Remembering Joli Gonsalves
Joli Gonsalves, Cape Verdean cultural leader, died at the home of his sister in New Bedford on Friday, April 24, 1998.
Joli served on the original Schooner Ernestina Commission in 1982 when the ship was gifted by the Republic of Cape Verde to the people of the United States. He was Chairman during the first years of the Commission as the restoration was begun and the organization to operate the ship took form. Since that time he has sung at festivals, come aboard the ship for educational programs for school children and joined the ship at other ports of call to help build a strong and full program.
Mr. Gonsalves was honored by the city in May 1990 for his founding of the Cape Verdean Cultural Center and his singing history of Cape Verdean culture. He served as director of the center since its inception.
Born in New Bedford, Mr. Gonsalves attended local schools and as a World War II Army veteran, he served in five campaigns in Europe. After the war, Mr. Gonsalves was a vocalist and percussionist with the first All- Star Cape Verdean Orchestra to tour the United States in 1947-48. He attended the Arlington Academy of Music from 1949 until his graduation in 1952. In his 13-year professional music career, Mr. Gonsalves worked as chorister and stage manager with the Leonard de Pour Chorus and as a chorister and arranger for Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers. During this period, he traveled to 14 countries in Africa under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. In Liberia, he was knighted by President V.S. Tubman in recognition of his having composed a national anthem for the West African republic.
Mr. Gonsalves, a baritone, established two music publishing companies and recorded with numerous recording artists as well as making appearances with many on network television, including the Ed Sullivan Show. A near-fatal auto accident on Dec. 22, 1967, curtailed Mr. Gonsalves’ professional singing career and brought him back to New Bedford where he worked as a newscaster for radio station WNBH from 1970 to 1972. He became a director of the Model Cities Community Development Corp., made his first visit to the Cape Verde Islands and founded the Cape Verdean Cultural Center.
In succeeding years, Mr. Gonsalves was moderator and producer of a bilingual Cape Verdean television program telecast over Channel 6 for six years and served as a member and chairman of New Bedford’s Human Relations Commission. We will miss Joli very much and appreciate all he did for the community and Schooner Ernestina.
Bartlett Boy Reunion
For two days in July, historical Schooner Ernestina will be manned by crew members that "go way back" with the ship ~ back before she was Ernestina! On Tuesday, July 6, a group of senior sailors will gather for a reunion of "Bartlett Boys" ~ men who, as teenagers in the 1930’s and 40’s, sailed with Captain Robert Bartlett to the far reaches of the arctic regions aboard Bartlett’s schooner, Effie M. Morrissey, now called Schooner Ernestina. For the next two days the group will swap stories of their adventures in the frozen north while they sail aboard Schooner Ernestina on Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound.
The reunion was launched by "Bartlett Boy" Fred Littleton, a veteran of Bartlett’s 1940 expedition to Greenland. Fred is now a resident of Chilmark, on Martha’s Vineyard. He has been a longtime active supporter of the preservation of the schooner through the "Friends of Ernestina" and the Ernestina/Morrissey Historical Association (EMHA) and has served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Schooner Ernestina Commission. Working with the Schooner Ernestina staff, he issued an invitation to interested parties, both surviving "Bartlett Boys" and their relatives, to a two-day reunion that would include a passage to the Vineyard and back. The invitations went out to the old hands across North America from New Mexico to Newfoundland.
Nine original "Bartlett Boys" are attending and a compliment of wives, grown children and even some grandchildren. The reunion welcomed the following Bartlett Boys: Austen Colgate (1940), John Pitcairn (1940), David Nutt (1938, ‘39, ‘40 as scientist), Ed Peary Stafford (1932), James Pond (1940), George Hodge (1940), Garrison McClure (1939) and Fred Littleton (1940). Also attending was Florence Wengerd, who’s husband Sherman was on the voyage of 1942. The oldest surviving "Bartlett Boy," Ed Weyer (1928 & ‘32) responded to the invitation with regrets - but wished the expedition well.
Just as in the Bartlett era, there was a professional camera whirring on the deck during the expedition to Martha’s Vineyard. Rick Lopes, motion picture producer and director from New York, shot underway footage and interviews with the senior seafarers, documenting yet another historic moment in the journey of this, one of history’s most remarkable vessels. Mr. Lopes is continuing work on a comprehensive documentary on Schooner Ernestina and will be bringing a full camera and sound crew along on the voyage.
Visit of the Endeavour
Dozens of Greater New Bedford area citizens responded to the call for Volunteer Guides when the HMBark Endeavour put in to their historic harbor, August 28 through September 6, 1998. That citizen involvement along with sponsorship by Mayor Fred Kalisz and the City of New Bedford enabled a spectacular nine-day stopover in this historic port of call. Schooner Ernestina hosted the visiting ship and helped facilitate and coordinate the myriad details for the Endeavour’s visit at State Pier thanks to funding from the National Park Service through the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
The Endeavour, a full scale replica of Captain James Cook’s famous ship of discovery, visited New Bedford as part of a round-the-world voyage. The vessel was open for tours from 10am to 7pm during each day of the visit. Volunteer Guides served four hour shifts assisting the professional crew of Endeavour in guiding the public through the vessel. Each Guide attended registration, orientation and training sessions provided by the Bark Endeavour Foundation prior to the arrival of the historic replica vessel. These sessions were held at the Northeast Maritime Institute, 66 Spring St., (formerly the YWCA building), New Bedford. Northeast Maritime also assisted Schooner Ernestina staff in providing shoreside accommodations for Endeavour personnel while in New Bedford. Arriving from Boston via the Cape Cod Canal, Bark Endeavour was escorted into New Bedford harbor by Schooner Ernestina and the Larinda from Onset.
A formal ceremony of welcome was presided over by Schooner Ernestina’s Executive Director, Gregg Swanzey. Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz, Jr. offered words of welcome along with the Consul General of Australia and Capt. Chris Blake of the Endeavour. Visitation aboard HM Bark Endeavour ranged from 200 to 400 people each day throughout the New Bedford visit. Endeavour was built in Australia as a floating museum. She is a replica of Capt. James Cook’s ship of Pacific Discovery of 1768 to 1771. Sir Joseph Banks, scientist, astonished Britain with the exotic animals and plants collected during the voyage. See National Geographic November 1996 article.
Office Staff Shipboard Staff
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