|According to a Soundings article in
Spring 1986, WHALE, in a culmination of its on-going
support for the Schooner Ernestina served as
fund-raising coordinator for a short, but intense
campaign to raise $300,000 for the ship by July 1, 1986.
A successful campaign would allow Capt. Dan Moreland and
the Schooner Ernestina Commission to accomplish
two things: 1) Complete the historic restoration and
outfitting of the schooner in time to take her to New
York Harbor to participate in Operation Sail 1986-Salute
to Liberty and 2) Provide additional safety and
navigational equipment to meet Coast Guard certification
requirements for an educational vessel.
Joining the Parade of Sail and the dedication of the newly renovated Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on July 4, 1986 was a particularly appropriate voyage for the Ernestina because of her history as a Cape Verdean packet. OpSail 86 honored the millions of immigrants who have come to America. The ship sailed as the only one in the procession that actually carried immigrants to this country.
A Schooner Ernestina Campaign Committee formed under the leadership of Thomas N. Bucar, WHALE president. The members of the committee were: Richard S. Aldrich, Robert Alves, Benjamin Baker, John Bullard (Mayor of New Bedford), Charleton Burr, Joseph Cardozo, Robert MacGregor, Senator William Q. MacLean, Dan Moreland, Robert Saltmarsh, Chris Scott, and Therese Kelly (WHALE Director).
The Ernestinas departure was the culmination of several months of intense work to restore the vessel for the New York trip. WHALE agreed to coordinate the fund raising campaign to restore the ship. But it was only by the initiative and commitment of several individuals who pieced together the complex financial arrangements which ensured cash flow for the restoration to make the trip possible.
Charles Dana guaranteed an initial $50,000 loan to WHALE from David Westgate, Executive Vice-President at the Bank of New England. Later, on the strength of a Commonwealth of Massachusetts budget allocation of $250,000 supported by Senator William Q. MacLean and Representatives Denis Lawrence and Joseph McIntyre, the Bank of New England extended an additional $50,000 loan, unsecured, to WHALE.
Fourth Chapter, the newsletter of the Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey, Inc. in Bridgeport, CT described the active nature of the group from that area in an article CT Friends Contribute Over $25,000 to Schooner Ernestina in Month of July, in Fall 1986 issue: