The Mate Has Pride
("The Mooremack News,"
A Moore-McCormack mate whose memories of the Mormacwren are unusually
rich, wrote recently to Emmet J. McCormack, chairman of the board, expressing his chagrin at the sight of what he thought was a Mooremack ship heading for lay-up in the Hudson River at Jones Point. A check-up indicated that his fears
were not well-founded, but his expression of pride in his previous association with the company and with his ship was so well-stated that the NEWS asked—and received—his permission to quote part of his letter. He wrote as
"Sir, to one who wore the line’s flag on his cap during the days of the Wren, it (the
ship heading for lay-up) was not a pleasant sight. To one who has stood a lonely watch on a wind-swept bridge, who has seen mast tips sweep the stars free of mist for a night; or who, when chilled, could look over his shoulder
and see the warm, friendly smoke belching from an 'M'-emblazoned stack, feel warm, too. To know his ship was on an important assignment—a good ship with a fine company backing it—these things and much more will live always in a
sea-faring man’s heart to matter where he might eventually wind up.
"Again I say, no matter where in this world one sees an 'M' on a stack, be it at port,
at sea, or in some ship’s graveyard, one sees the best in ships, the best in men, with the honor, prestige, and greatness of a great steamship line. Perhaps this letter may be regarded as too sentimental; but to a true
seaman—to you—I know you accept it as sincere."
B. G. Furey, Chief of Mooremack operations, replied assuring the former mate that the
Mormacwren was not at all in the graveyard, that indeed, even as he wrote she had just sailed from Cabedello, Brasil, northbound, with a consignment of coffee. Reassured, the correspondent wrote again, asking for a picture of
the Mormacwren and added a few lines about his wartime days with the company, as follows:
"In those days, when the world went mad and
the U.S. Merchant Service was called on to fill the bill, I mingled with sea-faring men of many lines and flags. And I, with considerable pride in the red 'M' on my cap, plus the two stripes to which I was entitled, felt
superior to all of them. The loads of brass or braid didn’t impress me—Hell, I was Mooremack! It was that simple."