Generally Speaking: Maryland 400 commemoration to kick off 238th anniversary of Brooklyn Battle Week

August 15, 2014 Theodore W. General
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One of the first events commemorating the 238th anniversary of Brooklyn Battle Week takes place on Sunday, August 17, at 2 p.m., in the yard behind the Michael J. Rawley Post #1636 of the American Legion, on Ninth Street, just off Third Avenue.

Legionnaires and members of the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee and the Commodore John Barry Club will once again assembly for their annual tribute which includes a solemn reading of the roster of the Maryland 400, a rifle salute, taps and laying of a wreath by the post’s memorial flagpole.

The group will then march up to the Old Stone House on Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, where another brief ceremony and wreath laying will take place. It was here that the Marylanders incurred heavy losses, giving General George Washington and the Continental Army cover and a chance to escape across the East River at the Fulton Ferry Pier.

On Saturday, August 23, the Society of Old Brooklynites headed by Brooklyn Borough Historian Ron Schweiger will hold its annual memorial tribute to the Prison Ship Martyrs, America’s first POWs.The event will take place at the base of the 149-foot monument at the top of the hill in Fort Greene Park.Congressmember Hakeem Jeffrieswill be the keynote speaker.

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The Salem Broadcasting Company — which owns AM radio Stations WMCA and AM970 — threw a party for attorney Mike ConnorsThe bash was held at the 3 West Club on West 51st Street in Manhattan where Mike taped his next radio show.While we were there, his on-air guests included fellow Bay Ridgeite and New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long and movie, Broadway and TV actor Tony LoBiancoFiorello LaGuardia.

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The New York City Board of Elections apparently wasted no time in moving its polling site for several neighborhood election districts in the parish hall of the Church of Generalsto the Fort Hamilton Senior Citizens Center at 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway, as result of the merger of St. John’s congregation with Christ Episcopal Church at Ridge Boulevard and 74th Street.

At this past week’s Bay Ridge Summer Stroll, the Bay Ridge Historical Society collected over 100 signatures to try and convince the New York City Landmarks’ Commission to declare the historic church building as a city landmark.Helping to gather the signatures were BRHS President Andrew Gounardes and former BRHS president Susan Pulaski * * *

Sadly, the ranks of prominent people still alive who had the wonderful distinction and privilege of leading the Children’s Ragamuffin Parade as past grand marshals is dwindling.We missed an obit from the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese announcing the death of Sister Maria Frederick Stapleton.She was living in a retirement home run by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood, Long Island and died on November 7, 2013.

Back in 1975, Sister Maria, then the principal of Fontbonne Hall Academy, the all-girls secondary school on Shore Road, served as the Ragamuffin Parade grand marshal for the eighth annual parade. Earlierin her career, she was a teacher at Fontbonne Hall.The list of deceased Ragamuffin grand marshals — including parade co-founders Reverend James McKenna and Clifford ScanlonEd Koch — has now grown to 18.

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