Passing of a Shipmate

For those of you who haven’t heard already, it is my sad duty to report the passing of our brother, dear friend, and shipmate, Anthony (Tony) Mann, Boatswain and Research Coordinator of the schooner CASHIER. Tony was found dead in his home in Philadelphia on December 6, following an illness of several years’ duration.

Tony, Sept. 2007. Photo by Barnacle Bill Hamilton

Tony came aboard CASHIER as a green volunteer in the winter of 2002, joining us on the frozen Maurice River as we pulled her engine on a bitter December day. He rapidly took on the role of shipkeeper and was soon appointed Boatswain at a BDP volunteer appreciation gathering. The appointment came with a sailmaker’s palm and needles, with which we hoped he would soon be patching CASHIER’s sails.

Tony’s skills as a librarian (he recently retired from the Philadelphia School District) served him well as he dug, electronically and sometimes literally, through many a moldy archive from Bivalve to Washington. He always delighted in finding new obscure tidbits about CASHIER, in preparing interpretive displays, and in talking about her to anyone who chanced to wander onto the docks at Bivalve.

Pulling the engine, Dec. 2002; Tony on far right. Photo by Greg DeCowsky

Tony literally gave his life to the CASHIER restoration. He was aboard her almost every weekend, plugging leaks, checking the pumps, meticulously documenting his work in his regular email Bosun’s Logs, and advocating constantly for her preservation and restoration within BDP and in public. It is because of his diligence that she is still afloat and holding together. In spite of her declining health and his own, he always met life with humor and grace, and was quick to share a joke or cartoon with his many friends.

In addition to his service on CASHIER, Tony often volunteered on, as he called her, “the other schooner,” CASHIER’s younger sister A.J. MEERWALD. He was a member of the American Schooner Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter; the Traditional Small Craft Association, Delaware River Chapter; and the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild. He was also a regular volunteer at the USO at Philadelphia International Airport.

We will miss Tony in more ways than we can count. We know that he’ll always be with us aboard CASHIER and is looking forward to the day she sails again. We hope to be worthy of his dedication and perseverance, and to make his dream come true. And whenever we raise a cup of tea in the Sunday toast “To Absent Friends,” his face will be before us. Fair winds, Tony, and we’ll see you someday in Fiddler’s Green.

On behalf of the crew of CASHIER,
Greg DeCowsky
Chair, Schooner CASHIER Restoration
Bayshore Discovery Project
Bivalve, NJ

P.S. In closing, let me leave you with the words of the English sailor-poet Cicely Fox Smith, some of the first words that came to my mind after hearing the news.



In the clipper ship Tryphina
Swingin' nor'ard from the line
With the trade wind blowin' steady
And her flyin' kites ashine
Five and sixty days from Angier
With her freight of Foochow teas
There a sailor man lay dyin'
And the words he spoke were these:

Many a year I've knowed this packet
And I've got to like her well
And I've not much hope of heaven
And I've not much use for hell
But if so be as they'll let me
By the great hookblock I swear
When the old Tryphina wants me
Dead as livin' I'll be there

There'll be one more at the haliards
There'll be one on the yard
Fistin' down from thundering choruses
When they're frosted good and hard
One more tallyin' on the forebrace
When they're waist neck deep in foam
One more hand to sweat the tops'l's up
Ond sheet t'ga'ns'l's home

So just off the Western islands
When he smell't the land he died
And they laid a back the main y'rd
And they dropped him overside
Then they squared away for England
Pulley haulin' with a will
But for all they thought they'd left him
He sailed aboard her still

And the chaps as was his shipmates
Went the way as all chaps go
and the folks as was her owners
Sold the old ship long ago
But whoever owned or sold her
And whoever went or came
The Tryphina's extra hand
He sailed aboard her just the same

And he never signed no articles
He never drawed no pay
He never scoffed no vittles
But by night as well as day
Though you'd never know his comin'
Nor you'd never see him go
He'd be always somewheres handy
When it's comin' on a blow

And he'd stand by wheel and lookout
And you'd kind of feel him near
Kind of see him and not see him
Kind of hear him and not hear
And the funny thing about it
Was you somehow couldn't swear
Though you knew it sure as shootin'
When the extra hand was there

And in port when all the chaps had gone
Ashore to take their ease
And left the ship as lonely
And as quiet as you please
Not a blessed soul aboard her
But the galley cat and you
Then you'd hear a sort of somethin'
More than once I've heard it too

Like a feller up aloft there
Putterin’ around amongst the gear
Seizing there another rat line
Putting on a mousing here
And rum-tumming old tunes over
Such as shell backs used to know
In the good old China tea trade
Many, many's the year ago

Tony Sept 2007 by Barnacle Bill.jpg143.31 KB
OK, now what - retouched.JPG603.6 KB

Tony's Guest Book and arrangements

The Guest Book for Tony Mann can be viewed at

His memorial service will be this Saturday 12/15 in Bristol, PA. If you would like to attend, please contact me for details.

The crew and BDP will also be commemorating him as soon as we can get it together. Bill or I will post details.


Thank you Greg

I don't know when I've seen such a moving and thoughtful tribute to a friend. You were very fortunate to have Tony as a friend - and vice versa. I only met him a few times, but it was enough to appreciate his generosity and dedication.

Thanks Greg,
Al Bezanson


Thanks for reposting. My job description with CASHIER includes many obscure tasks, but "webmaster" is not among them. A newbie mistake on my part.



FYI, from the head office.



April 29, 2008

For Immediate Release
Contact: Janis Traas
Outreach Program Coordinator
Bayshore Discovery Project
856-785-2060 X108

Dedicated unassuming volunteer
leaves Half Million Retirement Savings to BDP

The generous spirit of long time volunteer Anthony
"Tony" Mann was revealed today when Bayshore Discovery Project (BDP) announced his bequeathment of $538,561 at a special reception in Millville. Attended by BDP Board
of Trustees, staff, members of Tony's family, and community leaders, the announcement was made at Winfield's Restaurant and detailed the dedicated volunteer's posthumous

"None of us had any idea that Tony was such a prudent financial planner - or that he had committed his retirement fund to Bayshore Discovery Project!" exclaimed
Meghan Wren, Bayshore Discovery Project founder and executive director. "His modest lifestyle, infectious passion, stick-to-it-ness, outgoing personality
and quirky sense of humor made him a much loved member of the BDP family but certainly an unexpected benefactor."

Tony, a Pennsylvania native who grew up in Bucks
County and graduated from Council Rock High School
and Kutztown University, had a long career as teacher and librarian at Cramp and Rawnhurst Elementary Schools in Philadelphia.

When Tony learned about the Bayshore Discovery Project in December 2002, he showed up to volunteer the next weekend. Ever since then he'd been involved
in many aspects of the Project - from sailing the MEERWALD, to conducting research, to keeping the 1849 CASHIER afloat.

In the course of five years, Tony donated over
2,500 hours of his time, starting with weekends when he was working, and building to what his health would allow after he retired. He called his volunteering his "therapy" and sometimes made the drive from Philadelphia to Bivalve
several times a week - often spending the night nearby so that he could get back to work early. He'd
appear at the office grinning with some new tidbit of information he'd uncovered or strange artifact. Those on his email list looked forward to his regular CASHIER Bosun's Log dispatches, as much for his witty observations, puns and off-beat cartoons as for the fruits of his research.

It was Tony's passion for the work, whether it was sailing or historical research or cleaning the bilges that endeared him so much to the staff and other volunteers at BDP. His enthusiasm was contagious.

Tony's loss was deeply felt in Bivalve, and bringing his feline companion Agnes back to the BDP office is just one way the staff has honored his memory.

Tony's gift will go a long way in Bivalve. Bayshore Discovery Project has always been a group of extremely hard working individuals pulling together with a shoestring budget. From the very first day BDP had goals that far exceeded its pocket book.

According to John Pitcher, board chair, "It's a popular saying on the board that BDP is a million dollar operation making do with $700,000 (annual operating budget). The difference is made up through donated services, volunteers, scaling back, reusing resources, postponing projects and by the staff 'going the extra mile'."

"Tony's gift won't instantly change all that, but it will add a level of security that we've never had." Pitcher
continued. "We'll be able to build an endowment for long-term financial security, make a few much needed capital investments, and be further on our way to building the historic destination that we're creating at the Bivalve Center."

"Tony spent a lifetime saving this 'nest egg';" Wren added. "BDP is committed to ensuring that it is used to build a
legacy rather than spending it down in a year or two - which would be easy to do. We invited our Grande Mariners here today because we hope to do right by Tony's financial planning and energize our ranks to continue to build the
endowment to compliment and support our long range plans. BDP envisions a nationally recognized museum and destination interpreting the Delaware Bay for local residents, regional visitors and the world."

BDP will also set aside a portion of the gift towards the stabilization of the CASHIER, the oldest continuously worked commercial fishing boat in the country. She was built in Cedarville in 1849 and worked in the oyster industry for close [more than! - Greg] to 150 years. Tony loved the CASHIER and was passionately committed to her preservation.

"To receive Tony's major gift, only after losing him is the most bittersweet experience I've ever had", reflected Wren. "To have such meaningful good news for the future of the organization, orchestrated by our dear friend, but not to have Tony with us to share, and to thank! is a very strange mix of pain and joy. Even without him in person, Tony's spirit will continue to reside in Bivalve and the Board, staff, volunteers and friends of the Project will
embrace his life and legacy forever."


December 27,
1954 - December 6, 2007

Bringing with him his passion for history, gift for research, and off-beat sense of humor, Tony Mann became a dedicated member and friend of the Bayshore Discovery Project (BDP) in December, 2002. A long-time Bucks County
resident, the retired Cramp Elementary School teacher and Rhawnhurst Elementary School librarian shared his investigative talent with the non-profit where he was the Bosun and Research Coordinator for the schooner CASHIER - the oldest continuously worked commercial fishing vessel in the country, located at BDP's historic Bivalve Shipping Sheds and Wharves along the Maurice River.

A graduate of Council Rock High School in Newtown,
PA Tony received his bachelor's degree in library
science from Kutztown University in 1976. Later,
while teaching at Cramp Elementary in Philadelphia,
he chronicled the connection between the historic Cramp Shipbuilding Company and its namesake school. During the process, he quickly learned how the shipyard
gained prominence during the Civil War with their production of iron-hulled ships. Though thoroughly engaged with the students he taught, and quick to dress as a gorilla or Sponge Bob Square Pants for Halloween, the school's
connection to the shipyard was especially interesting to Tony. A Civil War buff and genealogist for many years, Tony's summer vacations often found him on battlefields
in Tennessee and Kentucky where Company B of the 9th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry fought, ever-seeking more information about his great-great-grandfather
and great-grand-uncle who were members of that unit.

Tony's love of history and skill in research, along with his new-found passion for nautical lore, combined to create a "perfect storm" of enthusiasm for BDP's 158-year-old oyster
schooner. Tony's dedication to CASHIER and BDP were supreme. During his five-year tenure as a BDP volunteer, he generously logged over 2,500 hours to the Project. As a
consummate care-giver to the CASHIER, Tony not only plugged leaks and checked pumps, but meticulously chronicled the process. Possessed of a dry wit and ever-present
sense of humor, many looked forward to reading his updates and Bosun's Log entries.

A friend to all, and especially to Agnes (BDP's resident feline volunteer), Tony was ready to help out wherever he could. Though much of his time was given to the CASHIER, he was also a volunteer crew member on the restored oyster schooner AJ MEERWALD, New Jersey's official tall ship and younger sister to the CASHIER. Additionally, he was a
member of the American Schooner Association, the Traditional Small Craft Association, the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild and a regular volunteer for the USO at Philadelphia
International Airport.

Born December 27, 1954 in Philadelphia to the late Edward F. Sr. and Mary R. (McCahan) Mann, he is survived by two brothers, Paul of Bolinas, CA and Edward F. and his
wife, Diane of Selinsgrove, PA; three sisters, the Rev. Louise Mann of Edmonton, KY, the Rev. Mary Anne Mann of Manhattan, NY, and the Rev. Alice Mann of Bradford, MA; 10 nieces and nephews and 4 great-nieces and nephews. He was
predeceased by a brother, Gerald Mann and a sister-in-law, Salome Mann.

The Bayshore Discovery Project's mission is to motivate people to take care of the history, the culture, and the environment of New Jersey's Bayshore region through
education, preservation and example. Website:

The Bayshore Discovery Project received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commision, a Division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State.