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A Rope Yarns Gathering:

Tribute to RADM Thomas E. Burke, USMS, MNS ’39, MMA ’82 (H)

The Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy cordially invite you, your spouses and your friends, to join in a gala evening to pay tribute to our long time friend and distinguished graduate, Rear Admiral Thomas E. Burke, USMS.

The Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a social organization comprised mostly of graduates from the school ship era of MMA. Its mission is to promote camaraderie among graduates as well as to support the cadets of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. An annual “Rope Yarns” gathering has been instituted to honor a prominent alumnus, serve as a social gathering of alumni, and raise funds for cadet scholarships to be administered through the MMA Alumni Association’s scholarship program.

On the evening of 14 May, we will gather at Atlantica on Cohasset Harbor to honor Tom Burke and his lovely wife, Rita. Best known to thousands of MMA graduates as Captain Tom Burke, Tom was “elevated” to his current rank of Rear Admiral, USMS by the Maritime Administration, a richly deserved honor. For over 50 years, Tom has served the academy and its graduates with distinction in his many volunteer roles. During this period, he has served as placement advisor to thousands of grads, Trustee of the MMA Foundation, Member of the MMA Board of Visitors, President of the MMA Alumni Association, Editor of the alumni association magazine “The Bulletin”, and President of the Boston Marine Society. Tom has been recognized as Mariner of the Year by MMA and Alumnus of the Year by the MMA Alumni Association. In 1982, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by MMA at Commencement. Tom had a distinguished war record in WWII and was one of the youngest ship masters of that era. Upon coming ashore, he launched a very successful insurance business and he and his loving wife Rita raised a wonderful family.

On 14 May, the evening will begin with a social hour at 1800 followed by dinner and a fun filled program of sea stories, testimonials, prizes and surprises. Our MMA cadets will benefit from the evening’s festivities as they will be the beneficiaries of Sea Term Scholarships in Admiral Burke’s name, raised by the proceeds of the evening. Tasteful raffles and silent auction items donated by our friends will contribute to this part of the program. Your contributions will be most welcome, even if you are unable to attend. The tariff for the evening will be $100 per person and we expect the event to be a sell-out.

We hope to hear from you soon to confirm that you will be joining us for this exciting event. Please E-mail Bill Doherty at Oldshellback@earthlink.net to receive further details and the tear-off form for making your reservation.

PHOTO: Admiral Thomas and Mrs. Rita Burke.