Designed over 80 years ago to link Europe by way of Southampton to New York, the Queen Mary completed over 1,100 voyages along that route and became New York's favorite ocean liner. She touched millions of lives and became an economic, political and cultural tour-de-force. Retired from service in 1967, now permanently berthed in Long Beach, California the Queen Mary is more than a curiosity of times past. The ship has attracted over 50 million visitors since opening to the public - approximately 1.5 million each year. By every standard, the Queen Mary has met the vision her builders and original owners courageously brought forth at a time when the world's economies were in disarray.
NEW YORK YACHT CLUB, January 20: With equal vision for her continuing future, Queen Mary General Manager, John Jenkins will host a reception at the NYYC to review plans for a new 65,000 SF museum and learning center, slated to begin first phase operations in 2016.
QUEEN MARY SCALE MODEL: To highlight the museum initiative, the Queen Mary will soon dedicate a new Ship Model Gallery. The centerpiece will be the original Bassett-Lowke model, a spectacular 1/45th scale version of the Queen Mary. Graciously loaned by the South Street Seaport Museum, the model was crafted from a 200-year-old single white mahogany log. It presents hundreds of hand crafted individual deck fittings, from rigging to lifeboat hoists, masts and hull details - it measures over 20 feet in length. Of particular note is the tiny figure of Sir Winston Churchill standing guard on the afterdeck. Churchill learned of the D-Day invasion plan when sailing on the Queen Mary under the pseudonym, Colonel Warden. South Street Seaport Museum interim president, Jonathan Boulware will present model background during the NYYC reception.
"Few human creations remain relevant after eight decades of public life and carry global recognition that is undiminished by time. It is our vision to create a world-class museum and learning center aboard the ship and to invite the thousands of visitors who come to the Queen each month to touch history and the future. The Queen Mary's legacy has been placed in our hands and we intend to share it better than ever before. Presenting the Bassett-Lowke model as a story-telling aid will greatly enhance that ability," said Jenkins.
* Launched Sept. 26, 1934 - Clydebank, Scotland. King George V and Consort christen the ship
* "Taller" than the Eiffel tower - the waterline is 1004 ft., overall length is 1016 ft.
* First "ocean liner" to be fitted with motorized lifeboats
* Maiden Voyage - May 27, 1936, Southampton to Manhattan's Pier 90
* Record trans-Atlantic crossing: Blue Ribband Speed Prize, 4D / 4H / 20 Minutes - 1936
* Over 800,000 Allied military personnel ferried during WWII
* On a typical Atlantic crossing, over 10,000 meals were prepared and served
"As we gather to celebrate the majesty of impeccable ship design, in a maritime venue of equal worth, we set a new course for the world's most celebrated ocean liner. To share our news in the famed Model Room of the New York Yacht Club adds to the luster of the Queen's already robust list of achievements," Jenkins concluded.