contact: Susan Tamulevich, director, NLMS
high-resolution images available
May 26, 2021
John Michael Corcoran Museum Day Fund
provides Free Admission for New London Students & their Families
to the Custom House Maritime Museum
New London, CT-- The New London Maritime Society (NLMS) is pleased to announce establishment of the John Michael Corcoran Museum Day Fund with a $500 donation from his daughter and NLMS Vice President Christina Corcoran. The fund immediately will provide New London students and their families free admission to the Custom House Maritime Museum. Student/families need only show proof of their New London residence to qualify. Additional donations to extend the fund are welcome. The Custom House Maritime Museum reopens to the public today having been closed for 63 weeks, due to COVID-19. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 1 to 5 PM.
This spring, Christina Corcoran, a history teacher, became director of the Society's successful Local History & Landmarks program, an 11-year partnership with New London Public Schools. She saw first-hand the students' desire to go to the Custom House, but their reluctance visit a place they felt was not for them. Ms Corcoran said,'I started the John Michael Corcoran Museum Day Fund because we need it now.'
Christina Corcoran wrote: My Dad grew up in New London at 35 Bliman Street. His grandpa came from Ireland during the famine. His mom died when he was born but he received plenty of love and attention in the family homestead with aunts and uncles and grandparents. His Dad and Uncles owned a grocery store on Huntington Street. One day a year they would shut down Huntington Street for kids day and hand out free ice cream and candy to the neighborhood children.
My Dad went to school at Saint Mary's and spent the summers working at Billard Academy next to the lighthouse on Pequot Avenue. He was so proud of his uniform!
He became principal/superintendent of Salem Elementary School and took his eighth graders to New York City every year, paying for the trip himself if they could not get the funds. He always brought me along after I turned 5. He volunteered at United Cerebral Palsy and Saint Paul's Church and was the most generous with time, money, and patience. He was respected by everyone who knew him. He worked for 20 years in the summer as head cashier at Ocean Beach which he absolutely loved. He also had a great sense of humor and was always joking and planning elaborate practical jokes on everyone at the school, Ocean Beach, especially the neighbors, and even us kids. Saint Patrick's Day was his favorite. He arrived at school with a green suit and tie, a "Kiss me I'm Irish" button (as a joke), and green bagels and shamrocks for all of the teachers.
He never forgot the teachers and custodians and aids at Salem School and made sure he had presents for everyone of them on the holidays. He taught me what is important in life even though he never said a word to me about it. He just did it. I was 25 when he died.
The New London Maritime Society thanks Christina Corcoran for initiating this wonderful opportunity to open our doors to New London students.
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The Mission of the New London Maritime Society (NLMS) is to protect and preserve New London's U.S. Custom House, three area lighthouses, and Long Island Sound, and to promote, interpret, and celebrate the rich maritime life & history of the port of New London and the surrounding region through museum exhibitions, educational programs, and preservation initiatives.