U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer was presented with a panoramic photograph to commemorate the Blessing of the Fleet last week. The photo recognized Kilmer, who was the honored guest during the event in June.
“Rep. Kilmer is a strong advocate for environmental issues and for the preservation of the Harbor,” said John Moist, Grand Knight of Council 9238.
Moist has been involved with the ceremonies for the past seven years.
“It’s nice to have a high-profile friend for the area of Gig Harbor,” he said.
Jerisich Park was the backdrop Wednesday for the event. The Knights of Columbus’ 4th degree Honor Guard was dressed in full regalia, helping to mark the special occasion.
The St. Nicholas Catholic Church’s Knights of Columbus keep the time-honored tradition of overseeing the blessing each year. They call attention to the preservation of the fishing industry of Gig Harbor.
Bill Fogarty, owner of Water’s Edge Gallery, donated the 4-foot by 14-inch framed photograph, which Kilmer plans to hang in his office in Washington, D.C.
Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, was elected to Congress last November. He took over for Rep. Norm Dicks, who retired following more than three decades in the seat.
“Rep. Kilmer’s position adds a new dimension for the traditional blessing,” Moist said. “It’s great having a champion for local environmental issues and someone with strong ties supporting the community.”
The photograph shows the 13 boats that were present — the most to participate in the past few years.
Moist said the increased number of boats shows the fishing family heritage is doing well in Gig Harbor, thanks to the support of organizations like the Coastal Heritage Alliance, which promotes safety, employment and environmental support for the local fishing families.
Other community support and presence at the event included the Harbor History Museum, Gig Harbor City Council members and the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.