International Ship Masters' Association
130th Annual Grand Lodge Convention

January 30 thru February 2, 2020

The 130th ISMA Grand Lodge Convention took place from Thursday, Jan. 30 thru Sunday Feb. 2, 2020 at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron, MI. The Convention Center is located adjacent to the DoubleTree Port Huron near the Blue Water Bridge. The first day of the convention (Thursday) consisted of a morning session chaired by Grand President Mark Mather. The day included numerous speakers: Ken Gerasimos, General Manager of Key Lakes/Great Lakes Fleet; Mollie Mahoney, USACE Project Manager for the new Soo Lock; Peter Berry of the Port of Windsor, and CDR Matthew Dooris of USCG Sector Detroit who discussed the progress on the Gordie Howe International Bridge; Capt. Dorchuk of the Cutter Samuel Risley who spoke about ice breaking plans for the spring breakout; plus speakers from NOAA National Weather Service and USCG Aids to Navigation 9th District. The evening entertainment was provided by the Dodworth Saxhorn Band. The second day of the convention (Friday) included a panel discussion about Autonomous Shipping by speakers from the Great Lakes Research Center at MTU (Travis White), Smart Ship Coalition (Michael Beaulac) and Intl MMP Union (George Quick) and several additional speakers: Jim Weakley of the Lake Carriers Association, Mike Moeller from Enbridge and Bill Hazel from Marine Pollution Control. The installation of the newly elected and appointed Grand Lodge officers took place in the afternoon followed by the Ship Masters' Grand Ball with the Grand March led by newly installed Grand Lodge President Joe Ruch and his wife Tracey. Keynote speaker at the Grand Ball was Mark Barker, President of Interlake Steamship Company. The Grand Lodge completed lodge business on Saturday morning. The convention planned a variety of activities for the afternoon: tours of historical sites in Marine City, the USCGC Hollyhock docked in Port Huron or the Sarnia Traffic Center in Sarnia Ontario. The last night of the convention was an Oktoberfest theme night with many of the attendees donning leiderhosen attire and enjoying German-style cuisine. Sunday morning the convention committee provided a farewell breakfast for everyone returning to their home ports.




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