had a fine friend
A great man has passed away and we will long remember him. Joli Gonsalves was a man of dignity, conviction, spirit and sense of humor. It is rare to find such a combination of talent and strength in one person.
Joli made a special contribution for Schooner Ernestina. He served on the original Massachusetts Schooner Ernestina Commission in 1982 when the ship first arrived in America to great fanfare and celebration. The incredible task of saving the ship and resuming her to her state of origin had been accomplished. However, the long, hard work of building a public-private partnership, defining an operating plan and building a base of support for the ship had begun. Joli stepped up as a commissioner and was chairman for some of the most difficult negotiations of Ernestina's new career. Schooner Ernestina is here in New Bedford today thanks to Joli's steadfast efforts .
Joli did not limit his involvement to governance. He put his musical and cultural talents to work for many of Schooner Ernestina's programs. He sang at festivals, told stories on deck to school children, and joined the ship at other ports of call to help build a strong and full program. He knew the dignity and pride the ship engendered for the young people of the region. In addition, he was always willing to come down to Ernestina's State Pier office and offer his knowledge of Cape Verdean history, Cape Verdean and African and Afro-American cultural traditions as programs were designed or historical records were assembled. He was an invaluable resource. We will miss Joli Gonsalves very much.
Director, Schooner Ernestina
New Bedford -
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