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Film; 16mm film; [1150 ft.]; Silent; b&w and color
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DVD; Silent
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BetaCamSP; Silent
"Mission By Sea"
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1951 – 1952
Collection Notes: Script " MISSION BY SEA Titles View form Cadillac Mountain This is the country which the Sea Coast Mission serves-- a country of deep-cut bays and rocky, spruce-clad islands. Here are shores which Champlain explored long before the Pilgrims came to Plymouth. It is a beautiful land, but one where living is hard. The soil of the islands is think over the rocks, and for the most part our people's livelihood comes from the sea, for these waters are the haunts of lobster, herring, and flounders, and along these shores clams may be had, for hard digging. The people of the coast work hard, and their margin of security is not large. they are self-reliant and happy, but on many islands and in many communities their numbers are few, and isolation is one of the real problems of living. Sunbeam Docking that is the reason for the Sunbeam--the stout, 72' boat of The Maine Sea Coast Mission. She is a link between these scattered communities, and bringer of good news; in the next few minutes we will take you on some of her travels. Sunbeam Beached Like any fisherman's boat, the Sunbeam must be kept in shape--groomed for her task. In order to paint her rugged hull, she is not taken to an elaborate drydock, but is beached in a cove of her own coast, just as the fishing boats are, and the Mission crew and their helper turn to, to scrape and clean and paint between the tides. Sunbeam Afloat Then she is ready for her work--looking trim and fit as she floats upon the quiet waters. One of the staff of the Mission rows out to go aboard. The dinghy is raised on the davits, and swung inboard, and the power winch goes into action. It's anchors aweigh, and the Sunbeam is ready for sea! SCENES FROM THE MISSION'S PARISH Our parish is the coast of Maine -- from the boundaries of New Brunswick, west as far as Portland, and as far out to sea as there are islands with people living on them. One of the favorite hymns of the coast is "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning" -- and our purpose is to give the lights of Christian faith along that coast the help and encouragement to burn, and to burn brightly. If the Mission did not exist, many of these lights would go out, and the life of this whole region would be poorer. Village, by Bay This scene is typical of some of our smaller villages, a cluster of houses along the shore, a little group of moorings for the lobster boats in the cove, and beyond the great sweep of the blue waters, where the fathers and sons go to earn their daily bread. Church In these villages are churches. Their problem is that there are too few people and too little money to keep full-time ministers. Here the Mission helps, sometimes with money, and sometimes with leaders who will come to help with services, Sunday Schools and community activities, as well as ministering to people's individual spiritual needs. Children The soil of the coast may be poor, but children are a crop in which the coast takes pride. The children represent one of the Mission's greatest opportunities of service, and they are the hope of this whole region. School Their schools are small and austere, but many of the teachers are devoted men and women, and the visits of the Sunbeam along the coast almost always brings some element of new interest and stimulation into the classes, whether in the form of moving pictures, or stories told, or new books. Autumn Leaves When autumn comes, frost turns the Mission's parish into a wonderland of color, with the red of maples and the yellow of birches standing out brilliantly against the background of house walls or of the islands [sic] trees. Surf Scene With autumn, too, come the gales, sweeping in off the sea, piling great waves upon the rocky shores. To the tourist, these seas are a thrilling sight, and the people of the coast have their feeling of reverence toward them, too, but to them they spell danger to anyone at sea, danger to the boats riding at their moorings, and to any lobster traps and fishing gear that may still be out. Sunbeam in Winter The Sunbeam is no fair weather craft, and when the icy winds of winter sweep across the bays she keeps steadily on with her journeys of mercy, encouragement, and helpfulness. Snowy Trees She skirts the shores of islands which have been transformed into winter wonderlands, knowing that winter brings difficult times to the people of her parish. Church in Snow Churches that would have been cold and silent through the winter months ring with singing and cheer because the Sunbeam's ministers have come at least some Sundays during the winter. The Harbor in Winter The Mission's work is not just carried on in churches. Members of the staff try to go and talk to their people where they live and where they work. Here we see channel buoys hauled up for painting, and part of the sardine fleet tied up to wait out the winter weather. Children on Sunbeam The Sunbeam is not just a grown-ups boat; she is a children's boat quiet as much, and even though many of these children live close to the sea, an outing on the Sunbeam is a treat to look forward to. Lighthouses Lighthouse keepers and their families in particular know the meaning of isolation. Sometimes children have to be sent away from home to get their schooling, and sometimes days go by without anyone but one's own family to speak to. That is why the visits of the Sunbeam, bringing books, supplies and companionship are so deeply welcome. Rockland Rockland is one of the centers of the fish freezing and canning industry, and it is here that part of the catch of the coast is prepared for shipment all over the country. Vapour [sic]Over the Sea Sometimes, on wintry voyages, the Sunbeam passes through the eerie vapour [sic] which rises on still, cold days when the sea is warmer that the air. Fog, the sinister cousin of this vapour [sic], sometimes makes sailing both difficult and dangerous. Ice on Sunbeam sometimes, too, the frozen spray weighs down this gallant little boat, and makes hard and hazardous work for her crew. Entering Rockland Harbor Weather does not hold her back, and here we see the Sunbeam coming into Rockland, under leaden skies, from one of her parish trips. Buoy Boat Tied at the dock is a buoy boat, which tends the channel markers up and down the coast. The Sunbeam has her beacons to tend, too, in the churches and homes of her people. Owls Head Out of Rockland, then, and past Owls Head Light, famous from picture cards, heading toward Matinicus, one of the most isolate of the island communities, some 25 miles off shore. (wait here) Children in Dory Here children play, and learn the way of life some of them will one day follow. Herring Boat Sardines run in great schools up into the coves, and fishermen, alert to know when they come, put down their nets by night, and in the morning dip out their silver catch, and take it off to the cannery, or use it for bait. Making Traps Winter for the lobsterman is not an idle time. Each year's fishing takes its toll of his traps, and through the winter he is kept busy building new ones, knitting the net heads and the bat pockets. What with the cost of rope for warps, traps buoys, and a boat, it takes a good bit of money event to get started in lobstering! Harbor all the same, winter is a time when one can think, and it is good to know that, one day or another, the Sunbeam will show up, and bring some thoughts worth thinking about. (wait here) Fort Popham The Sunbeam's journeys take her past the old, silent forts that defended out shores in the days of the Revolution, and in the War of 1812. Portland Lightship Of all duty in the Coast Guard Service, lightship duty is about the most tedious -- heaving about at anchor on a ship that never has the steadiness that comes from being underway. Doing the same old thing, day after day. Out on a lightship, it's good to know that someone is thinking about you, and that someone will take the trouble to come out, and bring you books and magazines, and visit with you, and help you with your problems, if you've got any! Visit to Mt. Desert Rock The Sunbeam sometimes has porpoises for company, as she plough [sic] on her way! Outposts like Mt. Desert Rock are manned by CoastGuardsmen [sic], ready to go to the aid of ships and men in distress. Getting ashore presents its own problems (going up the skids). There on the Rock are the fog bell, in its tower, the lighthouse and the men of the station talking with Dr. Van Dyke, President of the Mission's Board of Directors. Flowers Even in these barren places, beauty grows, for "This is My Father's World". Down the Skids When one leaves Mt. Desert Rock after a parish call, one leaves with a flourish! Picnic Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools have formed an important part of the Mission's work. Sometimes as a climax to a time of study and work together, the children go with their leaders for a picnic. As with children everywhere in America it's play and hot dogs and stunts and pop! Sunbeam's Freight The Sunbeam's cargoes are not just the invisible things of the spirit. the steamers that used to serve the coast of Maine are all gone now, and it’s a real problem on the islands for people to get the bulky goods they really need. The Sunbeam is a practical helper then. Lobster traps are indispensable to someone's living, and her is a load of them on the way. A Car [sic] can be handy, even on an island. The problem is to get it out there. Muscle power, a steady hand, and good seamanship in the Sunbeam make it possible. Christmas Trip Christmas shopping in department stores is out of the question for island families, and sometimes even the Sears catalog is out of reach financially, for there are times when money is scarce. Gifts are collected through the summer months, and then in December the Sunbeam plays Santa Claus up and down the coast. Trip with Doctor In winter, when ice locks the covers, illness on an island can be a frightening thing. The Sunbeam, built to battle with ice, brings the doctor to this isolated village. Men are waiting to show him where to go, and children run ahead to bring good news that help and medicine have come at last. His work accomplished, the doctor returns to the Sunbeam once more, and the crew take her out on her next port of call, slicing powerfully through the cold, green water, and the treacherous ice floes. Trip With Dentist It's easy for teeth to be neglected when there's no one to fill them and give advice as to dental care. The Mission cooperates with the State Department of Health in bringing dentists to the islands. The dental van is loaded on an old army barge, and the Sunbeam acts as tug. Outside the island's school, the children wait their turn. Island children are keen baseball players! In the van itself, the dentist gives the same skillful care that people in the cities are able to have. After the session is finished comes the tricky business -- carried out with the skill born of self reliance -- of loading the van onto the barge, and getting off to sea again. Weir Fisherman in Trouble It’s a serious matter for a fisherman working alone when his motor goes dead, or if, somehow, he gets adrift. The Sunbeam, equipped with radio, can answer distress calls if need be, and like the Good Samaritan, she never turns aside from a man in need. Audubon Society In the summer, when people with many talents and with human concern come to the coast for their vacations, the Mission is able to use their interest and skill to widen the horizons and the knowledge and opportunities of the year-round people. You can, for example, just take birds for granted, but here members of the Audubon Society, who have a camp in Muscongus Bay, are showing these children some of the interest and wonder of God's feathered creatures. Mountain Under Cloud Always the background of the Mission work is the changing panorama of sea and sky, island and shore. Taking the Sick to Hospitals Ten, fifteen, thirty miles of sea between you and the hospital is a long way when illness strikes, and many a time the Sunbeam has been called into service as a sea-going ambulance, and has brought comfort and help, and has saved lives thereby! It means a lot to be able to turn to people who know just what to do to meet the emergency! Easter Lilies For all the beauty of the island world, the little churches are sometimes drab and bare, for, as folk say, "we don't have much to do with". that is why Easter lilies, brought from shore, help to bring the joy of Jesus' resurrection into these services of worship, in the cold, windy days of the early spring. Sea Going Hearse For fifty years now, the Mission has served the people of the coast. For many of them, they have known it from childhood, and have associated some of their happiest times with its programs. It has been, as one man rightly called it, an "anchor to windward" to people working out the problems of mature life, and trying to build Christian homes along these rocky shores. The Mission has encouraged the independent spirit of the coast people, but has tried to give their lives a richness which they would not otherwise have had, and to be a help in time of trouble. It is typical of the Mission's spirit that it should see its people through to the end. Many an islander lives his life away from his island's shore, but the wish of many of them, too, is that they should sleep at last with their fathers, in the sound of the sea. The Sunbeam helps to keep that last, solemn wish. Without the elaborate display of mainland burials, but with skill, and with respect, the men of the coast, and the Sunbeam, bring one of their own home in simple austerity, to rest in one of the quiet cemeteries. Title - Appeal for Support Stormy Sea, From Boat The story closes, not with the Sunbeam coming into port, but going forth, not into calm waters, but into the wildest weather wind can bring. that is the way we would have you think of the Mission's work -- not ending, but beginning; not safe and without imagination, but courageous, and filled with that zest which Christ inspires. Fling out the banner, let it float Skyward and seaward, high and wide; the Sun that lights it shining folds The Cross on which the Saviour died."
Screening notes: Intertitle: "This film tells the dramatic story of The Maine Sea Coast Mission which has, on a year-round basis, since 1905 served the scattered people of the Maine coast. The emphasis of its program is Christian in motivation and practical in expression. Scene by scene unfolds the story of modern Good Samaritans of the sea. Typical of the parish with its hundreds of spruce clad islands is the following view from the top of Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island." Slow pan across the islands surrounding Mount Desert Island, including those in Jericho Bay. Intertitle: "Symbolic of the Mission's entire program is the 72 foot boat, SUNBEAM, shown entering a harbor, and beached for spring painting." Views of Sunbeam III, a wooden ship, coming into dock. View of Sunbeam beached on her starboard side so that her bottom can be painted. Two men work on her hull bottom. another view of Sunbeam back in water, and hauling a dory aboard with a winch, and hauling in the anchor chain. Intertitle: "Typical Scenes From the Mission Parish, East to West St. Croix River to Moosebec Reach, including Cutler, Jonesport, and Mission library at Mason's Bay." View of Whitlocks Mill Light Station, built in 1892. This is the northernmost light station in Maine. The first light here was a red lantern that hung from a tree on the south bank of the St. Croix river. Unlike the other light stations, this river light only operated seasonally, closing in winter when the St. Croix becomes a frozen corridor of ice. The light was automated in 1969 and still functions as a navigational aid, but it is privately owned. Pan from the lighthouse of the view of the St. Croix River and islands beyond. Views of children posing for the camera on a dock. Views of small church with steeple, a schoolhouse, fall foliage. Intertitle: "Frenchmans and Bluehill [sic] Bays" Views of wind-blown surf pounding the rocky shoreline along Mount Desert Island. Pan along a snow-covered landscape, and looking out from the stern of a lobster boat? Pan evergreen trees covered in snow shortly after a heavy snowfall. Views of a small rural church. Travelling shots through a harbor where fishing trawlers lie at the dock. Views of children on board the Sunbeam looking back a village on shoreline beyond. Shots from boat of a lighthouse and keeper's house on the distant shore. Intertitle: "East and West Penobscot Bays, including winter vapor at Rockland and scenes at Matinicus, typical island community." Views from the water of Indian Head lighthouse [?] at Rockport. Views of crowded Rockport harbor, with schooners tied up at the dock and lobster boats anchored. Views of sea smoke on the water near the shore. Views of a lighthouse through the sea smoke. Views of the cabin of Sunbeam III covered in ice, and view of the ship steaming across a bay. Views of Sunbeam at a dock, with larger commercial fishing vessels tied up at the dock. A shot of what might be Eagle Island Light off Deer Isle. Views of men using hoses to clean a fishing vessel on a dock. Kids play in a dory at on the beach in a harbor. Views of men pulling in a fishing net using dories, a trawler and a lobster boat. Views of a carpenter hammering wood. POV from boat as it enters a working water front, with men working on a lobster car. Intertitle: "Popham Beach and the Portland Lightship." Views from the water of the coastline at Popham Beach, and of Fort Popham with the lighthouse at the end. Views of the Portland lightship at anchor in Casco Bay, and the Sunbeam coming in alongside. Interititle: "Variety and Challenge Mark The Mission's Work, Characteristic Examples Of Which Follow. Visit to a light station--bleak and almost soilless Mount Desert Rock." Long shots of a whale diving in the open ocean. Views from the boat of Mt. Desert Rock lighthouse. From the deck of the Sunbeam a windup victrola is lowered into a dinghy for transport to shore. POV from the dingy as it is pulled up the tramway at Mt. Desert Rock. Panning views of the lighthouse, keeper's house and equipment. Several Coast Guard men speak with the Mission visitors. Views of the few weeds and flowers that are on the rock. Each is covered with bees. The visitors get in the dinghy in preparation of returning to the Sunbeam - and it's a quick ride down the railway. Interititle: "Work with the children includes an occasional picnic." A group of children follow adults down to a beach, where they find sticks, build a fire to roast hot dogs, and pose for the camera. Several enjoys drinking soda from a bottle. Intertitle: "The SUNBEAM carries freight. These scenes show tombstones, lobster traps and cars." Two large pieces of granite are carefully loaded onto the deck of Sunbeam. In another shot, her foredeck is filled with wooden lobster traps. In the last shot, a wooden ramp is built for a car which is then carefully driven onto the deck. Intertitle: "Christmas preparations begin early. Here children bring gifts for delivery by the SUNBEAM next Christmas." Groups of children bring gifts they give to an adult on a dock. The children them sit aboard the SUNBEAM. Intertitle: "The SUNBEAM brings doctor to ice-locked island harbor." Views of several young men walking on ice in a harbor, and pan up to the village on the hill beyond. Lobster boats are iced in , or heaved over on their sides. Views of people walking along the shore edge in the snow. The camera follows the doctor, and then back to the Sunbeam at the dock. Intertitle: "The Mission boat was designed as an icebreaker. 150 horse power diesel engine drives the SUNBEAM through ice." Views from the deck of Sunbeam moving through thin ice. Views at a dock as Sunbeam unloads supplies for a family. Her bow is covered in ice. Intertitle: "Mobile equipment and dentist visit the islands for clinics." Views of a trailer and jeep being loaded onto the deck of Sunbeam, and children on an island playing a pickup game of baseball. the trailer is parked at a school playground, and children gather around a man who is dressed in a dentist's uniform. The trailer is marked "State Bureau of Health Mobile Dental Unit". Interior views of the dentist working on a patient in the trailer, with his tools arrayed around him. At another location, the trailer is hooked up behind the jeep as a horse-drawn wagon drives by. Views of the trailer on a small flat barge in tow behind a boat. A man stands next to the trailer on the barge. Intertitle: "The SUNBEAM give tow to a weir fisherman in distress." View of a fishing boat being tied up to Sunbeam. In another view, a flat barge-like contraption is towed behind Sunbeam. It has weir pickets on board. There is no freeboard on the barge. Intertitle: "Visits to isolated schools bring enrichment. Here members of the Audubon Society encourage bird study." Rural school children hold binoculars and listen to a man from the Audubon Society describe a bird in the distance. Intertitle: "The sick are carried safely to mainland hospitals" On a dock we see a patient unloaded on a stretcher from the back of a truck, then carried into a cabin on Sunbeam. Intertitle: "Lilies brought by the SUNBEAM brighten Easter services in tiniest communities." Two pots of Easter lilies sit in the breeze on a dock. Intertitle: "The SUNBEAM often serves as a sea-going hearse." Views from the boat as it lands on a dock where large navigational buoys are piled up. A hearse backs up to the dock, and a pine box is removed, then roped, and lifted aboard Sunbeam's deck with a pulley and winch. A man stands with the box as the ship leave the harbor. At the other end, the box is lifted up onto the dock and loaded into a pickup. Intertitle: "No matter what the weather or season, the SUNBEAM and her crew are in service, ever ready to answer unmet human needs. This is a work of faith supported by free will offerings." POVS across the deck and bow of the Sunbeam in heavy seas. Intertitle: "The Maine Sea Coast Missionary Society 24 Ledgelawn Avenue Bar Harbor, Maine"
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