Breezy Point Surf Club
In April of 1968, I was lucky enough to be notified of my hiring by the Breezy Point Surf Club. My position was for maintenance boy and I was thrilled. Two of my best friends Richard Jackson, and Raymond Hendry were also hired. It was at this time I had the privilege of meeting Tom Mulligan, who was the head man at the Club. In 2006, my son started working for Tom and in 2009 my daughter also started working for The Surf Club. Flash ahead to 2012 and Tom Mulligan, after over 50 years of managing his beloved club and his hard working staff are being replaced by an outfit, Ortega Enterprises. Ortega is a family business with operations throughout the American Southwest and California. They specialize in retail, hospitality industries and also National Park Service concessions, restaurants and hotels. Why all of a sudden they have an interest in a beach club in Breezy Point, Queens NY is perplexing at the least. Armand Ortega seems to have a very strong relationship with The National Park Service, winning numerous concession contracts throughout our National Parks.
They are reportedly very environmentally friendly and are very much in tune with the Audubon Society. They believe that “Culture is more important than Commerce.” While operating in culturally and historically significant areas, they enjoy protecting these treasures and bringing them to the public. During my last visit to the Surf Club, I don’t recall many cultural or historical areas, well maybe “The Captain’s Gig.” I do recall an area for Piping Plovers and the relationship the Ortega’s have with the Audubon Society, should cause some warning signs to go up. It seems that in today’s society hard work, loyalty and seniority are a thing of the past. Why else would a beach club run successfully for over 50 years, during which they have hired numerous members of the surrounding communities, be kicked to the proverbial curb.
I would personally like to take this opportunity and thank Tom Mulligan and his loyal staff of the Breezy Point Surf Club for their years of loyal service to our community. They have employed generations of young men and women, starting with me and ending with both of my children. To watch them leaving while getting the short end of the stick is disgraceful. I would hope that all of our local, state and federal politicians would take the time to speak up on behalf of Tom and his staff. Thank you Tom, for over 50 years of employing myself, my family and my friends and neighbors. God Bless you!