Dean of Todd dockmasters retires at age 64
Dean of Todd dockmasters retires at age 64 ByJOELKlRKPATRICK The Daily News GALVESTON — Lawrence Mallini Jr.. the man who dryclock- ed the United State's only nuclear-powered nuclear-powered merchant ship when it was based here, retired Wednesday. Mallini was the dean of dockmasters for Todd Shipyards Corp. Like his father before him and his son after him, Lawrence Mallini Jr. has been working around shipyards all his life. He began when he was 17, and now. 47 years later, he has retired. There was a small cake in the office of James Langham. the California earthquake scrambles cash transfer WACO (AP) — The Los Angeles earthquake scrambled an attempted attempted electronic transfer of $10 million from California to Waco, leaving Leroy Bank depositors to wait through another weekend as time draws short for them to receive their money. The Texas Banking Department closed the private bank after declaring it insolvent Aug. 7. Since Leroy was uninsured and unregulated, the 000 depositors have no guarantee they will ever receive their funds to which they have had no access for almost two months. Many of the customers are elderly retirees. Judith Kearns of Oceanside, Calif., who claims to have a fortune fortune in Swiss bank accounts, has said she wants to purchase the bank, recapitalize it and reopen it to make a prof it. But since she said her money was being wired to Waco Sept. 1, there have been several delays. On Tuesday, the 19th State District Court will decide whether to extend the temporary restraining restraining order that prevents the Texas Banking Department from liquidating liquidating the bank. production manager, on Wednesday, Wednesday, but little other fanfare for the exit into retirement of the man who has possibly supervised the drydocking of more ships than anyone else on the Gulf Coast. And Mallini has supervised the placing on Tocld's floating drydocks of destroyers, sailing vessels and ships like the Alvenus. involved in the I9H4 oil spill which tarred Galveston beaches wilh crude oil. And drydocking. according to a story in The News by the kite Jimmy Blair, a longtime friend of Mallini's, is something not written down. Being a dockmaster involves a long apprenticeship, a time of watching and studying, and a time of doing. Mallini was quoted in Blair's story as saying, "When I first decided that I wanted to learn drydocking ships. I watched everything that my father did and I tried to remember every little detail." His father. Lawrence Mallini Sr. was the dockmaster at the Todd Shipyard in New Orleans before he came to Grilveslon. The family came to Galveston in 1934 when Todd Shipyards Corp. took over the old Galveston Drydock and Construction Co. on Pelican Island in 1934. Mallini said his love of ships and his determination to follow in the footsteps of his father drove him to become a dockmasler. Mallini Jr. was born in 1922 in Mobile. Ala. He attended both Bull High School and Kirwin High School in Galveston. He played football under coaches Bill Bush and Pop Smart. Under coach Woody Roy at Kirwin he made all-district and all-city lineman in 1939-40. He went to work for Todd Galveston in 1940 and. with the exception of a four-year tour of duty with the U.S. Navy as a bosun's mate, he has worked there since. Arim. Sherman Wctmore talked Mallini into staying in the Naval Reserve, he said ruefully, so he got a stint in Korea. He came back from Korea in 1953. That same year, he became assistant foreman on the docks. His son. Lawrence Mallini 111 works on the docks today, as an apprentice dockmaster. Mallini is divorced, has I wo granddaughters, and says, in retirement, he will finish a boat he is building, an "Oregon Sea dory," which he describes as a 25-foot fishing boat. Now that he's retired, he said he plans to do some serious fishing, and maybe trap a few bluecrabs and catch some shrimp. He said he loves to wade fish and he'll do some of that again, too. Mallini has been dockmaster at Todd's Galveslon Division for 20 years, more or less. He was named assistant to the dockmaster in 1953. His father died in 1955. and Bob Bocse was named dockmaster. Mallini took over thejob in 19(i7. He has supervised the drydock- ing of ships which were cut in half and had mid-bodies inserted in them to lengthen them. There were27 of those. He has been certified to drydock Navy ships. "Every drydocking is carefully planned."he said. On every ship, the engineers know where the frames are. and the blocks on which the ship will rest are placed in those placed. Then a floating drydock. like those in Todd Galveslon. is then filled wilh water and sunk. The ship is moved over the sunken drydock. Staff pliolo by Jim Cruz Lawrence Mallini Jr. which has blocks already in place. Then as the water is pumped out of the sunken drydock and it raises the ship out of the water, the ship comes to rest on the pre- placed blocks. And Lawrence Mallini Jr. knows how much skill that lakes.