i-0bcbd2fd2937d05b9cadc3b2554050cb-hendricks.jpgIf you were gazing out on the New York Harbor over Labor Day Weekend last fall, you might have seen an 85-foot-long ship with large white sails leading a flotilla. The majestic ship was a full-scale replica of the 17th century Dutch ship de Halve Maen, or Half Moon, which Henry Hudson sailed from Holland to the New World in 1609. The man behind the ship's construction: Andrew Hendricks ’70. About 20 years ago, he spearheaded the building of the Half Moon, which houses the New Netherland Museum that he founded.

Using a Dutch-American crew, the Half Moon sails up and down the East Coast, stopping at festivals and other events, and serving as a floating classroom for Dutch-American history. Touring the vessel, visitors learn about Hudson's voyage. The New Netherland Museum also sponsors a fourth- and seventh-grade curriculum that is used in the New York school system.

For his efforts promoting Dutch-American relations and Dutch contributions to North American culture, Hendricks was knighted Sept. 7 in a ceremony filled with Dutch and American dignitaries at the Consulate of the Netherlands in New York City. In addition to founding the New Netherland Museum, he established the Hendricks Manuscript Award given annually to the best manuscript on early Dutch-American history.

Now a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau, Hendricks received the honor from Dutch Ambassador Renee Bos and Consul-General Gajus Scheltema on behalf of the Her Royal Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The ceremony was held during celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of Hudson's voyage. Hendricks, a medical director of a dermatology practice in Lumberton, N.C., told The Fayetteville Observer that he has been fascinated with Dutch history since he researched his family tree for a school project in fourth grade. By Katherine Federici Greenwood

Photos courtesy Andrew Hendricks ’70 and the New Netherland Museum. For more information about the Half Moon and the museum, visit the museum's Web site, www.newnetherland.org.