Tribute to Captain Harold Fleureton
- Harold Fleureton, a retired tanker captain who taught at the State University of New York's Maritime College in the Bronx, died Monday, 9 June. May he rest in peace.I would be grateful if any of you who knew Captain Fleureton would comment.Phelps----- Original Message -----From: Rick KenneyTo: VariousSent: Friday, June 13, 2008 7:35 AMSubject: Fw: Your Tribute to Captain FleuretonMembers of the Veteran Wireless Operators Association, VWOA, and the Pacific Merchant Marine Council of the Navy League: The following tribute is forwarded for your information.RICK----- Original Message -----From: CFBEXFORD@...To: apalmiotti@...Cc: VariousSent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 5:56 PMSubject: Your Tribute to Captain FleuretonAnthony,I unfortunately did not know Capt. Fleureton -- although after reading your testimony, I felt that I have known him very well.What I do know is that if someone leaves behind the memory of the kind of reputation that you just described with solely ONE person (let alone generations) on this earth, they can certainly face their Maker some day and safely say "Yeah, I did a pretty good job while I was down there....".Your well-written testimony should also serve another purpose. I think you should take the first sentence of some of your paragraphs, have them laminated and handed to each cadet in the regiment - making it a "all-class rate" to know them just as well as the Sallyport Saying.In my opinion, (with some minor alterations for the sake of making a list) they are:
a.) A seaman doesn’t mince words or look for ways around issues. You always knew exactly where you stand, with no need to look behind your back.b.) A seaman makes a point of knowing his business because in this business lives depend upon it.c.) A seaman’s integrity is without question, his willingness to share with a shipmate unlimited. In a world of spin and mirrors personal integrity is an uncommon commodity.d.) Share your experience, knowledge, intuition and innate ability with fellow sailors.e.) The title seaman may not carry the same weight it once did but a lot of good things are falling by the wayside in our world today.
f.) Seaman is a title not many really understand and only a few ever earn.You won't hurt any generation no matter what their chosen life's work by re-instilling these attributes.Well written Anthony, well written.-Charles Burns ('70)++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Latest News
Captain Harold Fleureton
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A Tribute to Captain Harold Fleureton
At 2345 on June 9, 2008 Captain Harold Fleureton passed away. What makes Harry’s life and career so important to the staff and a model for cadets of the Maritime College is that he exemplified the mission and traditions of the College. Harry came to Maritime in 1960 not really knowing what he was getting into (his words, not mine) and left the College a seaman.
Being a seaman has lost its importance and place at Maritime but it never stopped being a badge of honor for Harry.
A seaman doesn’t mince words or look for ways around issues. You always knew exactly where you stood with Harry, there was no need to look behind your back, if Harry had a problem with you he was right in your face. I have watched him look straight into in the eyes of a cadet to give words of praise or to let them know they weren’t measuring up. In traveling the world with Harry I have seen men melt under that stare.
A seaman makes a point of knowing his business because in this business lives depend on it. Harry was the consummate professional and one of the most inherently intelligent men I have ever met. Harry never forgot anything as a good number of students found out. In Harry’s 25 years at sea he rose from third mate on a liberty ship to Master of the largest vessel in the US fleet, the SS MANHATTAN. A thousand feet of manually operated tanker. Computers weren’t loading the MANHATTAN, Harry was. Harry sailed stick ships to India, surfed 60 foot seas in a C3 and piloted ships in Prince William Sound. Most professional lives are repetition, Harry didn’t have one year 25 times he had 25 years of experience.
A seaman’s integrity is without question, his willingness to share with a shipmate unlimited. In a world of spin and mirrors personal integrity is an uncommon commodity. Harry’s reputation in this industry for excellence and integrity was legendary. You would have to look far and wide to find someone involved in the maritime industry in the northeast that has not either heard of Captain Harry or sat through one of his classes. As one young tankerman told him, “You’re friggin famous.”
Harry shared his experience, his knowledge, his intuition and innate ability with professionals and cadets. It was his great gift to those of us that knew him. Harold Fleureton exemplified the best of what we try to teach to young men and women. He didn’t read it in a book, he lived it and shared it. The title seaman may not carry the same weight it once did but a lot of good things are falling by the wayside in our world today.
Harry was a Seaman, a title not many really understand and only a few ever earn.
- ANTHONY PALMIOTTI