We extend to you a cordial "WELCOME ABOARD !" Come on in, make yourself at home, we are a friendly group of enthusiasts, and we also appreciate the classic Chris Craft Roamer, Corsair, and Lancer boats too , as they are all on the same family tree and share much in common !
Herb's dream is coming true, lots of momentum building, it's going to happen !
Paul (no login) Posted Feb 1, 2010 1:37 PM
Herb Pockling has been busy. Things are moving on THE LEGENDS OF ALGONAC. The ACBS has formally supported the idea, and this means there will be some cash to follow too! This is good stuff, for a great cause, and many of we Commander Owners pay respect to Algonac for the role it played in the Commander Legacy too.
Here is a recent article !! More to come later..........
By Jeri Packer, Voice Staff Writer
Many longtime Algonac residents can still appreciate the legacy left by two hometown men who changed the face of the boating industry, Chris Smith and Gar Wood.
"What the Wright Brothers were to airplanes and Henry Ford was to cars, Chris Smith and Gar Wood were to boats," said Pete Beauregard, chairman of the Legends of Algonac project.
The venture, conceived last summer by former Chris/Craft executive Herb Pocklington, includes installing two life-size statues of the renowned men in Algonac Park. An annex on the Algonac/Clay Museum, with an extensive collection of Chris Craft memorabilia, is also part of Pocklington's vision.
As the New Year rang in, Ukrainian-born artist Sergei Mitrofanov began the challenging task of bringing the characters to life at, of all places, the old Chris Craft factory. Beauregard said Mitrofanov's studio at the Algonac Harbor Club is the old parts and service building.
"It's exciting having Sergei on the site of the people who are going to be in the artwork," he said.
Setting up shop in Algonac has also been helpful to the artist for research purposes. He said getting to know his subjects thoroughly is important when it comes to creating a believable work that adequately reflects their true spirit.
"I spent some time looking through albums full of pictures and collecting as much information as I could, trying to get acquainted with these two people," he said. "It's absolutely necessary. These are real people who lived in that time."
He spent hours poring over materials about Smith and Wood and the world-renowned boating company, Chris Craft, while talking to local Chris Craft experts.
Mitrofanov, 52, obtained his masters degree in fine art in the Soviet Union and came to the United States in 1990. He is known for his bronze sculpture, "Resurrection," installed at the St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit. His latest work is displayed at the Church of the Transfiguration in Southfield, formerly the St. Michael Church. A scene from the biblical Pentecost is displayed on the church facade, where he used a technique similar to the one used on the statue of liberty, he said.
The Legends statues will actually be larger-than-life, standing seven feet high and sitting on a five-foot granite pedestal.
Algonac/Clay Township Historical Society President Don LaCombe said members are anxiously waiting the unveiling of the Legends of Algonac, set for sometime this summer.
"Now that the sculpture is here, we can keep an eye on the progress," he said. "We're looking forward to it."
Beauregard said the Smith/Wood memorial will not only be a reminder of the area's rich heritage, but it will likely bring a host of visitors to the riverside town.
"Once it's there and the annex gets added, the town will be a magnet for people," he said.
Pocklington said donations have been coming in from boat enthusiasts all over the world. More locally, many individuals and groups in the Blue Water Area have shown their support through generous contributions. Beauregard said they have raised about 40 percent of the funds needed to complete the project.
"Algonac people are supporting us tremendously," he said.
For more information on the Legends of Algonac, contact Herb Pocklington at [email protected] or (321) 459-1073.