Annual Charleston "Blessing of the Fleet" Scheduled for May 29th - Memorial Day

News and Information from

Oregon International Port of Coos Bay

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2017

Annual Charleston “Blessing of the Fleet” Scheduled for May 29th – Memorial Day

In honor of the fishing community in Charleston and the Charleston community, the annual Blessing of the Fleet and Memorial Service will be held at the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden, near the launch ramp at the Charleston Marina at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 29th.

The service will honor the local men and women involved in commercial fishing and the fishing industry who have died since 1941. This year the Charleston community will add nine names to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman” Plaque: ‘Dirty’ Dean Albright, Michael P. ‘Pat’ Green, Harry E. Moulten, Hugh Glenn McNeil, William A. Nicholas, Jim Shore, Lori ‘Lolo’ Gene Warren, David John Williams, Michael R Witbeck. One name will be added to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman's Industry” plaque: Nick Wright.

For the first time, fishermen will be honored with the ringing of a 80 lb 1954 buoy bell donated by the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) of North Bend. The ringing of the bell is significant because fishermen rely on this sound for safe navigation. The Fishermen Memorial Association worked for two years to secure this bell which will now be a permanent fixture at the Charleston Fishermen’s Memorial Garden. Special thanks to Fisherman’s Grotto, JGS Precision Tool Manufacturing, Englund Marine, Tarheel Aluminum, the US Coast Guard, Port of Coos Bay staff, and the Fishermen Memorial Association for making this happen.

As part of the event, local marine services firm owner William Elderkind will comment about the fishing industry and the fisherman’s memorial, and give opening and closing remarks. Pastor Joel Sathe of the Charleston Community Baptist Church will deliver a memorial blessing. The Oregon Coast Pipes and Drums will perform on the bagpipes to open and close the event. The U.S. Coast Guard will provide a color guard and advance and retire the colors.

Following the blessing and memorial service, there will be a coffee and a special cake reception at Porter Hall behind the Charleston Baptist Community Church on Boat Basin Road.  All are welcome to attend. In addition, a Coast Guard life boat will load floral arrangements to take to sea and lay on the water in a brief ceremony. The boat is scheduled to get under way immediately after the blessing and memorial service, weather permitting.

The community is encouraged to provide floral arrangements or memorial wreaths, but they must contain only biodegradable materials. Local floral businesses can readily accommodate requests for this type of arrangement. Wreaths will be accepted at the Fishermen’s Memorial and then delivered to the boat if wished.



For more information regarding this special event please contact:

Margery Whitmer, Secretary of the Fishermen’s Memorial

E // P 541-888-9021