Posted by Bob Heck on Mar 12, 2018
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date: 3/12/2018
Today’s Program: Preserving Parthia: The Rescue of the Historic Tugboat
Meeting Called to order: President Christy @ 12:20 pm
  • Invocation by: Gloria Strait
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: John Hough
  • Song: America the Beautiful led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Jill Barnes
Visiting Rotarians
Brent Robinson – Hawks Prairie
Carla Fowler – West Olympia
Guest of Rotarians
  • Kelly Green – Communications Director, South Puget Sound Community College
  • Les Eldridge – South Sound Maritime Heritage Association
  • Mike Miller – Wells Fargo
Happy Bucks – hosted by Mark Elliot
  • Mark Elliott – He sailed in a sailboat race this last weekend – their vessel finished 4.5 hours before the next boat.
  • Nancy Zussy Allen – Recently celebrated her 71st birthday!
  • Jim Larson – Visited NYC to see the debut of a documentary he was part of – it was part of one of the largest film festivals in the country.
  • Renetta Wilson – Donating to Paul Harris today to celebrate her March birthday as well as 19 years in business.
  • Jill Barnes –Invited the club to join her at Uncorked and Unplugged, an event this Wednesday (3/14/18) that will support the Washington Center.
  • Tom Lally – He and his wife enjoyed seeing Hamilton in Seattle.
  • Nick Schmidt – Enjoyed a very relaxing birthday this weekend and thanked all club members who attended the Boy Scouts “Friends of Scouting” lunch last week.  Especially, Gerry Alexander, who was not only a local Scout, but also attended one of the Olympia Rotary Club meetings as a Boy Scout.
  • Rick Panowicz – His family hosted a Rotary exchange student from Prague and recently received a wedding invitation to be part of the wedding festivities in Prague.
Club Centennial 2020 Celebration
Dick Blinn requested feedback for events/activates for the Club Centennial Celebration – please go online to complete the survey:
Paul Harris Foundation Dinner
President Christy announced the Paul Harris Foundation Dinner is on March 22nd at Hotel RL, please join fellow Rotarians from around the region for an evening of fellowship.
New Member Induction
Phyllis Mandel introduced Jeannine Roe as the newest member to our Club. Jeannine is a 30-year veteran of state and local politics. After leaving the Washington State Senate, where she worked under multiple majority leaders, Jeannine began work at Greene Realty as a broker. She also served on the Olympia City Council for 8 years. She has two daughters, is a grandma, and joins her father, Charlie Roe, as a member of our Club.
Program: Preserving Parthia: The Rescue of the Historic Tugboat
Chuck Fowler introduced the program, and his co-presenters, and set the stage for how the community came together to save a piece of maritime history.  Chuck was joined by Jim Warjone, retired CEO of Port Blakley Tree Farm, and Rick Panowicz, retired CEO of Archives Northwest and a former club member.  Chuck praised Jim and Rick’s work in co-leading the Hands On Children’s Museum campaign.  In addition to building our community, they are also passionate about boats.  Chuck worked with each through the Maritime Heritage Association.
Parthia was built in 1906 on Bainbridge Island by the Hall shipbuilding family.  The tug is 50-feet long, has an 11-foot beam and served in Olympia area from 1962-1975.  The tug has participated in Harbor Days 26 times. Parthia has won the Tug Race 6 times.
In August 2017 the current owner, who purchased the Tug after Harbor Days 2016, called Harbor Days to offer to tug to anyone who wanted it, for free.  Because it was incorrectly tied to the dock, the tide caused the tug to sink.
Through personal connections that stemmed from Harbor Days/South Sound Maritime Heritage Association, an incredible group of volunteers got the tug to float and back to Olympia.
In November 2017 the rescue towing from Hood Canal up to Port Townsend took place, despite very strong winds.  During the rescue/haul out the Port of Port Townsend was very worried they would get stuck with a derelict boat, so made the volunteers promise to pick the boat up and to check the pumps every three hours, even throughout the night.  The boat was put on a truck and driven the 100+ miles from Port Townsend to Olympia’s Swantown Marina.
From November – February 2017 restoration work was done on the tug.  The rehab undid the damage of the water and exposure to diesel.  Beginning in February and lasting for several weeks, the group of volunteers worked to identify the final resting place for the tug.  They used an exhibit in Southern Oregon as inspiration for how the display could be crafted.  With such a unique piece of maritime history, they wanted to use the tug exhibit as a teaching/education display.
During the search for a permanent location, volunteers looked at the Port Plaza.  The group realized this would be an ideal landing place for the tug – along the fence that separates the Port from the Plaza. While in the early stages of the proposal, this is a potential permanent home.  Ron Thomas has offered to help with the conceptual drawings to aid the Port of Olympia in the final approval.
The project has been the product of many, many individuals who have given their time and resources to support each leg of the journey.  There is the potential that, by Harbor Days 2018, the Parthia will be installed and the exhibit open.
Mr. Snappy: Pat Rants won custom picture notecards donated by Nate Naismith.
Meeting Adjourned: 1:25 pm by President Christy