57th Annual Blessing of the Fleet
Mariners' Church of Detroit

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The 57th annual Blessing of the Fleet was held on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at Mariners' Church in downtown Detroit. Attendance was limited by Covid restrictions. The ISMA was represented by members from the Grand Lodge and several member lodges  Representing the Grand Lodge were: Grand 2nd Vice President Luke Clyburn of Detroit Lodge No. 7, Grand Secretary-Treasurer Brian Eickel of Detroit Lodge No.7, Grand Lodge Historian Paul Jagenow of Detroit Lodge No. 7, PGP Joe Walters of Twin Ports Lodge No. 12, PGP Lee Barnhill of Northeast Michigan Lodge No. 19, and PGP Ray Sheldon of Grand Traverse Lodge No. 23. Other ISMA members participating in the service included  Admiral Jerry Achenbach of Northeast Michigan Lodge No. 23 and from Detroit Lodge No. 7 Deacon Frank Bateman, Jay M. Downen, Fr. Jeffrey Hubbard, Kathy McGraw, Mike Nall, Ray Oset, Scott Reynolds and Ray Werth.

Scott Reynolds of Detroit Lodge No. 7, served as reader of recipient biographies during the Ludington Award presentations. Grand 2nd Vice President Luke Clyburn assisted by Mike Nall rang the Octorara bell as the names of departed mariners during the past year were read by necrologist Kathy McGraw. Lt. Col. 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 Lee Barnhill, Mike Nall, Roy Werth and Jay Downen presented the wreaths representing the maritime dangers of Storm, Reef, Fire and Collision. Brian Eickel, Ray Oset and Scott Reynolds served as receivers for the presentation of flags. Fr. Jeffrey Hubbard, Rector of Mariners' Church, officiated at the service. assisted by Deacon Frank Bateman.

Three ISMA members were recipients of the Capt. Lewis Ludington Award:

  • Capt. Jay M. Downen of Detroit Lodge No. 7
  • Capt. Thomas Foster of Georgian Bay-Huronia Lodge No. 15
  • Capt. Lee Barnhill of Northeast Michigan Lodge No. 19

Unfortunately, Capt. Foster was unable to attend the service as border restrictions prevented him from crossing from Canada into the United States. Mike Nall of Detroit Lodge No. 7 accepted the award on Capt. Foster's behalf.

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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