City Councilmember Vinnie Gentile recently successfully quarterbacked the co-naming of 73rd Street and Ridge Boulevard through the City Council as Christ Church Lane in commemoration of the 160th anniversary of Christ Episcopal Church.After Mayor Mike Bloomberg signed off on the measure,and the new street signs were prepared, he hosted an unveilingceremony with clergy,parishionersand local residents present which took placeon the sidewalkof the church which has been at this particular location since 1908.The first church was establishedin 1853, at Third Avenue and Church Lane (now 68th Street). While the edifice was still there, a meeting was held at the wood frame Yellow Hookschoolhouse then located on the east side of Third Avenue near 73rd Street.Onthe Friday evening of December 16, 1853, a group of wardens and vestry joined other prominent landowners to hear proposals about renaming the village, since earlier bouts withyellow fever were tarring the good name of the communityand affectingsales of produce and other goods.One of the villagers, James Weir, a florist from Christ Church who served many years as amember of the vestry,taking into consideration the lay of the land on theridge from the glacial moraine and the Narrows bay, offered the name Bay Ridge.The new name was warmly endorsed by all present.So in addition to Christ Church, Bay Ridge will be celebrating its 160th anniversary too. * * *The pilgrims and youthful good-will ambassadors from Bay Ridge’s St. Patrick’s Church who were part of the three million Catholics who listened to and prayed with Pope Francis on the Copacabana beachfront in Rio Janeiro for World Youth Day are now back in Brooklyn. * * *Sunset Parkers and the Ragamuffin Parade Committeeare mourning the loss of Bob PakrudaIn addition to serving on the parade coordination panel, he started the tradition of Jolly Old St. Nick riding atop of a bright red firetruck from Engine Co. 241.Accordingly to his lifelong good friend and fellow Ragamuffin parade organizer Ed WadeDuringhis funeral service held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help conducted by a childhood buddy, Father John McGowantalked aboutthe many volunteer efforts and fund-raising campaigns Pakruda participated in.He was a member of the Holy Name Society, a Korean War Navy veteran, belonged to Catholic War Veterans Post No. 5, and was a member of the 68th Precinctand later the 72nd Precinct Community Councils.He also served twodecades on Community Board 7, andwas a co-founder, coach, umpireand later commissioner of the OLPH boys and girls softball league.They don’t make men like Bob Pakruda anymore! He was an inspiration to us all and will be fondly remembered.This past week, Frank KeatingRita. Our condolences to the Keating family. May she rest in eternal peace. * * *Just came back from a Friday night trip to Coney Island with our granddaughter Grace, age three, to watch the fireworks andsee the vastly improved lit-upBrooklyn Eiffel Tower (the former Parachute Jump superstructure).The quality of the local pyrotechnics has greatly improved and they were of much longer duration.Coney Island is on the rebound and to this writer, there’s no doubt about it. * * *This corner’s hearty congratulations to newlyweds New York State Assemblymember James Brennan and Joan Bartolomeo * * *———————————————————————————— To reach Ted General via the Internet, his e-mail address is:General@Journalist.com
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