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Maine Pegmatite Workshop Scholarships

MMGM offers two scholarships for the Maine Pegmatite Workshop: The Frank Perham Memorial Scholarship, created to support one US-based student, and the Alessandro Guastoni Memorial Scholarship, created to support one foreign student. MMGM hopes to establish an endowment that will fully support students wishing to attend the workshop.

Funds have been committed to create the Frank Perham Memorial Scholarship that will fully support a student attending the 2023 Maine Pegmatite Workshop. Our goal is to establish a $25,000.00 endowment in honor of Frank that will permanently fund a yearly scholarship.

Frank C. Perham passed away on January 31, 2023, at the age of 88. Frank was born and raised in Trap Corner, West Paris, Maine, in the house attached to the family’s “mineral store” –originally known as Perham’s Maine Mineral Store and after 1957 as Perham’s of West Paris. Frank wore many hats in his lifetime. When asked to describe himself by Karen Webber for the book Frank C. Perham, Adventures in Maine Pegmatite Mining, he said “I’m an undergraduate geologist by training, a miner by avocation, and a garage owner by necessity, right in that order.”

Pegmatite minerals and mining were always a part of Frank’s life. What made his heart go “pitter-patter” were the lithium-rich pegmatites that had the potential to produce gem tourmaline. Frank said, with respect to mining, he was very lucky to have been in the right place at the right time with the right equipment for some of Maine’s most important pegmatite pocket discoveries as either a miner or observer.

When the Maine Pegmatite Workshop was held in Poland, Maine, for the first time in 2002, Frank was a treasured and permanent member of the organizing group. He particularly enjoyed working with students or folks new to pegmatites or collecting and would spend time at the pegmatites visited, describing the history, previous discoveries, or current work. One of the annual events held at the Workshop was the Ugly Shirt Contest. Participants had to put together crazy costumes with great prizes as a reward. Frank always had a creative costume, acted as MC, and brought trash bags full of costumes and accessories “gifted” to him from previous participants for others to borrow.

Frank was a gifted storyteller. He would say “sit back and I’m going to take you on a little journey with me” as he recounted mining adventures and discoveries. He had a photographic memory when it came to pockets and what was in them. One of his annual talks at the Maine Pegmatite Workshop was about the 1972 Newry discovery of gem tourmaline crystals, and he had all of the participants right with him in the Big Pocket as he unearthed the “Jolly Green Giant” for the first time from its bed of cleavelandite fragments.

When asked why he loved mining so much, particularly in a summer when little was found, he would say he mined for the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of reading the rocks to determine the best place to drill and blast, and the knowledge that when he opened a pocket for the first time, he was the first person on Earth to look inside and pull out its minerals.

Funds have been committed to create the Alessandro Guastoni Memorial Scholarship that will fully support a foreign student attending the 2023 Maine Pegmatite Workshop. Our goal is to establish a $25,000.00 endowment in honor of Alessandro that will permanently fund a yearly scholarship.

Alessandro Guastoni was born in Milan on January 17, 1966. From an early age, he was interested in scientific subjects, particularly mineralogy. In 1977 he began to attend the Gruppo Mineralogico Lombardo participating in conferences and social field trips for mineral hunting. In 1985 he began his university studies at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Milan. Alessandro graduated in 1989 with a master’s thesis on the petrography of Val del Cervo Pluton. Shortly afterward, he worked as a technician for the oil company Geoservices International in Malaysia, Angola, Benin, Congo, and Yemen until 1995. In 1998 he began collaborating with the Civic Museum of Natural History in Milan as an assistant curator which continued until 2006, when he became curator of the Mineralogical Museum of the University of Padua. In 2009 he began Ph.D. studies at the University of Padua on Oligocene age pegmatites of the central-western Alps. In 2016 he became the Chief Editor of “Rivista Mineralogica Italiana”. Tragically Alleandro died on December 7, 2022, hunting minerals at the phosphate-rich Malpensata pegmatite dike on the Piona peninsula in Lake Como, Italy.

Please email info@mainemineralmuseum.org for more information on scholarships.

The Maine Pegmatite Workshop

September 18-22, 2024.

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