Dignitaries and officials with the Long Beach and Los Angeles city governments and port offices were on hand in late June as a ceremony was held at the Marine Exchange of Southern California to commemorate the facility’s 100th anniversary.
Founded in 1923, the Marine Exchange has been around since the days when the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were much, much smaller and far less bustling than they are today.
The exchange acts as sort of a maritime equivalent of an air traffic control, directing vessels to berths at the LA-Long Beach port complex. It also handles vessels entering marine facilities in El Segundo, Port Hueneme and San Diego.
During the ceremony, which was held June 29 at the exchange’s base, located on a hill in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, several speakers lauded the exchange, the services it provides and the facility’s longevity.
Among the speakers on hand were Los Angeles City Councilman Tim McOsker, who represents the area where the exchange is located; and former Marine Exchange Executive Director Manny Aschemeyer, who was the facility’s director from Aug. 1992 to Dec. 2008 and is now a consultant.
Other speakers included then-Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon Weissman and Port of Los Angeles Police Chief Thomas Gazsi.
Marine Exchange Executive Director Kip Louttit also addressed the crowd of several dozen invitees on hand and reflected on how far the exchange has come from the days when the service operated out of a shack and human lookouts, rather than sophisticated and expensive computer equipment, monitored vessel movement throughout the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.