Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Historical Society ready for new season

September 18, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Thomas A. McCarthy is the new president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society. Photo courtesy of McCarthy
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The Bay Ridge Historical Society has elected a new president and is gearing up for a new season of meetings and events, where talk of yesterday isn’t old fashioned.

Thomas A. McCarthy, a vice president at J.P. Morgan Chase, is the organization’s new president. He succeeds Andrew Gounardes, chief counsel to Borough President Eric Adams. Gounardes had served as president for two years.

“I am excited to be serving as the new president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society and hope that we can continue to build upon the great reputation that our 39-year old organization has in the community,” McCarthy wrote in an email to reporters.

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McCarthy praised Gounardes for his service to the historical society. “I would also like to thank our outgoing president, Andrew Gounardes, who has done a great job over the past two years leading the organization and who has been very helpful to me during the transition.”

In addition to McCarthy, the historical society has a new slate of officers: First Vice President Jerome Hoffman; Second Vice President David Farley; Treasurer Peter Scarpa; and Secretary Charles Caloia.

The historical society meets on the third Wednesday of each month at the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center at 9000 Shore Road.

The first meeting of the new season took place on Sept. 16.

The guest speaker was scheduled to be writer Joseph Cunningham, author of the book, “New York Power,” who was set to discuss the history of electric power the New York City and state.

McCarthy described Cunningham’s book as “a fascinating story of innovation and creative engineering that helped to make New York City into a world capital involving many familiar names from history including Thomas Edison.”

Cunningham was also expected to delve into other topics, including the electrical work done in Brooklyn, cross-city electric transmissions to Coney Island, the electrification of elevated transit lines and the 66th Street Bay Ridge generating station.

The historical society will be stationed at an informational table at the Third Avenue Festival in Bay Ridge on Oct. 4. The group is seeking volunteers to man the table. Volunteers can contact the organization on its Facebook page.

Ed O’Donnell, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Holy Cross College in Worchester, Mass., will be the guest speaker at the Oct. 21 meeting.

O’Donnell will tell the historical society about his new book, “Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality,” a look at Henry George,  a late 19th Century reformer in the US who worked to combat poverty and ease social tensions.

Meetings have also been scheduled for Nov. 18 and Dec. 16.

“I look forward to an exciting year,” McCarthy said.

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