2012-04-06 / Columnists

Dorothy Dunne

News Events/Travel Editor/Host • WNYX - TV Morning News • 12:00 noon on UHF Chs. 35 & 26 Monday - Friday

Ed Shelvin, Rockaway Beach Man, wins Thomas J. Manton’s “Irish Man of the Year” award.

This all happened this past week at the Celebration of Irish Heritage and Culture at the New York Historical Society.

Ed Shevlin eloquently spoke of loving his job as a sanitation man. He was a high school dropout. In the 1980s as a pub owner, he became an officer of the Rockaway Irish Cultural Committee and president of the Irish Festival for which he raised $23,000 for United Irish Foundation in 1989, and $22,000 thus saving the Meals on Wheels program in 1990.

Three years later Ed became a sanitation worker and joined the Department’s Emerald Society. He was appointed to the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day parade committee and marched with the Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band as a tenor drummer. When Cystic Fibrosis hit the family, Ed motorcycled from Rockaway Beach, NY to Rockaway Beach, Oregon and back raising over $16,000 for Cystic Fibrosis. After his retirement from the Sanitation Department, he achieved a college degree, studied the Irish language in Ireland and received a degree and became an Irish language officer.

He teaches beginner Irish language classes and serves as recording secretary for the Department of Sanitation Emerald Society as well as helping encourage children to further their education. He is a warm and moving speaker with an aura of kindness and trustworthiness about him. A man who surely deserves the title of “Irish Man of the Year.”


Frances Abbracciamento, former owner with husband Sal, long deceased, of Abbracciamento’s on the Pier Restaurant in Rockaway along with son Frank and daughter Alda Spina. Frances has lived in Breezy Point many, many years and she is well loved and admired. I asked Frances what is the secret of her longevity? She told me, “It is in my genes.” Most of her family members have lived into their nineties.

She looks great and much younger than her years and is enjoying life having fun and good times going out to dinners and keeping up with the activities of the Senior Club. Most of all she is in good health and feeling fine and is bound to last way beyond one hundred. Happy Birthday, Frances, and continued good health and merriment in your years to come.

It was at the Explorers Club annual Spring Luncheon I ran into Alda Spina, Frances’ daughter, and she reminded me of her mother’s birthday. (I wrote her up when she was 95.) Frank, her son, and Alda are still catering for the Explorers Club. They said, “Light Lunch,” but it was much more elaborate and very delicious. They showed videos of the Antarctic and the animals and fish seen there and other parts of the world and deep sea diving. Very, very interesting, and interesting how people still explore the world. One gentleman, Dominique Goerlitz, who had his own fascinating video of a voyage on the Abora, a Stone Age sailing vessel made from reeds. He proved that seafarers from the Stone Age must have been able to navigate the Atlantic in both directions. You can catch it online at Dominique,Goerlitz@T-ONLINE.DE OR www.obora.Eu He is looking for more hearty and courageous explorers to make the next journey. They did not quite make it to Europe, but will attempt it again.

Happy Birthday to my cousin Nicole Crowley, who celebrated her 20+ birthday on March 31. Nicole has a college degree and is gainfully employed at an insurance firm and still lives with Mom and Dad in Breezy Point. She has lots of friends and is enjoying life, as it should be. Wish all the best for you, Nicole.

The Peruvians want you to look into their investment opportunities, of which they have many. At their function I tasted their Peruvian Purple Potatoes. They are good. Have you tried them?

Another event at the Greek Wine Tasting, I tried octopus for the first time and that was good, too. And, their wines were very full bodied and strong. You may want to travel to Greece to taste them from their own vineyards. Some prices to entice you to travel there are: Travel May to Sept. Hurry and book: Highlights of Greece, 6 nts. NOW $ $609 Athens, Mykonos and Santorini; Aegean Islands and Turkey, Athens and 7 nt. Cruise $595; Cycladic Adventure, 7 nts Athens and 3 nt Aegean Island cruise, $704. More from Central Holiday Tours.

And, AWAY WE GO!!!

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