The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Memorial gears up for final construction


RP Art | For The LOG

A 35-foot marine grade aluminum wave wall is scheduled to be installed at the Seward Mariners' Memorial site this summer. The wall is part of the final construction phase.

Plans for Phase III of the Seward Mariners' Memorial project are off and running. The final construction phase, to be completed this summer, involves installation of a 35-foot wave wall, placement of a ship's bell, benches and landscaping.

Rich Pakker of RP Art in Seattle has been commissioned to design and construct the marine-grade aluminum wave wall that will feature bronze sculpted waves on one side and "Seward Mariners' Memorial" and a compass rose on the side facing those approaching from the road. Samson Tug and Barge has donated a container and shipping costs for the wall to arrive here in July.

Pakker is no stranger to Seward. He met the late Linne Bardarson in 1972 while fishing on a Hawaiian tuna boat. At Linne's urging, Pakker arrived in Seward in 1983 and began his Alaska adventure, including his first shipwreck on a fishing boat near Kodiak with Seward shipmates. A second shipwreck occurred later. Pakker returned to Seward earlier this year for Linne's memorial service and visited the SMM site. As his wife Pamela said, becoming part of the mariners' memorial seems especially appropriate since her husband's name could have been on it if his luck had not been so good.

This phase also includes installation of two styles of benches: a concrete cleat bench manufactured by Port Townsend Foundry and a custom bench designed and built by Catalyst Marine in memory of Sue Kaanta, a founding member of the memorial project and whose early death provided funding from her estate to launch construction of her beloved project she never got to see. Those wishing to donate toward the purchase of a bench can contact Nancy Erickson at 491-1639.

Another facet of the project is possible collaboration with the Seward Mural Society to help place their earthquake mural at the memorial site. Honoring victims of the 1964 earthquake has always been part of the memorial footprint and what better way to do that than working with Seward's artisan community to make it possible?

Quilt raffle in progress

What began as a mariner's compass rose quilting class for members of the Seward Area Quilters morphed itself into a raffle for the Seward Mariners' Memorial project.

The full-size quilt is currently on display at the Breeze Inn Hotel lobby. Tickets are $5 each and available at the hotel desk, at Sew'n Bee Cozy or by calling Nancy at 491-1639. The drawing will be held May 17 during the Harbor Opening dinner dance at Chinooks. Proceeds will go toward funding Phase III.

The Mariners' quilt is one of approximately 30 service quilts the group donates a year.


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