February 10, 1992
George E. "Ned" Cameron, 67, husband of Lois R. (Schaefer)
Cameron, of 1 Gap Head Road, Rockport, a well-known building contractor and
consultant who was more recently known for his active involvement in the
restoration and development of Thacher Island, died on Friday evening at the
Addison Gilbert Hospital following a short illness.
He was born in Gloucester on Sept. 25, 1924 to the late George E. and
Mildred E. (Tarr) Cameron Sr.
Mr. Cameron, a lifelong resident of Cape Ann and partner of Thomas L.
Hogan of Cameron and Hogan, Inc., Building Contractors, was in business over
a span of about 40 years before retiring in 1987. The business was well
known for its more than 50 quality, custom built, private residences. Since
retiring, Mr. Cameron has operated Cameron Building Consultants at an office
at the Whistlestop Mall in Rockport, a service that offered architectural
plans, house inspections and apppraisals.
Since 1980, Mr. Cameron was known for his untiring devotion to the
efforts to restore the buildings and natural resources of Thacher Island. He
served as chairman of the town's Thacher Island Committee from 1980 until
his death, and as president of the Thacher Island Association from
1980 to 1991.He had been the catalyst that resulted in the island's return
to its original splendor when it once housed multiple families of the United
States Lighthouse Service. His primary goal was to make the island available
for everyone to enjoy.
Mr. Cameron was an active member of the Sandy Bay Yacht Club, an avid
yachtsman and sailboat racer, and will be remembered by several generations
of Rockport youth for his active involvement in the Rockport Sea Scout
He served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rockport National
Bank from 19789 until his death, and had been a director since 1960.
Mr. Cameron was a graduate of Gloucester High School, class of 1942.
He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in the
Pacific Theater and particularly in the invasion of Okinawa.
After the war, he attended Wentworth Institute and, soon after
graduating, enterd into his partnership with Thomas Hogan.
Mr. Cameron was a life trustee of the Addison Gilbert Hospital, a member
of the Gloucester Schooner Races Committee, the Rockport Rotary Club and the
Edward Peterson Post No. 98, Rockport American Legion.
He served on the Ladder Company of the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department
for 28 years before retiring in 1978.
Mr. Cameron also co-authored a humorous compilation of Rockport nicknames
with Tony Torrisi of Rockport, a booklet published by the Rockport National
Bank, now in its second printing.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Cameron is survived by three sons, Douglas
B, Cameron of Corpus Christi, Texas, Richard B. Cameron of Cape May, New
Jersey, David C. Stroud of New York City, NY; a daughter, Roxanne C. Robey
of Rutland; five grandchildren, Samantha, Shawn, Cassandra, Alexandra and
Andrew; two brothers, Roger T. Cameron, David Cameron, both of Rockport; and
many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by is first wife, Jeanne (Fears) Cameron; a son, Peter
Cameron; and a sister, Mary Alice Bridges.
Memorial services will be held in the Rockport United Methodist Church,
Broadway, Rockport, on Wednesday morning at 11.
The Rev. Gregory Appugliese, pastor, and the Rev. Laurence C. Cedrone,
pastor of St. Joachim's Church, Rockport, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in his memory to the
Thacher Island Association, P.O. Box 73, Rockport, MA 01966 and/or to the
Addison Gilbert Hospital, 298 Washington St., Gloucester, MA 01930.
Friends remember Ned Cameron
Ned Cameron, a sailor and builder, was a man who loved the sea and loved
taking part in the community. In Rockport, he was able to combine both.
George "Ned" Cameron, who died last Friday, is probably best
remembered by his friends for his work in getting Thacher Island restored
and functioning again. A skilled builder, Cameron worked with Tom Hogan for
nearly 40 years building homes in town. "He did good work and he did it
right," said Hogan. "The town has lost a brilliant builder."
The two men even vacationed together after building a log cabin in Maine
in 1951. And though they were semi-retired, they always met at the Coffee
Cameron is known as a great sailor and for his old racing days on the
Manchester I Boat he called the "Nipper". He later had other boats
also called by the same name.
He is remembered for the spinnaker-flying rides he gave others off his
cruising boat, also named the Nipper, at Front Beach. On a windy day, he'd
anchor the boat by the stern and set the spinnaker with a bosun chair tied
to its bottom corners. The rider would take off up and over the bow of the
boat and sometimes 20 feet in the air. He also took youth sailing classes
out for a ride to show the children a big boat.
"He did just about everything there is to do with sailing,"
said Dick Whittaker, a close friend and Commodore of the Sandy Bay Yacht
Club. "He was one of my best friends. He was a generous guy and he'd do
anything for you. He'd give you the shirt off his back. He will be
"Anything that had to do with the ocean and boats was his
hobby," recalled Ray Smith, a lifelong friend. "He also had an
insight for things in business that were good and not so good. He was always
an A-1 businessman and a great man to do business with."
"He was very fond of Rockport and wanted to help whenever he
could," said Peter Schmink, a local banker. "He was interested in
the whole town, and people in general."
Cameron was known as a man who did things in a quiet way.
He was known among many as a great community resources from repairing a
roof at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club to overseeing the repair of the boathouse
on Thacher Island after it was destroyed by the October 30, 1991 storm.
Though the government disaster relief representatives said it could not be
repaired, Cameron saw it in different ways, and the collapsed walls are
again standing, said Selectman Ted Tarr.
"He was a man's kind of guy," said John Thompson, a fellow
yacht club member. "He was a real giver. He gave a lot more than he
took. If we all did that, this would be a better world."
As an example of how he helped others, one day he called Dr. Sydney
Wedmore and asked if he did "island calls." When the doctor
agreed, Cameron picked up the physician and took him to the island to attend
to "preventative maintenance" for one of the lighthouse keepers.
"He was one of those people who quietly did a lot for other people
without them necessarily knowing about it," Dr. Wedmore said.
Cameron held Thacher Island close to his heart.
"He has been the driving force behind the Thacher Island movement,"
Whittaker said. "They ought to rename the island," he said, half in
"He took the idea and ran with it. Mostly due to his hard work, we are
in the position we are in today," said Tarr. The town leases half of the
island from the Coast Guard, though the town oversees the entire island. The
U.S. Fish & Wildlife owns the other part of the island.
Cameron was planning new projects up until the end. Tarr said that Cameron
was planning to collect information on the outer breakwater in the hopes of
receiving state aid to stabilize the structure.
"Anything of community service, Ned was involved in somehow. We would
drag him in because of his knowledge, and his willingness was tremendous. He had
a lot of tenacity. If he thought it was right he would go for it, and if he
thought you were wrong, he would tell you," Tarr recalled. "This will
be a setback for many areas in town."
He described Cameron as "industrious, ingenious and dedicated."
Thompson thinks of Cameron every time he looks out his window over the ocean
and sees the amber light from the Thacher Island lighthouse. He calls it