September 2000


The Friends of Flying Santa have planned for an exciting way to finish up the first summer of the new millennium. We invite you to come aboard for our 3rd Annual Columbus Day Lighthouse Cruise on the beautiful waters of Narragansett Bay. We will be sailing on the MV Vista Jubilee. Resembling a Mississippi River boat, it is three decks high, with the two lower decks offering 180-degree panoramic window views. The boat is fully carpeted, and offers either air conditioning or heat, whichever is needed. The top deck is open with a large sunshade cover. This is a great vessel for viewing the 17 lighthouses on the tour. We will limit the number of tickets sold to ensure that everyone has an unobstructed view of the lighthouses. Some of the lights that we will be viewing are: Nyatt Point, Conimicut Point, Bullock's Point, Hog Island, Bristol Ferry, Mussel Shoal, Prudence Island, Sandy Point, Gould Island, Gull Rocks, Rose Island, Goat Island, Ida Lewis, Castle Hill, Beavertail, Conanicut North and Warwick Point. The ship's Captain will be our narrator.

The ticket price is $35.00, which includes a delicious buffet luncheon. The price for our senior Friends (60+) is $32.00. The boat departs from the Blount Marine Shipyard, located on Water Street in Warren, RI. There is plenty of Free Parking. Boarding starts at 10:00 AM for our 11:00 AM sailing.

We will return to the dock by 4:00 PM. Driving directions will be sent with your tickets, as well as the telephone number for the local area Chamber of Commerce for those needing lodging information. There will be two onboard raffles, one featuring over a $1500 worth of prizes as well as a 50-50 raffle, where one lucky guest will take home half of the money collected for that raffle. So come along with us, and bring a friend, for an exciting day of lighthouse cruising. Remember to bring your camera as well as your appetite. This is one of southern New England's best lighthouse cruises. As always, the funds raised by this event will go a long way towards the success of this year's Christmas flights.

By Judith Morris

We are happy to report that our Father's Day Lighthouse Cruise was a huge success. The weather was good for most of the cruise. We had a couple of showers in the last hour, however these did not dampen spirits. We were most fortunate to have onboard, four of the area's best lighthouse narrators; Norm Rogers, CWO USCG (Ret), CWO David Waldrip, USCG 1ST District Aids to Navigation, "Mr. Lighthouse", Doug Bingham, VP of the American Lighthouse Foundation and Jeremy D'Entremont from the Lighthouse Digest. Those of you with a computer and access to the web should check out Jeremy's website, the home of New England Lighthouses, a Virtual Guide. These gents took turns at each light, explaining the history and the lore of the beacons, along with very informative commentaries of the history of the Boston Harbor Islands and the surrounding waters. Everyone aboard was very impressed. Upon boarding, each one of our guests received a cruise brochure listing the day's lighthouses, a raffle ticket for the boarding prize (a Harbour Light collectible), and a Friends of Flying Santa window decal.

There was food galore on this cruise. Z-Chef Caterers of Hull, MA supplied the delicious box lunches. At the snack bar, our guests were having bowls of award winning clam chowder from Schooner's Restaurant of Hull, steamed hot dogs, fresh strawberry shortcake, brownies and cold drinks. It was so nice to see all of our lighthouse buffs sitting back, relaxing and enjoying themselves as we cruised along the shores of Marblehead, Salem, Beverly and up towards Cape Ann.

When we left the Eastern Point Light in Gloucester, it was time to begin the drawing for the Giant Raffle. Our generous contributors for this trip's raffle made it one of the biggest ones we have ever had. We awarded over 147 prizes worth over $1500. It took Santa more than an hour to call out all the winning numbers. The prizes ranged from four dozen Harbour Light collectibles, lighthouse books, caps, T-shirts, sweatshirts, artwork and gift certificates from many local restaurants. The 50-50 winner was a young man whose grandmother had purchased a ticket for him. He was actually standing at the prize table when the winning number was called. Santa needed to call the number three times before Grandma came forward to make the young man check his ticket and realize he had the winning number. He was elated until Santa suggested to him that he should think about taking every one on board to Burger King for supper! When informed of how many people were onboard, he told Santa that the $300 he won would not be enough. Santa let him off the hook.

The cruise continued on from Minot's Light towards Boston Light. We had a nice surprise as we entered the harbor. The crew from Coast Guard Station Point Allerton pulled alongside with their 47-foot search and rescue boat. The crew was out on a training mission and put on a demonstration that had our guests applauding.

As you can see, a great time was had by all. If you were unable to attend this magnificent cruise, we hope you will be able to join the Friends of Flying Santa and our crew of volunteers for the upcoming Columbus Day Cruise on Narragansett Bay. All of the proceeds from these cruises will be used to fund the 2000 Flying Santa Lighthouse flights. We hope to see you on our upcoming lighthouse cruises this fall and in 2001.



On August 20th, a brisk Sunday afternoon, a beautiful sunshade pavilion honoring Edward Rowe Snow was formally dedicated at Fort Warren on Boston Harbor's George's Island. On hand to participate was his daughter Dorothy Snow Bicknell, her family and a crowd of over 120 people. As the ceremony started, a ghostlike figure appeared against the granite wall of the fort, her black robe billowing in the breeze. It was the infamous "Lady in Black" from Mr. Snow's tale recounting the ghost of Fort Warren. As the memorial stone with Mr. Snow's profile was unveiled, a letter from President Clinton was read by Mr. Snow's granddaughter stating, "This memorial will be an enduring reminder of the life and achievements of Edward Rowe Snow". Other proclamations were presented from Senator Edward Kennedy, Governor Paul Cellucci, State Senator Robert Headland and the Massachusetts Senate.

Mr. Snow, who died in 1982, was remembered as the president of the Society for the Preservation of Fort Warren. He successfully lobbied to preserve George's Island as a recreational area rather than a toxic waste dump. George's Island is now considered the jewel of the Boston Harbor Islands State Park. Mr. Snow was the author of many books detailing the history and folklore of the maritime world, here in New England and beyond. He was a man of many roles, including teacher, historian, storyteller, treasurer hunter and newspaper columnist. He had his own radio show in the 1950s and for over 40 years he was the Flying Santa who flew to New England lighthouses spreading holiday cheer to lighthouse keepers and their families. The friends of Edward Rowe Snow and the Metropolitan District Commission worked for many years to establish this memorial in his honor.



The Friends have available three new items from the Flying Santa locker. We have developed a Friends of Flying Santa hat in "Santa" red with a white embroidered logo. One size fits all. We also have coffee mugs in white with the logo imprinted in red. Our new kitchen magnets are also white with the red logo. This is the same logo that is now on our newsletter masthead. We have also replenished our stock of Flying Santa T-shirts and sweatshirts. And do not forget our famous Collection of Flying Santa's Lighthouse Recipes cookbook. For your convenience, an order form is enclosed with this newsletter.


We are now offering premiums for donations made to Friends of Flying Santa. They range from coffee mugs to sweatshirts and will be sent to all future contributors. We hope you will enjoy these as a small token of our appreciation for your continued financial support of the program. Please check the donation form in this newsletter for more details.



MAY 18-20, 2001
The Friends of Flying Santa are making plans for a 3-day bus tour to 11 Maine lighthouses in the spring of 2001. The bus will depart from Rockland, MA on Friday, May 18 and return on Sunday, May 20. Enclosed in this newsletter you will find a flyer and ticket order form with more detailed information. We hope you can join us for this unique tour to some of New England's best-loved lighthouses.



Published 4 times
per year.
Brian Tague
The cost of printing our newsletter is partially funded by
the Plymouth County Development Council


PO BOX 80047
Stoneham, MA 02180-0001
Tel: (781) 438-4587