes; Harry H. Bey (1941-1971), chief engineer, Bradley Transportation; Joseph E. Buck (1923-1951), chief engineer, Bradley Transportation: Leonard A. Budnick (1953-1996), chief engineer, U.S. Steel; Victor L. Burchfield (1930-1975), wheelsman, Oglebay Norton; Louis E. Carter (1948-1983), captain, U.S. Steel; William J. Cook (1905-1929), chief motor machinist, U.S. Coast Guard ? Great Lakes; Erhardt O. Felax (1946-1958), stokerman, U.S. Steel; Leonard T. Gabrysiak (1948-1966), wheelsman, Bradley Transportation; James W. Haske (1972-2005), chief engineer, U.S. Steel; Stanley ?Lefty? Haske (1946-1965), wheelsman, U.S. Steel; Wallace J. Haske (1947-1977), chief engineer, U.S. Steel; William C. Haske (1952-1960), oiler, Bradley Transportation; Michael J. Idalski (1939-1972), second assistant engineer, U.S. Steel; Philip J. Idalski (1938-1979), tug linesman, Bradley Transportation; Earl K. Jarvis (1956-1999), steward, Huron Portland Cement; Richard J. Koski (1950-1997), chief engineer, U.S. Steel; Benedict A. Kowalski (1950-1984), assistant conveyorman, U.S. Steel; Raymond J. Kowalski (1951-1958), wheelsman, U.S. Steel; Joseph Krawczak (1947-1958), wheelsman, Bradley Transportation; Albert LaJoice (1920-1960), oiler, Mackinaw Transportation Company; F. Donald Lamp (1945-1965), chief engineer, Bradley Transportation; Frank Lamp (1917-1951), chief engineer, Bradley Transportation; John P. Laucks (1943-1944), bosun, Interlake Steamshipo Company;
Alxender Malocha (1930-1963), captain, Bradley Transportation; William A. ?Bill? Newhouse (1963-1986), bosun, Huron Portland Cement; William N. Patchkowski, stokerman, Bradley Transportation; Donald R. Peltz (1952-1961), gateman, American Steamship Company; Wayne E. Portice (1958-1972), oiler, American Steamship Company; Robert A. Preifer (1941-1988), captain S.S. Milwaukee Clipper; Norman W. Raymond (1929-1970), captain, Bradley Transportation; Frank E. Sager (1933-1977), WLC radio superintendent operator, Bradley Transportation; Edward M. Schultz (1933-1952), steward, Bradley Transportation; Gary A. Shadbolt (1970-2003), chief engineer, Interlake Steamship Company; Clarence H. Strzelecki (1951-1983), first mate, U.S. Steel; Gary Strzelecki (1955-1958), watchman, U.S. Steel; John Stuart Ten Eyke (1928-1970), captain, Great Lakes Towing; Milton P. Ten Eyke (1917-1968)), captain, Cleveland Cliffs; Nyle R. Wickersham (1946-1973), first mate, U.S. Steel; Gerald E. Zimmer (1947-1989), chief engineer, Interlake Steamship Company. Erickson then closed the ceremony with a recorded whistle salute.
Earlier in the meeting, Ed and Bette Brklacich were commended for their dedication and hard work in bringing the museum ?home to the Nautical City.? It also was noted that Wolverine Power made a donation to offset expenses incurred during the weekend.