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Fire boat, John J. Harvey spraying water

Promoting our harbor's vitality, history, and importance today and in the future...




Join us for a fun evening on Tuesday, 31 March 2015
as we present the
documentary film, Liemba!

Photo (c)

Before there was the African Queen, before there was the East River Ferry and the NYC Ferry plan, there was Liemba!

A ferry connecting communities and people with work on the great Lake Tanganyika.

Come see this warming and entertaining documentary about the 100 year old vessel; its history, interviews with the people who run and use it; and hear the marvelous sound track of East Africa music.

A panel discussion will follow the screening of the documentary. Refreshments and beverages served after the event.

31 March 2015
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m.

Community Church of New York
40 East 35th Street (btwn Madison & Park)
New York, NY 10016

Tickets: $25Seniors (62+) & students: $20

Click Here for Flyer

For further information on the history of the documentary film, please go to:

For further info, contact

Special Promotional Price
As We Kick-Off Our
2015 Tour Season

Sunday, 31 May, 2015
Working Harbor Committee Hidden Harbor Tours® Presents:
Newtown Creek
with Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman

Tickets: $30
$25 Seniors

Get onboard with the Working Harbor Committee
11:00 a.m. Sunday, 31 May, 2015
Newtown Creek Hidden Harbor Tour®

Come explore Newtown Creek by boat with The Working Harbor Committee with Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman as your guide. Boarding begins at 10:30 a.m., and departs at 11:00 a.m. sharp. The 2-hour, fully narrated, round-trip excursion on a NY Waterway vessel departs from and returns to Pier 11 Wall Street in Manhattan, located on South St. between Wall St. & Gouveneur Lane. There will be a snack bar onboard. Tickets are $30; $25 for Seniors.

Click Here for Flyer

For further info, contact

Sunday, 31 May, 2015
Working Harbor Committee Hidden Harbor Tours® Presents:
Gowanus Bay & Canal

Tickets $30
$25 Seniors

Get onboard with the Working Harbor Committee
1:10 p.m. Sunday, 31 May, 2015
Gowanus Bay & Canal Hidden Harbor Tour®

Come explore Gowanus Bay & Canal including Erie Basin & Sunset Park by boat with The Working Harbor Committee. Learn about Erie Basin, GBX Gowanus Bay Terminals, the Historic Ferry Yankee, the giant Slag Ship MV Loujaine, the Big Grain Elevator, the Gowanus Canal, Sunset Park and more! The 2-hour, fully narrated, round-trip excursion on a NY Waterway vessel departs at 1:10 p.m. sharp and returns at 3:10 p.m. to Pier 11 Wall Street in Manhattan, located on South St. between Wall St. & Gouveneur Lane. There will be a snack bar onboard. Tickets are $30; $25 for Seniors.

Click Here For Flyer

For further info, contact

Awesome Gala!

Gala 2015 (c) John Skelson & Phyllis Featherstone

The arctic winds and frigid temperatures did nothing to deter the hearty folks who donned their warmest coats, hats, and scarves to make it to the great doors of 60 Pine Street and live to tell the tale! It was such a night!

The beautiful wood-paneled walls, comfortable sofas, luxurious rest rooms (you have to see it to believe it!), good food and drink, and courteous, cheery servers of Manhattan’s historic Down Town Association all provided a perfect setting for The Working Harbor Committee’s 10th Annual Gala on 19 February, 2015.

The honoree, John Atkins, President of Global Container Terminal USA, arrived bright and early with a happy smile on his face. It was uphill from there!

We laughed, we ate, we raised glasses of tasty drinks, we talked, we listened to speeches, we were even given an impromptu pop history quiz by Jim Devine, Senior Advisor to GCT USA, who had the entire room calling out their answers!

It was a wonderful evening spent in the best of good company.

Many thanks to all the supporters of The Working Harbor Committee for helping to make the 10th Annual Gala Awards a huge success!

By Phyllis Featherstone and John Skelson, words and images generously shared with the Working Harbor Committee.


For info on our upcoming
Summer Hidden Harbor Tours
& More

 Click here for donations in memory of Captain John Doswell 

Fair Winds
Captain John W. Doswell


Captain John W. Doswell, our captain, our North Star, our guiding light passed away on Friday 2 January, 2015 and the WHC family and the whole waterfront community has been reeling from the news.

I have barely parsed the news of his passing and am now faced with this daunting task of writing a eulogy befitting of my friend. So many things to say about Capt. John…where to start?

Captain John W. Doswell

John Doswell was a bona fide superhero. He created beauty from decay, he restored life to stagnant waters, he built people into a community, where before there was none.

You could always find John working. The man never stopped doing. There were piles of documents neatly stacked in the “dungeon” – the basement office from where Capt. John would steer the constant stream of waterfront projects, events, educational programs, working harbor tours and more. With that wry smile of his, he worked tirelessly on, even when he discovered he was ill.

John was so passionate about the ‘6th boro’ he dedicated the last decade of his career to our waterfront. He founded Friends of Hudson River Park, and Pier 84 is what it is today because of him. He was an integral member of many illustrious waterfront organizations and committees – North River Historic Ship Society, Community Board 4, Save Our Ships New York and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, to name a few.

He was one of the original group of friends who bought the Fireboat John J. Harvey, and helped to restore her to working glory. He was onboard the fireboat, pumping water onto Ground Zero on 9/11 and he was onboard (with a flask of hot chocolate under his arm) safeguarding her during Hurricane Sandy.

But for me, he was the ‘guy who made things happen’. As executive director of the Working Harbor Committee, John would orchestrate the most amazing extravaganzas. 22 years of Tug Boat Races, international ship visits (including a 16th century replica of a Spanish Galleon), OpSail 2012, where part of the challenge was to find berthing for dozens of vessels from around the world.

Only one man could make it all happen. Doswell.

John would narrate every single harbor tour, enthralling boat-loads of passengers with details about the workings of our magnificent harbor, peppered with stories of lighthouse keepers and fireworks disasters. The thought of never hearing his ‘fireworks story’ again as we approach Erie Basin, makes me immeasurably sad.

If you wanted to know pretty much anything about New York Harbor, you could ask John. I will always regret not asking John more stuff. I thought I had more time.

But beneath all the hustle and bustle stood this really great man. Smart, funny and sincere, John was a kind, loving and supportive husband, father and friend.

His love and passion for the waterfront paled in comparison to his love for his daughter Jhoneen and his life-partner wife Jean. In perfect sync, they were always together, whether working to save a historic ship from scrap or traveling together to exotic seas. Their love and respect for each other so evident and beautiful.

John, always gracious, welcomed everyone with open arms and an open heart. He never spoke an unkind word about anyone, or lost his temper, that I know of. His positivity permeated everything he did.

Every obstacle was a challenge we could overcome, every set back merely a springboard to success, in every dark cloud he would see only the silver lining.

We have lost a great teacher. We have lost a great leader. We have lost a great man…

Fair Winds Captain John.

-Mai Armstrong

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Next Steering Committee Meeting

26 March 2015 @ 6pm

Please email  Email: 
or call 212 757 1600 if you plan to come.

455 West 43rd Street
NYC, NY 10036

All members & friends as well as
Steering Committee members are invited

Click Here
for an important NY Times article about the future of the NYC seaport district by Paul Greenberg, Roland Lewis & Joan K. Davidson

Click Here
for a great blog write up about
a recent Hidden Harbor Tour
by Claude Scales

Click Here
for a great article about our Hidden Harbor Tour to Newark Bay
by Peggy Taylor










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