2012-07-13 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

It was a difficult week. On Tuesday I found out that my employment of nearly 19 years was coming to an end.

On Sunday I found myself, almost by chance, visiting Broad Channel’s two houses of worship.

Christ By The Sea Presbyterian Church and St. Virgilius Roman Catholic Church have both been serving Broad Channel for nearly a century. In fact, Roman Catholic services started here in 1905. Services had been conducted in people’s living rooms; later expanding to the dining room of Hobb’s Pavilion and then to their dance hall.

The Protestant church in Broad Channel started as a Sunday school organized by several neighborhood women, with classes being held in the BC open-air moviedrome. The church was built in 1920.

This day I first went to the Christ Presbyterian Church and found, as I had often found before, a warm and welcoming congregation.

As I left there what stuck with me was a message delivered near the end of services. “Now go forth and be the gift that God meant you to be.”

As I then stepped into the St. Virgilius services, which were just starting, I came upon a gathering of people of all ages. There was beautiful music from the gifted singer/organist in the choir loft.

As I stepped out into sunlight after services, what struck me from the homily was the phrase “Fear is useless; what is needed is faith.”

That and the selected hymn, which was a favorite of my late wife Liz and, in trying times, our Aunt Min; “Be Not Afraid.”

In these difficult days and years that we have all faced, these are messages that speak powerfully to us all. Whether you are a churchgoer or not, you, too, may want to stop in and spend time with these two often quiet and subtle messengers who have deep, deep roots in Broad Channel.

Christ By The Sea Presbyterian services are held at 9:15 a.m. every Sunday. St. Virgilius Masses are celebrated Saturdays at 4 p.m., Sundays at 10 a.m. and Monday through Thursday at 8 a.m., with a Communion service Fridays at 8 a.m.

Last Saturday, July 7 the Shad Creek Association held its 18th Annual “It’s A Fluke” Fishing Tournament. They report “we had approximately 140 entries and a great time was had by all. The weigh-in party (and barbecue) was packed, and the weather was hot but awesome!”

Next column we’ll have the official word on the winners!

The BC Library will be hosting any number of activities to keep the younger set entertained and engaged this summer. And it’s air conditioned! Through the second week of August every Tuesday at 3 p.m. there will be Crafts for ages 7-10. Story Time for all ages will be Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. followed at 3 p.m. by Crafts for ages 3-6. Thursdays at 3 will be Teen and ‘Tween Crafts and Fridays will be Board Games for all ages from 1-5 p.m.

It’s a busy weekend for BC’s Prince-Wynn VFW Post. Saturday, July 14 there’ll be a barbecue from 2 to 6 p.m. Then Sunday, July 15 there’ll be Bingo starting at 1 p.m. Doors open at 12 noon. A $5 donation at the door includes coffee and cake.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 21 for Karaoke at the VFW! Details to be announced.

You may have noticed that even on the hottest weekends the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corp is out on Crossbay Boulevard collecting to keep operations going. Rain or shine, winter or summer you may have heard the firehouse siren ring out any hour of the day or night, and volunteers have come running to deal with any emergency.

If you can, drop what you can into the upturned helmet of a volunteer on the Boulevard. When you can, stop off at the firehouse with a donation from your household. Every dollar is appreciated.

In case you missed it, as of July 1 the Q21 bus has been replaced by the Q52. The shortened Q21 line will now run only as far as 164th Avenue and Cross Bay in Howard Beach. Taking over will be an entirely new line, the Q52 which will run all day starting in Arverne and terminating at Queens Center Mall, making limited stops along the way.

No changes are planned for the Rockaway Park to Woodside Q53.

Comments on the blocks of wash-gray plastic crash barriers now being installed along Cross Bay Boulevard in the Wildlife Refuge are already coming in. “Very attractive,” said one person, “like you’re driving up to the border of North Korea. But at least it got done, and it will save lives.”

Sunday, July 22 Gateway National Recreation Area will present “Explore the Shore,” a program about the natural wonders of our beaches, at 3 p.m. Starting at the Joseph P. Addabbo/North Channel Bridge, this nature walk will highlight flowers, insects, and birds of our area, then continue along the beach where participants will get to meet marine creatures up close. Meet at the West Parking Lot for this 1-hour program. For more information call 718-318-4340.

This year Gateway will also host several ranger-guided ecology cruises casting off from Riis Landing just across from Fort Tilden, a great way to experience Jamaica Bay and its wildlife from the water. There’ll also be stop-offs at the Sandy Hook, New Jersey lighthouse. For more information, departure times, and ticket costs call 718-318- 4340.

Our Broad Channel neighbor Carol Oldenbuttel-Irizarry is still working towards her goal of raising $2,300 plus for the fight against breast cancer. She’ll be walking 60 miles this fall with thousands of others as part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.

To donate go online to The3Day.org, click Donate and find her personal fundraising page under participant ‘Carol A.


Or call 1-800-996-3DAY. It’s important to donate early because each walker must reach their goal before they can participate in the walk.

Got BC news?

Don’t keep it to yourself! E-mail workinstories@aol.com or drop it off at

126 Noel Road, right hand mailbox.

Thanks for reading.

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