A History of the Showboat
Masks for the Battleship North Carolina Volunteers
by Eric Mens
Under a cloudy but rain-free sky, the Brunswick Forest Stitchers visited the Battleship North Carolina Memorial in Wilmington to make a special presentation. The women's group, known as the Shelmore Stitchers, from Leland’s Brunswick Forest community, had made 80 personal use masks for the volunteers who work on the ship. The presentation was made to Michael Zalob, Chairman of the Battleship North Carolina Friends. Michael coordinates the work of community volunteers who devote their time and efforts to work at the ship in various capacities.
Nine from the group attended the presentation on Wednesday, June 17th. The event brought the total number of masks delivered to the Battleship North Carolina to 105. A first batch of 25 masks, made by Nancy D’Abrosca and Marilyn O’Brien, was presented to the staff and gift shop workers on the day that the ship opened to the public. The Memorial had been closed as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings. Eight women made the second batch of 80 at the request of Michael Zalob. The Battleship North Carolina Friends chose the distinctive star-decorated red, white, and blue material so that the visiting public could distinguish the ship volunteers from others on board.
To ensure that the masks were identical, kits were assembled with directions for each of the eight women who had committed to making ten each. Upon completion, Nancy cleaned the masks and packaged them along with filters and instructions on how the wearers should care for their new masks.
The community mask-makers have been busy making and donating masks since April 2020. Organized by Nancy D’Abrosca and Cindy Bryant, the group consists of 20 material donors, cutters, and seamstresses. The group has made and presented over 800 masks to various local non-profit organizations such as Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc., Brunswick Family Assistance, Brunswick Cove Living Center, patients of NHRMC in Brunswick Forest, the New Chapter Book Club, as well as for staff and customers at local small businesses such as Hickman’s Pharmacy and others.
Credit for their work and commitment to community goes to Lynn Keller and Debby White, who donated time to cut and prepare materials. The American Sewing Guild, Diane Gray, and Sandy Rueda, donated materials to the group's overall efforts. The seamstresses also donated materials and include Arliss Bailey, Marena Brons, Cindy Bryant, Ann Carbone, Nancy D’Abrosca, Kathleen Giadone, Diane Guididas, Cornelia Maxted, Dara McCarthy, Marilyn O'Brien, Elizabeth Ord, Suzy Pearson, Barbara Sloyer, Anne Tapaszi, and Joan Zeltmann.
The Brunswick forest Stitchers
July 4th Update ...
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show the City of Wilmington puts on has been postponed with plans to hopefully move the celebration to a later date.
“Due to safety considerations around social distancing, mass gatherings and efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the July 4th fireworks celebration downtown is being postponed to a date to be determined. The city will continue to monitor the governor’s guidance regarding mass gatherings and hope to hold this celebration at a later date,” according to the City of Wilmington.
Once a new date has been determined the Friends of the Battleship will update our plans for our annual July 4th event.
The Battleship will reopen to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday with new procedures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and visitors, including
* Installing hand sanitizer and handwashing stations.
* Increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch public areas and restrooms.
* Using protective barriers at sales desks.
* Welcoming only non-cash (credit card) payments.
* Limiting the number of visitors allowed in the gift shop and on the Ship itself, and closing the visitors center.
* Reconfiguring the tour route to include only the Ship's main deck and above, and offering only self-guided tours.
Adult admission will be reduced to $10, with all visitors offered the group, child, military or ADA rate as applicable.
Tuesday's hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Starting Wednesday, operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week.
Visitors are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services – WEAR a cloth face covering; WAIT at least six feet away from others, and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.
Keep up to date with our plans by visiting our website at Battleshipncfriends.com or following us here on Facebook.
Today we celebrate #NationalMaritimeDay ⚓️ To all those who take to the waters in service, we salute you!
FRIENDS OF THE BATTLESHIP
Consider a Friends membership and be an official part of the most decorated World War II battleship. Memberships start at $15. Details: https://battleshipncfriends.com
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.The Table Team of volunteers has been restoring the mess deck tables and benches. Team Leader Wally Brooks explains that the "first table was a challenge. It took more time than anyone cares to admit figuring out a process and deciding the best tools to use. After a couple of weeks, the first table was returned to its place in the mess hall, and the team spent the next week admiring their work.
Then the Table Team honed their skills and improved the process. They are now able to produce one restored table each week. To date, they have restored a dozen tables, with a few more to follow."
Check out the mess deck tables the next time you visit BB55!
Note: These photos were taken prior to to the COVID-19 stay at home order
This list was drafted for the Navy's Department of Public Information in 1945 to highlight many of the ways the NORTH CAROLINA was at the head of the class, including
* First of the new battleships to transit the Panama Canal
* First new battleship to arrive in the Pacific War Area
* First battleship to take part in an enemy air attack on the high seas (Battle of the Eastern Solomons)
Our local law enforcement community came together on the SECU Memorial Walkway here at the Battleship to talk about what you can do and what they are doing to keep you safe in these difficult times.
Watch the video: https://youtu.be/gN0-BOu6-g8
Keeping our teak deck looking good is an on going maintenance project. Here our teak deck technician Gary is working on re caulking seams and doing water mitigation beneath the teak deck. This is an on going effort to keep the deck looking like new.
Check out this great video