Friends of Fort Trumbull Press Release For 5/26/2011 8PM


Marc Songini, of Foxboro, Massachusetts spoke on the Demise of Whaling at the Thursday monthly meeting of the Friends of Fort Trumbull (FoFT) on May 26th. The speaker was introduced by John Hoye, former state representative, who together with his wife June have arranged for a series of speakers to visit the Fort Trumbull State Park at 90 Walbach St in New London. Details are on the Friends web site, Cliff Carter, the new President of the Friends, praised the work of the volunteers who through their efforts and contributions supplemented the efforts of the state government lead by Park Supervisor, Jonathan Lincoln and his small but effective staff. Most of the volunteers work behind the scenes with little recognition. Carter noted that in addition to the Hoyes, the work by the Friends officers: Jim Archer of Quaker Hill, Melinda Hamilton of New London, and May Ellen Hanrahan of Waterford served to guide and assist volunteer efforts. Carter also took time to acknowledge some of the unsung heroes: Terry Walsh, Joyce Delaura and her team of volunteers who run the gift shop; Barbara Mingo, who leads membership efforts; and Ray Hamilton who maintains the Friends web site. Carter also noted that Joan Prentice and Al Goodman serve as members at large helping with many aspects of the organization.


Songini, a Boston-area journalist, who was a former Herald News freelancer, a journalist writer about high-tech companies, and the author of The Lost Fleet, an epic tale of whaling during 1861-1877.   Songini has said that he did not want to write an academic book about whaling.  He "wanted to write the Gone with the Wind of whaling".  He accomplished his wish in this book that has been described as "narrative history at its best".


Songini's imagination was inspired by the hard, dangerous work that these whalers performed.  He has said, "It was as unglamorous as anything you could imagine.  You had a different kind of men.  They accepted death, disfigurement and mutilation."  The Providence Journal described the book as "a lively, suspenseful, mesmerizing book, which revels in the triumphs and mourns the demise of the whaling era in America".


In addition to discussing the whalers of New Bedford, Mr. Songini also touched upon whaling in New London, Eugene O'Neil's interest in whaling, and some of the merchants in New London who amassed their fortunes from whaling.


The meeting began promptly at 7 p.m., at the Fort Trumbull Conference Center, 90 Walbach Street, New London, CT.  The public was invited to attend this free presentation hosted by The Friends of Fort Trumbull.  The organization is leveraging its past successes building on efforts of past presidents: John Hanrahan, Dr. Mike Tucchio, and Ed Delaura. Members attended and contributed to a recent symposium on the future for the Fort Trumbull area. Free parking is always available just inside the main gate.