Symposium marks revitalization of historic Mariners’ Home and Seamen’s Bethel May 6, 2017

Companion program to four new Whaling Museum exhibitions within Mariners’ Home

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The restoration of the Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home and the revitalization of their histories will be celebrated during a symposium on May 6, 2017. Owned and operated by the New Bedford Port Society, these architectural treasures hold a place of honor in the annals of the rich maritime tradition of New Bedford. Whaling Museum symposium attendees will delve into history, learn about the people who contributed to these historic institutions, explore modern challenges of the seafaring industry, and get a close-up look at four new exhibitions in the Mariners’ Home curated by the Whaling Museum.

The symposium, titled The Mariners’ Home and Seamen’s Bethel: Yesterday and Today, runs from 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets are $25 for Whaling Museum members; $35 for non-members. To register go to or call 508-997-0046. Lecture topics include:

  • The Home of William Rotch Jr.
  • Moby-Dick and the Silver Screen
  • Sailors and Society in the 19th Century
  • Connecting to the Sea: The Past, the Future
  • Modern Challenges and Dangers at Sea

At 6 pm, after the symposium, the Whaling Museum is hosting a special showing of Sacred Cod, a feature-length documentary that captures the collapse of the historic cod population in New England. The film showing is free and open to the public. Registration is required, call 508-997-0046 or online at The movie delves into the role of overfishing, the impact of climate change, the effect of government policies on fishermen and the fish, and the prospect of a region built on cod having no cod left to fish. An expert panel discussion will follow the movie and will feature David Abel, the film’s director, writer, and producer, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Boston Globe; John K. Bullard, the Northeast Regional Manager of NOAA Fisheries, past president of Sea Education Association, former Mayor of New Bedford, and former Director of NOAA’s Office of Sustainable Development; and Rodney Avila a New Bedford fisherman, boat owner and captain of 54 years.

The Grand Re-Opening of the Mariners’ Home and Seamen’s Bethel will take place on Friday, May 19 at 10 am, while the exhibitions on the first floor will be open to the public beginning April 21.


CONTACT: Tina Malott
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum


rendering of Mariners Home and Bethel

For High-resolution images contact Tina Malott


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, 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: January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $16, seniors (65+) $14, students (19+) $9, child and youth $6. For more information visit