56th Annual Blessing of the Fleet
Mariners' Church of Detroit
Sunday, March 8, 2020
|The 56th annual
Blessing of the Fleet was held on Sunday, March 8,
2020 at Mariners' Church in downtown Detroit. A large
contingent of ISMA members from the Grand Lodge and
several member lodges attended the the service and
served as members of the Honor Guard. Representing the
Grand Lodge were: Grand 1st Vice President Bill
Rabatsky of Cleveland Lodge No. 4; Grand 2nd Vice
President Luke Clyburn of Detroit Lodge No. 7; Grand
Secretary-Treasurer Brian Eickel also of Detroit Lodge
No. 7; PGP John Biolchini of Northeast Michigan
Lodge No. 19; and PGP Mark Mather of Grand Traverse
Lodge No. 23. Other ISMA members participating in the
honor guard included Roger Hewlett and Jim Semerad of
Port Huron Lodge No. 2; Tom Foster and John Brookham
of Georgian Bay-Huronia Lodge No. 15; and from Detroit
Lodge No. 7, Sam Buchanan, Jay Downen, Bill Griffore,
Dale Mason, Kathy McGraw, Mike Nall, Ray Oset, Scott
Reynolds, Rick Scott, Scott Skrzypczak and Chris
Stevens. Other ISMA members in the congregation
included Al Brata and Paul Jagenow of Detroit Lodge
No. 7 and Phil Knetchel of Toledo Lodge No. 9.
Scott Reynolds of Detroit Lodge No. 7, served as reader of recipient biographies during the Ludington Award presentations. Dana Ludington, great-grandson of Capt. Lewis Ludington, presented the two Ludington Awards on behalf of the Ludington family. Scott Skrzypczak, President of Detroit Lodge No. 7, and Mike Nall, 1st Vice President of Detroit Lodge No. 7 rang the Octorara bell as the names of departed mariners during the past year were read by necrologist Kathy McGraw. MAJ Garrett Barr of the Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rang the bell for military personnel who have given their lives in service to the nation. PGP Mark Mather of Lodge 23, Grand 2nd Vice President Luke Clyburn of Detroit Lodge 7, Grand 1st Vice President Bill Rabatsky of Cleveland Lodge No. 4 and Roger Hewlett of Port Huron Lodge No. 2 presented the wreaths representing the maritime dangers of Storm, Reef, Fire and Collision. Brian Eickel of Detroit Lodge No. 7, Ray Oset of Detroit Lodge No. 7 and Roger Hewlett of Port Huron Lodge No. 2 served as receivers for the presentation of flags. Fr. Jeffrey Hubbard, Rector of Mariners' Church, officiated at the service. assisted by Deacon Frank Bateman. Both are members of Detroit Lodge No. 7. A social hour following the service was held in the Julia Anderson Room in the lower level of the church.
Two ISMA members were recipients of the Capt. Lewis Ludington Award:
The Captain Lewis Ludington Award was established by the Ludington Family and Mariners’ Church in 1994. Since the award's inception, over 90 Shipmasters have been recognized for their contributions to the maritime industry on the Great Lakes. Detroit Lodge No. 7 is honored to have a role in the selection process.
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