Historic Ships Associated with the Marshall Islands No. 4
The Health Vessel Tole Mour

The Tole Mour was built in Seattle, Washington in 1988 by the Hawaii-based Marimed Foundation to support primary health care and educational programs in Micronesia in the Central Pacific Ocean. The ship was named in a nation wide contest among the school children of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The winning entry selected by a committee of Marshallese elders, means "gift of life and health" in the Marshallese language.

From 1988 through 1992, Tole Mour made regular teaching and medical "rounds" through the remote coral atolls of the Marshalls, serving 58 communities and approximately 15,000 men, women and children. The ship carried multi-national teams of educators and health care professionals, most of whom served as volunteers. By 1991, most of the volunteer professionals had been replaced by Marshallese counterparts. By the end of 1992, the health teams were entirely Marshallese, and the construction of new airstrips and the acquisition of patrol craft by the Marshall Islands allowed Marimed to withdraw its support and bring Tole Mour back to the United States.

Since 1992, Tole Mour has been used to support programs for special needs adolescents, including youth referred by juvenile courts and adolescent mental health agencies. In 1994, Marimed Foundation entered into a nonprofit joint venture with VisionQuest to serve court referred youth from Hawaii and several Mainland states. Approximately 80 youth successfully completed the four to six month shipboard phase of the program on Tole Mour during a year that saw the ship cover 14,000 miles from Hawaii to Panama to the Great Lakes to the Bahamas.

At the end of 1994, VisionQuest ended the joint venture with Marimed and sought to purchase Tole Mour for exclusive use in support of its for profit youth programs. Marimed declined VisionQuest's offer and elected to return the ship to Hawaii in the fall of 1995 for use in expanding the Kailana-Kokokahi Program that Marimed and another nonprofit agency operate in Hawaii for emotionally impaired youth. The Kailana-Tole Mour Program began serving Hawaii youth in February, 1996.

The 156 foot long Tole Mour was designed by Ewbank, Brooke and Associates of Auckland, New Zealand and is a near sister ship to the national training ship of New Zealand. Spreading nearly 9,000 square feet of sail, she is rigged as a three masted topsail schooner, with square sail yards on her foremast. Although traditional in her rigging, she is a modern steel ship, with air conditioning, hot fresh water showers, and modern electronic navigational equipment.

[ToC Ships]

Originally published by Marimed Foundation as the Tole Mour history.

Dirk H.R. Spennemann, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, P.O.Box 789, Albury NSW 2640, Australia.
e-mail: dspennemann@csu.edu.au

Marimed Foundation 2000
Reproduced with Permission
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