Congratulations Patti Page ~ 2016 Gloucester Citizenship Award Winner.

2016 Citizenship Awards.

Rev. Janet Parsons and Patti Page. May 22, 2016

Our own Patti Page was one of the recipients of the 2016 Gloucester Citizenship Awards for her exemplary achievements with and on behalf of SailGloucester as well as her advocacy for Gloucester Harbor and the working waterfront. The ceremony took place on Sunday May 22nd at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Patti was among ten deserving winners chosen this year.

Patti’s acceptance speech:

I would like to thank the Church’s Social Justice committee for their confidence in my efforts. I am grateful for the support from my family who continue to support all my ventures.

The announcement stated this award is given to those who worked persistently and quietly, with an open heart giving to others, solely for what those gifts mean, for no pay, and often with little or no public notice.

Persistent I am, rarely am I quiet. Working with and being mentored by Damon Cummings, Hilary Frye, and Guy Fiero, who have great experience in all things maritime, has enriched me and has provided me the most rewarding experience. The pay check I receive is priceless. The support the program has received from Vince Mortillaro, Peter Bent, Linzee Coolidge and city administrations, past and present, is a solid example public/private projects can be successful.

You should all feel part of this award – it is in your honor that this comes about.   My advocacy is focused on public access – your public access – access to the water.  It is my belief public access onto the water is an unalienable right. The community of Gloucester is fortunate to have many resources and be situated with safe, adequate waterfront access points. This opportunity created by the sailing program is a solid step towards the end goal. The future vision of community waterfront access is now coming into full view. If your community resources are utilized to their highest and best use, everyone will benefit. That includes public/private partnerships as the city moves forward with waterfront renovation projects, which should be focused on community uses.

Enduring Gloucester also extends our heartiest congratulations to all the other awardees; Pauline Bresnahan, Ellie Cummings, Nome Graham, George Hackford, Charles Nazarian, Peter Souza, Delores Talbot, Alice and Mike Wheeler and Save Our Shores. Truly Gloucester’s finest.


The Legacy of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

Michael Cook

 This essay may seem to some Enduring Gloucester readers as touching on concerns beyond the blog’s local purview. However, my hope is that it will prove to have some relevance to the issues we are facing in Gloucester, as the fishing industry continues to change and the subsequent economic, social, and political consequences of those changes become apparent, along with how we, as a community, think about the best ways to respond to those changes. 

This April 9, 1982, file photo shows Daniel Berrigan, a Roman Catholic priest and Vietnam war protester, marching with about 40 others outside of the Riverside Research Center in New York. AP phot

This April 9, 1982, file photo shows Daniel Berrigan, a Roman Catholic priest and Vietnam war protester, marching with about 40 others outside of the Riverside Research Center in New York.   AP photo.


On April, 30 the world lost a man who, for me, personified what it means to be a Christian generally and a Catholic more specifically.

I am, of course, referring to Father Daniel Berrigan.

The Jesuit priest and scholar’s life-long commitment to peace, social/economic and political justice, often put him at odds with not just the American political, legal, corporate, and military establishments, but also with factions of his own Church.

Like many of his fellow Jesuit and Maryknoll priests and nuns, Berrigan’s work and activism took him to Latin America, Southeast Asia, as well as right here at home.

In 1968, Berrigan became the first American priest to be arrested in the 20th century after he and eight other men of the cloth and the laity set fire to dozens of draft cards they had taken from the local draft board office in Catonsville, Maryland. They became known as the “Catonsville Nine”.

Along with his activism against the American war on Vietnam, Berrigan also became a vocal critic of US foreign and military policies in Central America in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Berrigan was one of the few American priests who dared to publicly criticize Pope John Paul II, for his failure to attend the funeral of the Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero. Romero was assassinated by a US trained senior Salvadoran military officer while celebrating Mass the day after he called on the Salvadoran military to stop the slaughter of their impoverished fellow countrymen on behalf of the country’s  ruling junta.

In the 1980’s, Berrigan joined with Father Ron Hennessy, a Maryknoll missionary in Guatemala, to raise the American public’s awareness of the involvement of the US government, military, intelligence services, corporations, and Christian fundamentalist groups in the propping up of a succession of right wing Guatemalan regimes that carried out what can only be called a genocide against the long oppressed Maya population.

As Berrigan aged, he shifted the focus of his fight for social, economic, political, and environmental justice to the United States. He became a vocal advocate in New York for hundreds of thousands of low wage workers who, lived under the constant threat of looming homelessness because their stagnant wages simply did not keep up with the ever escalating costs of rents throughout much of the state.

He spoke eloquently of stable, safe, and affordable housing, not only being a fundamental human need, but also a fundamental human right. He worked to shatter the myth that the homeless are homeless by choice, or that all homeless people are drug addicts, drunks, mentally, or some combination of all three. He brilliantly linked the problem of homelessness to the growing wealth and income inequality in America and to the gentrification of once socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods.

He advocated forcefully for the belief that we are today’s stewards of Creation and that we have a moral obligation to do all we can to pass a livable and sustainable planet on to those who follow us.

Berrigan was a powerful advocate of the belief that, like housing, health care is not merely a privilege, but a basic and fundamental human need and right.

Berrigan’s passing, and his long history of activism, inspired me to think about what is happening here in Gloucester and why it is so important for people of good will and good faith to come together to strategize about becoming a constructive and influential force in determining what direction the profound changes confronting the city will take, so that all of Gloucester’s residents, not just its most affluent, can continue to call this beautiful, and sometimes bedeviling place by the sea, home.

We need to figure out how to protect our natural wonders and unique oases, like Ten Pound Island and Dogtown, from those who see them as lures with which to bring tourists to the city in pursuit of the dollars that, will in reality, only enrich a few, while leaving many others working in the service and tourism industries whose wages will not allow them to continue to live in America’s rapidly gentrifying “Oldest Seaport”.

Many people view these issues and challenges solely through the lenses of politics and economics, but, perhaps because of my renewed interest in the Catholicism of my birth, I also see a spiritual/religious aspect to these issues, and a spiritual/religious obligation to speak out about them precisely because they are at the core of the causes for which men and women like Father Berrigan, Archbishop Romero, Ghandi, Dorothy Day, and Harriet Tubman lived and died.

Gloucester, like the nation itself, is fast approaching some kind of crossroad. We here on the island have only a limited ability to impact what happens “over the bridge”, but that doesn’t mean we cannot, if we work together, have an enormous impact on what crossroad we go down locally, so that we can truly become a community that embraces the belief that things like housing and access to health acre are not just privileges reserved for the lucky few, but fundamental human rights to which all people are entitled.

We just have to come together to try.


Mike CookMike Cook is a long time liberal and gay rights activist who saw the uniqueness of Gloucester from the first moment he drove over the bridge during his move from Cambridge to Cape Ann in 1991 to run NUVA’s AIDS education and services programs.


Our Green Pride

It’s no great secret that I consider Ann Molloy a dear friend.  We met at one of many long series of City Council meetings here in Gloucester.  It wasn’t one of the most ideal scenarios to sow a friendship, but it worked and has grown into a rich friendship that I didn’t even know my life lacked.

Ann’s family, as many know, own and operate Ocean Crest Seafood and Neptune’s Harvest.  Back in the Winter of 2012 another friend of mine, Rona Tyndall, had a wonderful idea to start a Community Garden down the Fort.  Ocean Crest owns a piece of property across the street from their company, part gravel parking lot, the rest a small field with an apple tree on it.  1It was a no brainer to approach them in hopes that they would let us dig it up and turn it into not only a vegetable patch for the fort community to share in, but a place that drew folks together. Not only did Ocean Crest say yes to us using the land for the garden, but Neptune’s Harvest even donated the fertilizer, and has continues to do so each year. They overwhelmingly said yes, because that’s the kind of people they are – kind.

While Winter slowly turned to Spring, plans were made in rough drafts on pieces of paper, dreams of fresh vegetables feeding our imagination as to what it could be.  A lot of work, but fun work.  In comes another bonus, my cousin, Debbie Adkins, has this contact with some University of Maryland students who, rather than go off to some sunny resort or home for Spring Break, they have “Alternative Break,” where they seek a destination and help people.  Debbie asks, “How would you like them to come here and help start the garden?”  Another no brainer.  How lucky are we?  We get these young kids, eager to help and not afraid to get their hands dirty.  It’s been so much fun having them over the past three years.  They work like there’s no tomorrow, and then we have a lunch break.

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Somehow everything tastes more delicious after a morning together in the garden. With a well deserved lunch in our bellies, it’s not back to work for the students, but out on tour.  A little make shift Gloucester history tour, an educational walk through Ocean Crest and Neptune’s Harvest, perhaps a dory ride…  what ever it may be, the kids love coming here and reach out to us year after year to see if we have a need for them in the garden.

I’ve moved from the Fort and find spare time scarce for heading over to the garden to see how it’s going.  Funny how life can take us in so many different directions in so little time.  I hope the garden will continue to be a place for folks to gather together.  What has flourished, in addition to the garden, is my friendship with Ann.  It’s been extremely apparent to me, that when she became my friend, I got the entire family along with her and I’m not talking about just her siblings, but their kids, the kids of those kids, cousins, nieces, nephews, their kids, her mom, her son…  I feel like I’ve been adopted into an empire of love.

Now I’d like to give back, return some of that goodness that they’re always pouring out on me.   How the heck do I do that?  By asking you.  You see, Neptune’s Harvest is up for another great “Green” award.  I say another, as last year they received an award for “Outstanding Innovation & Leadership in Achieving Sustainable Practices in the Gulf of Maine,” by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  This time they are up for an award from “Green America.”  This award is for their commitment to advancing organic agriculture, but there’s a catch, there are ten finalists and they need your vote. All the finalists must excel in an overall commitment to both social and environmental responsibility.  I’d say they’ve nailed that.  So please, go to the link provided here and cast your vote for Neptune’s Harvest. If you’re a gardener and haven’t tried their products, please do, your garden will love you for it.

To vote for Neptune’s Harvest, click the following link:





Laurel - Headshot touch up vignetteLaurel Tarantino, is happy to live in her hometown, Gloucester, with her husband, James, “Jimmy T,” daughter Marina Bella, and the family dog, Sport. She is known for “stopping to smell the roses” and loves to photograph and write about her beloved waterfront community.



Proud to be Greek

Peter Anastas

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You gotta love it.  Due to the success of the Academy Award-nominated film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” Greeks suddenly found themselves to be “in.”  According to the New Yorker, Greeks, who once rushed to Americanize themselves, were “now adding syllables back to their names.”  So, in keeping with this new ethnicity, let me tell you a secret.  My real name isn’t Anastas, it’s Anastasiades.  Yes, there really were a couple of syllables dropped from our original family name.

It happened to my father like it did with so many other Greeks.  Upon his arrival at Ellis Island in 1908 at the age of nine, the immigration authorities couldn’t handle Dad’s given Greek name, Panos Anastasiades.  So they changed it to Peter Anastas.  My actual first name is Panayiotis, which means “little Peter” or “junior.”  But my parents only used that for my baptism, after which they reverted to Peter, like my dad.

If you are wondering what Anastasiades means, let me explain.  Anastas is the past participle of both the ancient and demotic, or modern, Greek verb “anisto-anastasis,” which means “to stand up, rise or be resurrected.”  So Anastas means “having stood up” or, like Christ, “having risen.”  The final syllables, “iades,” stand for “the son of,” like the Russian suffix “ovich.”  Therefore, my name literally means “son of the one who stood up” or “son of the arisen.”  Not bad for the child of an immigrant, who arrived in America at the age of nine wearing his mother’s shoes.

Ah, but it wasn’t “in” to be Greek in 1908, anymore than it was hip to be Italian or Jewish.  When my father arrived in Lowell to join his father as a laborer in the Massachusetts Cotton Mill, he witnessed some horrendous battles between the newly arrived Greeks, the French-Canadians and the Anglo-Americans, who made up the primary workforce.  They were turf battles that later became labor struggles, eventually driving many immigrants to other towns, or even back to the “old country,” as the Greeks called home.  In fact, my father, whose own father had actually died before Dad arrived, soon left Lowell to sell newspapers and shine shoes in downtown Boston, where he remained until his induction into the army during World War I.

From boyhood I heard these stories about my father’s arrival and subsequent life in America, stories which I’ve passed down to my own children.  Dad’s story is the story of many Greeks, who came here penniless or orphaned, went to work, educated themselves, and eventually started their own businesses, not untypically lunch rooms or grocery stores.

Some immigrants, like my uncle Cyrus Comninos, who was a physician, or the sculptor George Demetrios, whom Dad knew when they were both young men in Boston, became successful in the professions or the arts.  Yet, while Greeks, like Theodoros Stamos, have become major painters in America, and Harry Mark Petrakis has written powerfully about Greeks in Chicago, we have not produced a novelist of the stature of Jewish American writers like Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, or the Italian American novelist Pietro di Donato, whose Christ in Concrete is one of the great novels of immigrant experience in this country.  But look how long it took for Greek American life to make its way into the movies!

For all its popularity, which led the New Yorker to compare the film unfairly to a sit com, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is a remarkable picture of Greek American life, pitting first generation children like me against their foreign-born parents.  On the afternoon I happened to be seeing it, the audience was comprised mostly of Greek Americans.  There were a lot of little old ladies in black dresses, whispering to each other in Greek before the film began.  And once it started, I listened with delight as many in the audience anticipated the words before they had even come out of the mouths of the characters, especially the father, who, naturally, owns a restaurant at which the entire family works.

“Oh, God, how I know that world!” I exclaimed during the film, tears of recognition streaming down my face.  Tears, too, of immense sadness because the father, who is constantly reminding his children of their Greek heritage, was so like my own father, now dead.

Of course, the power of the film, and, indeed, its immense appeal, is not only because it’s about an ethnic group that many Americans know very little about.  It’s also because the film depicts family dynamics that we all share—a child’s need to separate herself from an overprotective family, a traditional father’s conflict with modernity, and the terrible difficulty we all experience in letting go, no matter what our ethnic backgrounds may be.

If anything, the film’s sequel, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” just released in time for Greek Easter, is even more relevant, as it explores the relationship between the teenage daughter, Paris, and her mother, Tula, who, in the first film, was struggling to individuate from her Old World parents. In choosing to leave Chicago for college at NYU, Paris separates herself from her loving, if often stifling, Greek family; but in the process she learns that they will always be part if her life.

And, yes, even for the strength of their critical insights into the crippling aspects of Greek American culture that so many in my generation tried to escape from, these two films, which I highly recommend, still made me proud to be Greek.


Peter at Museum (1)Peter Anastas, editorial director of Enduring Gloucesteris a Gloucester native and writer. His most recent book, A Walker in the City: Elegy for Gloucester, is a selection from columns that were published in the Gloucester Daily Times.