Seamen’s Church Institute of Newport announced in a press release today that 2019 marks 100 years of their service to the community.

Their Announcement

Seamen’s Church Institute of Newport is excited to announce that 2019 marks 100 years of service to the community. Open 365 days a year, Seamen’s is devoted to serving the maritime and local community through hospitality, basic needs and communications services.

Founded by parishioners of Trinity Church, Seamen’s began in 1919 as a place for sailors to gather and socialize. Today, the mission of Seamen’s is to protect, preserve and enhance the maritime culture of Newport and Narragansett Bay by providing education, hospitality and safe haven to those who work, live and play on or by the sea. The building includes a maritime library, The Chapel by the Sea, Crow’s Nest lodging and a new Discovery Deck, opened in November 2018, which features an interactive, educational exhibit showcasing the maritime industry of Newport and Narragansett Bay with information on boatbuilding, fishing, aquaculture, shipping, the Navy, research and more.

“This is a landmark year in the history of Seamen’s and a particularly fun time to be part of the organization,” said Rebecca Northup, Executive Director. “The Board and I spent 2018 reflecting on the past 100 years and dreaming of what the next 100 years might look like for Seamen’s. Now, in 2019, we plan on celebrating both with events to honor all those who’ve been a part of this great organization and events to help us raise funds for preservation of the building and new programming to bring us into the future. We look forward to continuing weaving the story of Seamen’s into the fabric of Newport’s maritime heritage.”

As part of the Centennial celebration, Seamen’s will host a Speaker Series six times throughout the year with leaders in the community. These events are free to the public with a suggested donation of $10 at the door.

The first Speaker Series event will take place on February 13 with Trudy Coxe, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director of The Preservation Society of Newport County. A reception will be begin at 5:30 p.m. with the lecture following at 6 p.m. Coxe oversees a collection of 11 historic house museums, including seven National Historic Landmarks, spanning nearly 300 years of American architectural history. These include the Gilded Age icons, The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Rosecliff. 

Coxe’s lecture, “A Shared Legacy: Newport and the Preservation Society, 1945 – 2019,” is about how the creation of the Preservation Society came down to the efforts of a small group of women and men, led by summer resident Katherine Warren, to save Hunter House. In their own small way this group sought to thwart the movement that saw colonial houses and buildings as eyesores and impediments to a healthy future for Newport. Saving Hunter House from demolishment would be the first of many collaborations between the Preservation Society, other local institutions and concerned residents over the ensuing decades to strengthen the Newport community. This presentation will provide examples of collaborations over the years that were designed to make Newport a better place to live and work.

Other Speaker Series events include: Dr. David Kohnen, Naval War College; Phil Lotz, New York Yacht Club; Michelle Carnevale, 11th Hour Racing and; Ruth Taylor, Newport Historical Society.

“As Seamen’s marks 100 years, it’s time to celebrate the past and look to the future through preserving maritime culture and connecting the community to Narragansett Bay,” Northup said. “We want to inspire the new generations who work, live and play by the sea.”More Centennial events will be announced throughout the year.

To learn more about Seamen’s, visit www.seamansnewport.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.