2006-10-27 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

Commentary by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

Chapey Honored By AOH

I am pleased to inform you that on Saturday, November 11, I will be honored as the Irish Woman of the Year at the Queens County Ancient Order of Hibernians/Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians annual corporate ball.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn addressed Irish issues in a press conference on October 19, 2006 held on the steps of City Hall calling for "immediate steps to be taken towards ensuring peace in Northern Ireland". Speaker Quinn brought together both the Irish and British consulates "to call for peace and a permanent and equal government."

Leaders of the Irish community from the City, State and Federal government joined with Quinn to demand that action be taken quickly to bring about a final peace process.

The press conference was called in response to a meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Taoiseach Bertie Allen and members of the Northern Island political parties, held in St. Andrews, Scotland, where it was agreed that November 10 would be the deadline for accepting a peace plan. However, recent meetings to put the process in place have been postponed. Speaker Quinn was joined in this call by many leaders including Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Brian O'Dwyer - Chairman of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, Timothy O'Connor - Consul General of Ireland, Andrew Pike - Britain's Consul for Northern Ireland and representatives of the British Government.

Quinn issued a statement saying that definite progress has been made through the Saint Andrew's agreement. She remains hopeful that the shared peace process will remain on track, and calls for action now.

I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center (EIIC) (chaired by Brian O'Dwyer) which addresses immigration issues. The U. S. Department of State has announced the results of the 2007 Diversity Visa lottery. Selected entrants are being notified by mail. Other interested individuals are welcome to apply for the 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery applications which will be accepted between October 4 and December 3, 2006. The forms are available at www.dvlottery.state.gov . The visas give a person permanent residency. Persons who are interested in more information can call the Woodside office of the EIIC at 718-478-5502. They are available to help immigrants from all countries.

The Columbus Day Parade in Howard Beach was a wonderful day for everyone to celebrate the contributions of Italians to our community, state and country. The grand marshals of the parade were Joseph Meccariello and Mary Grosso. It was a great day for children, parents and grandparents to enjoy together. There were floats sponsored by numerous community businesses and groups. Kudos to Terry Ariola, Eddie O'Hare, Clara DeCandia, Joe DeCandia and the other leaders of the parade. On the day of the parade everyone was Italian or definitely wanted to be.

On Sunday evening we attended another great evening at the West End Temple. The annual raffle dinner was sponsored by a new group called the Social Circle. Congratulations to Hal and Lynn Kramberg, Ed and Florence Spirier, Charles and Evelyn Thau, Noni Signoretti, Marjorie Sautner, Lori Creamer, Elaine Furst and Rhoda Ross for running such a wonderful event. Hal Kramberg was a fabulous M.C. He brought together a fantastically talented group to entertain everyone. The performers were the youngsters ranging in age from 3 to 9 years.

St. Francis de Sales celebrated its 100th anniversary with a fantastic dinner dance at Russo's on the Bay. The honorees were the capable, fantastic and much loved - Monsignor Martin Geraghty, Sister Patricia Chelius and Peg Keating. The contributions of the honorees to our parish are enormous. My family - the Chapeys - have been worshiping at St. Francis de Sales for 100 years. Monsignor John Brown, our new pastor, was the enthusiastic M.C. for the dinner. He welcomed everyone and remarked on the great contributions of the St. Francis family to our community over the past 100 years.

The Chamber of Commerce also gathered at Russo's to honor Barbara and Marvin Eisenstadt for Life Time Community Commitment, Borough President Helen Marshall for Friend to the Chamber, Dr. Peter Nelson for Outstanding Service to the Community, Valerie West (RDRC) for Helping Hands, developers of the Ocean Grande condominiums, Danielle McShane of Danielles Rockaway Florist and Marco and Lucille Minuto of Red Castle Bakeries as Merchants of the Year.

The AOH held a very successful golf outing. Congratulations to Mike and Betty Keller, Peggy and Pat McGrath, Mike and Elizabeth Hennigan, Patrick and Bernadette Lally and Patrick and Beatrice Nee on sponsoring this great event. The follow up luncheon was held at the Harbor Light restaurant. As usual the food was delicious, the atmosphere was great and the friendship was fabulous.

I am most delighted to inform you that Renee Freeman and I will be honored at the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents dinner on Saturday, December 9 at the Knights of Columbus. We are being honored for our work as chairpersons of the Rockaway Catholic Jewish Council. We are working to promote positive interfaith relations in our community and city. John Lepore - Allstate Insurance and President of the Chamber of Commerce, Danielle McShane of Danielles Florist, and the Rockaway Irish Boys will also be honored.

On Sunday, November 5, the Sisterhood of Temple Beth El will be having a book - author brunch from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon on Beach 121 Street. The title of the book is Triangle by Katherine Weber. The publishers weekly reviewed the book and found it "a marvel of ingenuity, bridging history and imagination. It is persuasive, probing and capturing". Weber bases the story on Esther Gottesfeld - a remaining survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Estelle Fleischman and Selma Frank recommended it to me.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 1 at 8:15 p.m. at the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways at 104-04 Rockaway Beach Boulevard to hear our Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, the chairperson of a very important committee on Consumer Affairs. She will be sharing information on this and other timely and important topics. I look forward to seeing you there.

Congratulations to Joe and Joan Farrell and Bridget and Tom Dalton on celebrating 50 years of marriage. Mike and Betty Keller celebrated their 46th anniversary. Kudos to these wonderful couples.

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