The Golden Rule is the first environmental action and peace vessel to put to sea. She is the direct precursor of all the peace and justice vessels that followed in her wake. She sails to promote a nuclear-free world and a sustainable environment.
In 1958, the Golden Rule, a 30-foot ketch and its crew Capt. Albert S. Bigelow, William Huntington, Orion Sherwood and George Willoughby ignited the international movement to stop the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons; they attempted to sail into a nuclear-bomb test zone in the Marshall Islands. She was boarded by the US Coast Guard off Hawaii and her crew arrested. In Honolulu the crew was jailed, tried, and convicted.
The Golden Rule now sails again to promote a nuclear free world. Veterans For Peace restored this historic sailing ketch and is undertaking a ten-year peacemaking voyage around North America, illuminating a key chapter in American history and challenging military solutions to the world’s problems. She is once again sailing in the cause of world peace.
With steadfast dedication, a new generation of sailors carry on the legacy of the Golden Rule. Her crew educates future generations on the risks of nuclear technology, the importance of the ocean environment, and above all, the power of peacemaking.
On her maiden voyage, the Golden Rule sailed to San Diego to join Veterans For Peace’s 30th Anniversary National Convention August 5-9. She is the symbol of the convention’s theme—Peace and Reconciliation.
Restoring the Golden Rule
After her historic voyage to Hawaii, little is known about the Golden Rule until Leroy Zerlang rescued her from a shallow watery grave in Humboldt Bay in 2010. She had two holes in her hull and was totally stripped of her cabin, hardware and mast.
The Garberville Chapter of Veterans For Peace learned her history and with other West Coast Chapters formed a movement to bring her back to life—to sail once again for peace. In 2012 she became a National Project of Veterans For Peace.
Chuck DeWitt lead the restoration team, and a loving and dedicated group of volunteers spent five years restoring her. On June 20, 2015, with grand fanfare, the newly restored 30-foot wooden sailing ketch, the Golden Rule, was dedicated and launched at Zerlang’s Boat Yard on the Samoa peninsula in Humboldt County California.
More about the Golden Rule… www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org