Groundbreaking Ceremony - August 8, 2011

About thirty community members gathered last Monday morning to celebrate the ground breaking for the Seward Mariners Memorial. Mayor Dunham, Father Dick Taro and Rev. Ron Nitz participated in the brief celebration. Ron Long provided a history of the project, thanking some of the donors who have enabled the long time project to finally begin this summer. Included in the list of donors are the Kenai Fjords Yacht Club, the Seward Rotary Club, the William H Seward Yacht Club, the Seward Centennial Committee and many private donors, including a large endowment from the estate of Susan Kaanta, a Seward resident and avid mariner who passed away in 2010.

Ceremonial shovels of dirt were dug by Margaret Anderson, whose family has long time nautical history in Alaska’s fisheries, and Nancy Erickson, who is the chairperson of the Seward Mariners Memorial Committee.

Following the conclusion of the service, refreshments were served on site under blue skies. The importance of this project to Seward’s community was emphasized as attendees watched a coal ship leaving the port with a local tugboat’s help, a tour boat and sail boat making way through the harbor entrance and a commercial fishing boat coming into port with its load.

The project is underway with Harmon Construction working on site at the Seward Harbor south uplands, near the harbor entrance. A dedication is planned for Spring 2012.

Stephanie Millane