When the nativity scene on the lawn of Bay Ridge’s Visitation Academy was illuminated on the evening of Sunday, December 4, the ceremony had more than the usual significance.
In conjunction with the lighting, a plaque was unveiled in memory of late local activist Larry Morrish, who died earlier this year.
The plaque was particularly appropriate. Morrish, a Ridge fixture who gave his heart and soul to the neighborhood over decades, had been instrumental in starting the annual Celebration of Light, a now-boroughwide program sponsored by Maimonides Medical Center, which provides funding to churches across Brooklyn to put up holiday lights.
Begun at Visitation in 1995, this year the Celebration of Light illuminates displays at 35 sanctuaries in the Borough of Churches, as Brooklyn has long been known.
“I felt it was an honor to have something of a permanent nature in the community in which Larry was born and which he literally gave all his service to,” noted Phillipa Morrish, his widow, who said that, because her late husband had not been buried, the plaque also gives her and his numerous friends a spot to go to, “to lay a flower” or “to reminisce.
“To me, that’s most significant,” Morrish continued. “It’s in Bay Ridge, and I think Larry would be very pleased about that.”
Besides the tribute to Morrish, the evening also included presentations to two individuals as part of the Advent Mass. William Bradley, a Visitation parent active in the Father’s Club, received the St. Francis DeSales Award, and Noreen Romano, a second grade teacher, received the Distinguished Faculty Award.