New Bedford Whaling Museum 113th Annual Meeting to include opening of new Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room and sneak-peek into the new Casa dos Botes Discovery Center Friday, May 20

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The 113th Annual Meeting of the New Bedford Whaling Museum takes place Friday, May 20th, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. in the Museum’s Harbor View Gallery. The public is cordially invited to attend. The Annual Meeting program includes a Remembrance for past volunteers, staff and trustees, a Report to the Membership and election of Officers and Trustees, concluding with the formal opening of the new Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room. In addition, guests will have an opportunity to view the new Casa dos Botes Discovery Center prior to its opening on May 22th.

The Hon. Armand Fernandes, Jr. (Ret.) will step down as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, a position he has filled since 2013. Carol M. Taylor, Ph.D. S.M., currently First Vice-Chair, will assume this leadership role.

Fernandes’ tenure is defined by keen attention to fiduciary responsibility and careful stewardship of resources. Under his leadership, the Board of Trustees conducted a successful $8 million capital campaign to construct the Wattles Jacobs Education Center; he led the consolidation of the institution onto the Johnny Cake Hill campus; and pushed the organization outwards into the community.  Fernandes will remain on the Executive Committee and Chair the Museum’s Advisory Council

Incoming Chair Dr. Carol M. Taylor joined the Board in 2011, served as Chair of the Education Committee for four years, and as Vice Chair since 2013.  “The Museum is well-positioned for the future,” says Dr. Taylor. “We’ve cleared debt, increased the endowment and membership, and greatly expanded our education programs. The Museum is a more inclusive place.  Today, we are poised for the next stage. The challenge will be how to manage that strategically.”

The Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room houses the world’s largest whaling research library. Formerly located on Purchase Street, the Reading Room and its collection were moved over the winter in order to consolidate the entire collection on one campus. The Reading Room strives to offer the highest level of reference services to scholars, researchers and enthusiasts while acting as an in-house publication service by producing three or more books per year. 

The Casa dos Botes Discovery Center, a gift of William M. Wood III, will be open for viewing beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Discovery Center is located on the site where the first US-constructed Azorean whaleboats were built by members of New Bedford’s Azorean community in 1997. Many of these men and their families were descendants of whalers, and because whaling continued long into the 20th century around the remote islands of the Azores, they knew intimately the trials and perils of this dangerous pursuit. This proud heritage shapes the exhibits and displays in the Discovery Center, where families can explore and learn together through a variety of maritime-themed activities. Casa dos Botes Discovery Center opens to the public on Sunday, May 22.

Proposed Slate 2016-2017 Officers and Trustees

Carol M. Taylor, Ph.D., Chair
Anthony R. Sapienza, First Vice Chair
Christine Shapleigh Schmid, M.D., Second Vice Chair
Joseph E. McDonough, Treasurer
Hardwick Simmons, Assistant Treasurer
David N. Kelley II, Clerk

Nominees Class of 2019

 Patricia A. Jayson
Eugene A. Monteiro
John C. Pinheiro
David A. Wyss


3 p.m.:  “Volunteer, Staff and Trustee Remembrance” service in the Museum’s Harbor View Gallery hosted by the Volunteer Council.

4 p.m.:  113th Annual Meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society – New Bedford Whaling Museum in the Harbor View Gallery. Review of the past year’s activities, election of officers and incoming members of the Board of Trustees, Class of 2019.

5:30 p.m.:  Viewing/walk-through of Museum’s Grimshaw-Gudewicz Reading Room in the Wattles Jacobs Education Center and the Casa dos Botes Discovery Center, gift of William M. Wood III.

Reception in Harbor View Gallery


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About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours April through December: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  For more information, visit