The Committee to Restore the Seamen’s Bethel will host a three-concert series to raise funds for urgently needed repairs to the historic house of worship. The New Bedford Port Society and its Ladies’ Branch are presenting the concerts.
The 1831 building, renowned as the Whalemen’s Chapel in Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” is suffering from water and insect damage, and costly rehabilitation is required. “The Port Society is pleased to be working hand-in-hand with the Ladies’ Branch on this effort to raise funds for this urgent undertaking,” President Phil Mello said. While repairs have been made to the 180-year-old building through the years, Mello said, “Now we need to make a stand and make sure we get the job done right, whatever it costs, to fully restore this building.”
The first concert, “Traditions of the maritime musical world with Dillon & Crooks,” is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 21. Dillon Bustin, former folklorist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and storyteller extraordinaire, joins with Tom Goux, Dan Lanier and Jacek Sulanowski, known as the Rum-Soaked Crooks, to provide an evening of traditional maritime song, story and tales of the Port of New Bedford.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 21, Robbie O’Connell and Aoife Clancy will present “A Celtic Christmas.” Here’s a chance to celebrate the winter solstice with two renowned Celtic musicians in the intimate setting of the Seamen’s Bethel.
Concluding the series at 3 p.m. April 3 will be a chamber ensemble of New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Musicians performing a concert of baroque works to welcome Spring.
Thanks to the volunteer efforts of Dillon and Crooks, and the sponsorship of Isaksen Fishing Corp. and New Bedford Ship Supply, 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the restoration fund.
Tickets, priced at $25 each, are available online at http://seamensbethel.eventbrite.com, from EURO/Phoenix in Fairhaven, Baker Books in Dartmouth, or from Peter Haley, director of the Seamen’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (508) 992-3295.
All tax-deductible donations for the project are welcome. Checks can be made out to the Port Society, 15 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740 and marked Building Restoration Fund.
For more information, visit www.portsociety.org or call (508) 992-3295.