Informational Briefing on Grant-In-Aid Applications
Before Senate Committee on Ways & Means and House Committee on Finance
March 20, 2015
Mahalo Senators Tokuda and Kouchi and Representatives Luke and Nishimoto for allowing me to speak on behalf of Friends of Falls of Clyde’s application for funds to drydock the National Historic Landmark vessel, Falls of Clyde. My name is Bruce McEwan and I am president of the all-volunteer Friends of Falls of Clyde 501(c)(3) corporation.
I would like to stress that we are talking about a National Historic Landmark. Falls of Clyde, built in 1878, is the only surviving four-masted, iron-hulled sailing oil tanker in the world and Hawaii has been honored to have her in Honolulu Harbor for over 50 years.
Here are points we feel are significant to support funding for her drydocking:
- As the only surviving sailing oil tanker in the world, Falls of Clyde is recognized worldwide for its unique position in maritime history.
- The Falls of Clyde has been a maritime museum source to educate school children and other local and out-of-state visitors for decades, which made the ship an economic driver at the Hawaii Maritime Center. The ship also gave the public access to the commercial waterfront, which is so important to Honolulu.
- The ship has been a unique venue for events for individuals and organizations locally.
- As an island state, Hawaii has a long maritime history and a dependence on the maritime industry. The Falls of Clyde is the only existing symbol we have of the long period of commercial sailing vessels. She fits the gap between the original sailing vessels like Hokulea and the modern vessels that are in and out of the harbor on a daily basis. As a commercial sailing vessel, Falls of Clyde was the predecessor to the modern ships in the Matson fleet and the tug and barge service of Young Brothers.
- There are many local people who have deep emotional feelings about Falls of Clyde because of visits made to her over the years and her importance to our community. Friends of Falls of Clyde members are frequently approached by people when we are working on the ship to talk story about their memories.
- Based on the 2009 Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 138 we feel the legislature should support our funding:
State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the House of Representatives
concurring, that the Falls of Clyde is recognized as a historic symbol of
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Falls of Clyde should be treasured and protected by the State of Hawaii and its residents.”
We acknowledge that the previous owner let the ship deteriorate to its present condition, but Friends of Falls of Clyde have been meticulous in our efforts to assure that the ship’s physical condition is solid. We have brought in experts over the past several years to conduct surveys and all have been positive. In 2014 we worked out a scope of work for a drydock with Pacific Shipyard International and they have committed to taking her into drydock once we have the funds. We are working on a capital campaign and financial support by the State will go a long way in getting other funders to commit to our mission to preserve and restore Falls of Clyde for the benefit of our community.
Mahalo for your consideration of our application.