2004-11-26 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Dr. Geraldine Chapey
Dr. Geraldine Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Memorable Celebrations at the Holiday Season

On Saturday, December 4, there are two celebrations which are important to attend. The two celebrations are: (1) The Righteous Person Award at Temple Beth El at 121-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard at 10 A.M.; and (2) The lighting of “The Little North Pole” at Beach 144 Street and Neponsit Avenue at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, December 4, Temple Beth El will hold its annual “Righteous Person Award”. The 2004 award will be given posthumously to the four chaplains who gave their lives on the Dorchester, on February 4, 1943, during World War II. A monument recognizing the significant sacrifice of these four chaplains is erected at Beach 129th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard outside St. Francis de Sales Church. The Right Reverend Monsignor Jerome J. Reddy was the pastor at St. Francis subsequent to World War II and he officiated at the installation of this memorial.

Monsignor Martin Geraghty and St. Francis de Sales Church will be given a plaque by Rabbi Allan Blaine honoring them for displaying a remembrance of the sacrifice of the four chaplains.

Dan Kurzman who is a noted journalist and author has written a book about the four chaplains entitled “No Greater Glory: The Four Immortal Chaplains of World War II and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II”. The book is (according to the author) “an account of the 1943 sinking of the S. S. Dorchester which focuses on the real lives, diverse backgrounds and spiritual influences of the four chaplains abroad – Methodist Minister George L. Fox, Dutch Reformed Minister Clark V. Poling, Father John Washington and Rabbi Alexander Goode – who made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others aboard the ship”.

Dan Kurzman notes that “the sinking of the Dorchester on the icy waters off Greenland shortly after midnight was one of the worst sea disasters of World War II. It was also an astounding feat of heroism and faith”.

Kurzman will be at the Temple on December 4 and will discuss the facts around the sinking of the Dorchester and the lives of these four great heroes of our time. Kurzman will be given an award by Rabbi Blaine.

Kurzman has authored many books including: “Fatal Voyage: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis”; “Left to Die: The Tragedy of the USS Juneau”; “The Bravest Battle: The Twenty Eight Days of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising”; “Disaster: The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906”; “Genesis 1948: The first Arab – Israeli War”; “Ben Gurion: Prophet of Fire”; “The Race for Rome”; “Blood and Water”; “Day of the Bomb: Countdown to Hiroshima”; “A Killing Wind: Union Carbide and the Bhopal Catastrophe”; “Miracle of November: Madrid’s Epic Stand 1936”; and “Soldier of Peace: The Life of Yitzhak Rabin”.

Rabbi Allan Blaine and Monsignor Martin Geraghty have a strong record of accomplishment in our community. I commend them for their successful efforts in building interfaith bonds. This encourages people of good will and of all faiths to come together.

I look forward to seeing you at Temple Beth El on Saturday, December 4 at 10 a.m.

On December 4 at 6 p.m., the Mure family will officially light “The Little North Pole” at Beach 144th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

The Little North Pole is created by Joseph Mure. He spends six weeks constructing and producing this mammoth extravaganza. It’s a beautiful start of the season.

Joe Mure is an outstanding leader in our community. He has an outgoing, energetic and enthusiastic style which is very inclusive. Joe Mure is the Chairman of the Brooklyn and Queens Chapters of the Juvenile Diabetes Association. In this capacity he spearheads many events. Through these activities he raises money for research on juvenile diabetes. The Lighting ceremony is an event where the entire community comes together to support a worthy cause. It draws people of every age to admire its creativity and splendor. Joe is also engaged in other meaningful activities regarding diabetes. He has worked with Bob Levine, the President of Peninsula Hospital, to raise funds to establish a diabetes center at the hospital. As a result of these efforts Peninsula Hospital now has a physician on staff to treat juvenile diabetes.

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