On Tuesday 31 March, 2015, the Working Harbor Committee held their annual film night at the Community Church of New York. The feature film was a very compelling documentary, “Liemba!”, about the 100-year-old vessel that ferries people along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika between Kigoma, Tanzia and Mpulungu, Zambia. Lake Tanganyika is the world’s largest freshwater lake and stretches through central Africa.

We witnessed the colorful lives of people approaching MV Liemba in small boats to pick up or drop off passengers, to buy or sell goods on the ferry or to transport goods elsewhere. Scintillating interviews entertained us as did the East African music soundtrack.

After the movie, we enjoyed interesting speeches by special guest speakers James Wong Director of Ferries, NYCEDC, Peter Flynt Portfolio Manager for Ferries and Maritime at NYCEDC, and Rick Spilman author of Old Salt Blog and two novels: “The Shantyman” and “Hell Around the Horn”.

We must have all felt a link with the riders of MV Liemba as we heard about future plans to expand community ferry service in NYC to remote areas lacking other public transportation options.

We then enjoyed food, wine and beer with excellent company!

Panel Discussion. Photo by John Skelson

Speakers James Wong, Rick Spilman, Peter Flynt and WHC Chair Roberta Weisbrod. Photo by John Skelson

James Wong, Rick Spilman, Peter Flynt. Photo by John Skelson

Esteemed guests enjoying the film. Photo by John Skelson

Enjoying refreshments and conversation. Photo by John Skelson

Author Rick Spilman signs one of his books for a fan. Photo by John Skelson

More exciting chit-chat after the documentary. Photo by John Skelson

Sharing warm conversation on a chilly night. Photo by John Skelson

James Wong chatting with guests. Photo by John Skelson


Thanks to everyone who came out despite the rain to support the Working Harbor Committee!


Photos by John Skelson and words by Phyllis Featherstone, generously shared with the Working Harbor Committee