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Honoring The Suozzi Family

The 1907 Courthouse building is now known as the Marguerite and Joseph Suozzi Building, marked by a special ceremony held at the North Shore Historical Museum on Sunday, Aug. 3 to a packed house.

“It’s a great day for the Suozzi family and a great day for the museum. We are so grateful for the Suozzi family for this generous donation,” said Brian Mercadante, president of the museum.

Mercandante then gave some history on the building, which was built in 1907 by the Town of Oyster Bay, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and the Gold Coast was in its heyday. He described how it came to be a museum, explaining that Tom Suozzi came up with a plan for redevelopment during his term as mayor of Glen Cove in the 1990s.

“This courtroom as you see it today was brought back to its original condition,” he said.

Several local elected officials spoke; Delia DeRiggi-Whitton expressed her thanks to Joe and Marge Suozzi for all they have done to the community and Charles Lavine’s office presented a citation.

Rosemary Suozzi Lloyd, daughter of Marge and Joe, gave a speech. “The histories and stories of the people of  the North Shore will be told for generations,” she said. “Today there are four generations from the Suozzi and Holmes lines that are joining and celebrating this endeavor that will be long associated with the people whose names will echo with the stories of their inspiring lives of service and love.”

The decision to rename the building came from the museum’s naming committee, as both Marge and Joe have devoted a significant part of their lives to the betterment of the North Shore. Prior to the unveiling of the plaque with the new name, a video presentation played, with photos and biographies of each of the honorees.

The Honorable Joseph A. Suozzi was born in Italy and has lived out the American dream of achievement and public service. He attended St. Patrick’s School in Glen Cove and St. Dominic’s High School in Oyster Bay. After majoring in education at Fordham University, he enlisted in the Air Force. As a navigator on a B-24 plane in World War II, he flew 35 missions, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters. After the war, he attended Harvard Law School on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1948. He became the law partner of Mayor Luke Mercadante and, in 1949, at the age of 28, he was elected as a Judge of the City Court of Glen Cove, the youngest judge ever elected in New York State. He was elected for two terms as Mayor of Glen Cove, and to two 14-year terms as Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. During his second term, he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division. He eventually became a senior partner in the law firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein.

Marguerite Holmes Suozzi was born in Queens. She studied nursing at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica and worked as an operating room nurse at Glen Cove Community Hospital after her family moved to Sea Cliff. She met her future husband on the eve of his installation as City Court Judge and they were married four years later. They are the parents of five children, 14 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. In addition to her duties as a wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and mother, she has been an avid devotee and supporter of the political campaigns of her husband and her son, Tom, who served four terms as Glen Cove Mayor and two terms as Nassau County Executive. An enthusiastic gardener and champion golfer, she has also been active in the AARP, Girl Scouts, St. Patrick’s R.C. Church and most notably, the Morgan Park Summer Music Festival. She has chaired this popular event for more 50 years. Working with a committee of local volunteer residents, Marge has presented programs ranging from opera,ballet and Broadway musicals to swing, jazz and military bands.

“They are living histories of what is possible for our city and for our country when we welcome the stranger and say, ‘you are free here, this land is your land.’ Because of institutions like the North Shore Historical Museum, we will not forget that we are a community, city and country of immigrants like Marge and Joe,” said Lloyd. “They contributed so much to make this place our home.”

News

This year you can expect to see the Freedom Schooner Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, tied up on the Western Waterfront Pier at the Oyster Festival on Oct. 18 and 19. The ship is a Baltimore Clipper that is 129 feet in length and weighs 96 tons. Its home port is New Haven, Conn.

The tall ship visits ports worldwide, as an ambassador for friendship. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and monument to many souls that were broken or lost as the result of the transatlantic slave trade.

The original Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish, was made famous in 1839 when 53 African captives (men, women and children) transported from Havana revolted against their captors. The captives gained control of the ship under the leadership of Sengbe Pieh, later known as Joseph Cinque, who commanded the ship’s navigator to return them to Sierra Leone. Instead, the ship headed north, landing in Long Island, and was taken into custody by the United States Navy.

Diamond Fitness held its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 6. Members of the Historic Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce came out to meet Wendy Goldstein, her staff and her re-invented gym at 138 South St.

Goldstein said she was touched by the warmth of the people who came into the gym to welcome her, even before the official opening. “People came in to say hello, saying they had heard that the gym had changed hands. It warms my heart,” she said.

Goldstein attended a chamber meeting and is now a member. Nassau County Legislator Donald McKenzie helped Goldstein cut the red ribbon as chamber members Walter Imperatore and Michele Browner cheered the opening along with staff members and friends.


Sports

Football season is here and the Oyster Bay-Bayville Generals  held their opening day games on Sept. 14. Here are the results:

5 & 6 Peanuts:

The Peanuts opened the season vs. the Seaford Broncos and came out on the losing end of a hard fought game. The Lil Generals opened the game on offense and quarterback Rodney Hill, Jr. marched the offense down the field and completed the drive with a touchdown pass to Francesco Allocca. Yes, the Peanuts have a potent air attack with Hill Jr. going two for two for 26 yards. The defense played strong with Allocca leading the team in tackles with help on the defensive line from first-year players Dean Wolfe and Anthony Pelchuck.  

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.


Calendar

Plein Art Exhibit

Wednesday, Oct. 1

College Discussion

Monday, Oct. 6

Collecting Manuscripts

Thursday, Oct. 9



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com