Sept. 10, 2015

Minutes of the
September 10, 2015 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Robby McClure at 12:15 P.M. Michael Pierce offered the invocation and Gordon Korb led the group in song accompanied by William Oppenheimer at the piano. Tom Martenstein welcomed visiting Rotarians and a number of guests of members.
Announcements: President McClure made the following announcements:
• A meeting of the board of the Rotary Children’s Foundation will take place following today’s meeting.
• The board of directors will meet on Thursday, September 17, following the meeting.
• New membership rosters are here.
• Please call or email Peggy to RSVP your attendance at the Rotary Gala scheduled for October 1 at GulfQuest Maritime Museum
Program: GulfQuest, From Concept to Reality
Marietta Urquhart introduced Tony Zadrow, Executive Director of GulfQuest. Tony noted that this was his fourth presentation to the club and that his facility is now ready to open to the public later this month. He thanked the many people in the community who have helped make this 21 year project a reality.
Tony said that the $43 million structure was paid for by the City of Mobile which will pay for its upkeep while $23 million in displays and exhibits were paid for by the non-profit which will operate the facility.
Through a power-point presentation he showed views of the exterior and interior of the waterfront building. Text panels have been designed to be informative without being overwhelming to the visitor, he explained. While the exhibits will include maritime memorabilia and murals he said that the main focus is on interactive displays which he described as “addictive.” These include:
• Beneath the Bay which provides information on over 200 shipwrecks in Mobile Bay.
• A realistic container ship honoring trucking executive Malcolm McLean who bought Mobile’s Waterman Steamship Company and pioneered container shipping. He explained that every detail has been studied in its creation which includes sound effects of real cargo vessels. The exhibit is surrounded by a 58,000 gallon pool which replicates the river just outside the windows.
• A Deep Water “Submersible” which takes the viewer through “a mile long underwater tube of water” exploring four areas of the Gulf stretching from the Texas coast to the Florida Keys with buttons which explain various reefs, fish, shipwrecks and plant life.
• The Pilot Simulator realistically allows a ship’s captain to navigate his vessel into the Port of Mobile complete with a 3-D view of Mobile.
• Ship Ahoy consists of miniature tugboats skillfully maneuvering barges in a water-filled exhibit.
Tony noted that the exterior is fitted with colored seasonal lighting to match that of the RSA owned skyscrapers nearby and said that the building’s ground floor adjoins Cooper Riverside Park’s outdoor amphitheater allowing for concerts and other events.
After answering a number of questions from the audience, Robby McClure thanked him for his presentation and adjourned the meeting at 1:00 P.M.
Tom McGehee