Brooklyn Boro

Covering our elders: For two Brooklyn-wide organizations, interaction still suspended

July 1, 2020 Ted General
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In conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic, Megan Hookey, national AARP vice president, has sent a letter to all AARP chapter leaders, notifying: “All in-person AARP events are suspended until the end of 2020, including in-person chapter meetings. The decision to suspend all AARP activities was not any easy one.”

AARP has nearly 38 million members, with offices in every state, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes 800 local AARP chapters. Nationally, the organization is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people over the age of 50 to choose how they live as they grow older. AARP is not permitted to endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.

The Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park.

Bay Ridge hosts two community-based AARP chapters: the Bay Ridge Chapter, which had been holding monthly meetings at the Shore Hill community center, 9000 Shore Rd., since 1984, and the Ovington Chapter, which had been holding its monthly sessions at the Bay Ridge Manor, 476 76th St. In the interest of full disclosure, this writer serves as the Bay Ridge AARP Chapter community service director.

The Society of Old Brooklynites had to cancel its 140th Anniversary luncheon at the Bay Ridge Manor on June 28. The Society was founded in 1880, when Brooklyn was an independent city and the third largest in the country. The organization’s founding president was former Brooklyn Mayor and U.S. Rep. John Ward Hunter, and its current president is Korean War Marine Corps veteran George Broadhead.

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Society of Old Brooklynites President George Broadhead.

Each year, usually on the last Saturday in August, the well-known civic group holds an annual memorial tribute at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park. Under the 149-foot towering monument are the remains of 11,500 patriots who were captured by the British during the American Revolution and incarcerated, and who died aboard British prison ships.

As I filed this copy, the NYC Board of Elections reported it would start counting the June 23rd primary absentee ballots on Wednesday, July 1. The ballots must be hand-counted with representatives from the political parties present, and if there are challenges, the final tallies may not be certified for another week!

Ted General is a longtime columnist for the Eagle and its sister publication, Brooklyn Home Reporter. He actively serves as board member and former president of the Society of Old Brooklynites, founded 1880.

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