Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Wish Joe Balzano Smooth Seas

I write to let you know that our Board President, Joseph Anthony Balzano, age 77, died on Oct. 19th after a long battle with leukemia. Joe was a remarkable man who constantly tried to help others and who was an integral part of Camden’s maritime heritage as the longtime CEO of the S. Jersey Port Corporation. He followed his father to the Port as a 17 year old and worked his way up to the top over a career that spanned 60 years. While CEO, he grew the Port into one of the major break bulk ports on the east coast. As Board President he was one of the founding members of our museum and he worked tirelessly in its behalf. He was instrumental in raising the funds for the museum; initially in order to purchase our buildings, later to fund our programs. He also made many major donations of significant marine artifacts such as our port wagon and bollards. In fact, he personally supervised the forklift installation of these heavy items even as he was recovering from a bout of his recent illness. If he had not been ill, no doubt he would have been at the controls of the forklift. He was a great supporter of our programs for city youth and often welcomed them into his office at the Port where he would tell stories about Camden history as well as showcasing current Port operations. He was a doer and a straight shooter, a Camden boy through and through, who loved the Delaware River and his city and always sought to advance its fortunes. We all will miss him terribly and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family. From all of us here at the museum, we wish Joe “Smooth Seas”.
Michael Lang

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2nd Annual Fishing Derby a Great Success

The Board of Trustees of the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum and I
wanted to write to thank all the good folks who helped make the Museum’s
Second Annual Youth Fishing Derby on Oct. 8th a tremendous success. As you
know, the weather was perfect, the Michael Doyle Pier was beautiful, the
Delaware River sparkled, the food was yummy, the tents looked cool,
“Chick” and his fishermen supplied the tackle and instructed our kids,
aided by the pier regulars, the T-shirts looked sharp on everybody, Susan
Mudry officiated with her usual aplomb, the fish were biting, well, just
enough to fill our aquarium, Jesus Castro and his stalwart crew launched
the Urban BoatWorks boats, full of joyful kids, on the "high seas”, and
Father Doyle and Helene Pierson basked in the glow of the moment. So
some 50 of our wonderful children had a great day on the river and it
ended with trophies and prizes awarded to the top three fishers.
All in all, about as perfect a day as one could wish for in
Waterfront South: so hats off to all of you
at the following organizations:

Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority
Delaware River Fisherman’s Association
Sacred Heart School
South Jersey Bass Fisherman’s Association
Urban Promise School/Urban Trekkers/Urban BoatWorks

There were many other individuals from these organizations who helped make
this a great event; space limitations prohibit listing all names, but
please accept my profound thanks, all of you. If I forgot any group,
please accept my apologies.