Fond Farewell to Shipbuilder Dennis Holland

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I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Dennis Holland on his passing. He was quite a character, and his accomplishment of building his tall ship, the Pilgrim, was huge.

If I recall correctly, she is a replica of the tall ship that Richard Henry Dana crewed on a couple hundred years ago and then wrote of his voyage. It seems fitting that the tall ship is permanently berthed in Dana Point Harbor.

Many of us can recall driving by the project for many years on Santa Ana Avenue in Costa Mesa and observing sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot, of construction over the life of the project.

I also recall the angst many felt when he went before the Newport Council just prior to the launching and requesting the council grant him a permanent berth at the end of the Rhine Channel, for free. I think he felt snubbed when his request was denied.

At that time he was quoted in the local paper that my dad, Mayor Pro Tem at the time, had it out for him and my dad was the culprit for his denial. I know that was not the case.

Years later our local papers wrote about his exploits racing across the U.S. in a couple of different antique cars with his daughter. I always felt he made a great example to all us fathers who have daughters. The quality time and adventures he shared with his daughter is quite commendable.

The last few years trying to keep permission to rebuild the schooner beside his home in Newport gained notoriety again. I think Costa Mesa might have been more friendly to him, as they were with the Pilgrim.

Last week a friend mentioned that a Holland family member had told him that in addition to fighting cancer, he had a couple of strokes and was in poor health.

God Bless You Dennis, and your family.

Sea Ya,

Skipper Steve

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