Annual Charleston “Blessing of the Fleet” Scheduled for May 27th – Memorial Day

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 27th.

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 three names to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman” Plaque: Charles Joseph Matayo II, Leroy Edward Payne, and Thad Potter. One name will be added to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman's Industry” plaque: Jim Fisher "The Monger".

As part of the event, local marine services firm owner William Elderkin will speak to the local fishing industry, providing opening and closing remarks. Pastor Tom Estes of the Charleston Community Baptist Church will deliver the memorial blessing, and the Oregon Coast Pipes and Drums will perform on the bagpipes. The U.S. Coast Guard will provide a color guard and advance and retire the colors. The 1954 buoy bell will be rung as each name is read. The ringing of the bell is symbolic as fishermen rely on this sound for safe navigation.

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, provided they 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  or 541-888-9021