2000-04-01 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Governor George Pataki congratulated me as this year's honorary female grand marshal at the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade. Governor Pataki stated, "As a respected educator and community leader, you have earned the admiration of the greater Queens community. Through your active involvement in many areas of importance, you have contributed positively to your fellow citizens and are commended for having enriched the lives of many people." Governor Pataki sent best wishes to me for much success as a leader of the St. Patrick's Day celebration in Queens for the year 2000 - the first of many to come in the new millennium.

Governor Pataki noted that the parade "represents a gathering of friends in the Queens community who observe the feast of Saint Patrick and proudly celebrate the Irish heritage. The residents of Queens look forward to their parade in honor of St. Patrick's Day - a venerable institution and welcome addition to activities that celebrate Irish culture. The Irish culture has special meaning for the people of Queens."

Congressman Anthony Weiner gave a proclamation and joined us at the 25 annual parade. He noted that this is a chance for all of us to celebrate and pay tribute to Irish culture and a group of individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Weiner states that Parade Founder James Conway Sullivan, Chairman Michael Benn and the members of the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee have consistently been recognized for their efforts at bringing together the New York Irish-American community. Congressman Weiner noted that "Dr. Geraldine Chapey has accumulated many years of devoted service to her friends and neighbors in the Rockaways. Through her hard work and determination, she has consistently proven herself to be a pillar of strength and support for her constituents."

Assembly Audrey Pheffer presented a proclamation that she had introduced and had been passed by the entire assembly. The New York Sate Assembly recognized and commended the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade and Cultural Committee
upon the occasion of its 25 anniversary. The assembly asserted that the
quality and character of life in New York State is greatly enhanced by those organizations which remind us of the rich and diverse heritage of New York State. The St. Patrick's Day Parade reflects and records the ongoing history of the United States and Ireland, our people, their heritage and the many contributions of the Irish to our community, state and nation. The proclamation noted that "the Honorable Dr. Geraldine Chapey is an educator and a community activist."

The Irish American Heritage Committee will held its function on Friday, March 31 at City Hall. This celebration concludes a month of Irish festivities during March.

As the month of March comes to an end the Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade and Cultural Committee will begin its activities to prepare for the March 2001 parade. Congratulations to President Mike Benn, President Emeritus James Conway Sullivan, VP Owen Baxter and Recording Secretary Beverly Baxter and the other officers and members of our parade committee on a beautiful and successful parade. It was a true celebration of the contributions of the Irish. It also created economic prosperity for our local businesses. We look forward to next year's parade coming up the boulevard.


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