Bay Ridge

Commodore Barry Club essay contest focuses on naval hero

November 15, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Commodore Barry Club Treasurer Peter Lovett (center) receives a City Council certificate from Councilmember Vincent Gentile at the club’s recent tea social. At right is President Mary Nolan. Photo courtesy of Commodore Barry Club
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The life of the Revolutionary War naval hero Commodore John Barry will be the subject of a student essay contest sponsored by a Brooklyn-based group bearing the name of the patriot.

The Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn is inviting high school students who are interested in researching Irish American history and the contributions of Irish Americans to the U.S. to submit essays to the contest. The essays should be approximately 1,000 words in length, according to Barry Club leaders.

John Barry was an Irish immigrant who fought on the side of the colonies during the American Revolution. The club that bears his name was founded by Bay Ridge resident Mary Nolan. Nolan and other club members have been advocating for several years for Barry’s naval heroism to be included in American history courses taught in schools.

“It is said that Commodore John Barry is a man for all ages. Our club believes this great American patriot should be studied in our state’s schools,” club leaders said a statement.

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The essay contest deadline is Feb. 17. Students should submit their essays electronically to: [email protected]. The winners will be announced on March 4.

The first prize is $1,000, the second prize is $500 and the third place finisher will receive $250. Past prize winners are not eligible to participate in the competition.

A jury of educators will be the judges.

The winning students will be invited to read their essays aloud during ceremonies commemorating the naval hero at Commodore Barry Park on Flushing Avenue and Navy Street on March 11.

For more information on the essay contest, visit

In other news, Barry Club members gathered at Saint Patrick’s Church auditorium in Bay Ridge on Nov. 6 for their annual tea social.

The club honored Peter Lovett, whom members said was instrumental in arranging for the dedication of a monument in Commodore Barry Park. Lovett has been the club’s treasurer for many years. He currently serves as recreation director at the Fort Hamilton Senior Citizens Center.

State Sen. Marty Golden, Councilmember Vincent Gentile and Diana Goodman of the Fort Hamilton Senior Center Council all presented Peter Lovett with certificates.


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