Generally Speaking: Bay Ridge Community Council Treasure Awards

The Bay Ridge Community Council founded in 1951 and representing dozens of area professional, religious, fraternal, school, merchant, senior citizen, veteran, medical centers, performing arts, youth and sports organizations will be bestowing its 2014-2015 annual Hidden Treasurers community awards on Tuesday, February 24, 7 p.m. at the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center, 91st Street between Colonial Road and Shore Road.

Among the eight honorees are Maria Makrinos, president of the Fort Hamilton High School Alumni Association and longtime coordinator of the council’s annual Halloween Art Poster and Storefront Window Painting Competition; Beverly Peare, board member of the Bay Ridge Mental Health Council; Jeff Samaha, founder and president of the Ridge Chorale, and director of the Jeff Samaha Singers; Terence Greene, coach and volunteer with St. Anselm’s Youth Activities; Habib Joudeh, board member of the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID); Ramona Pontone, member, Knights of Columbus’ Columbiettes at the Archbishop John Hughes Council No. 481; and Maria Gambino and Josephine Ghorra, members of St. Anselm’s Catholic Academy Home School Association.


Public School/Intermediate School 104 — which is also known as the Fort Hamilton School, at 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue — held its International Brotherhood Tea sponsored by the School’s PTA. The event included a special assembly program with the formal presentation of the 2015 Brotherhood Award to John Colberg, Jr., the assistant manager of the Foodtown Supermarket, for his dedicated community service to the school.

Prior to the award acceptance, second graders from Class 2-109 under the direction of Maria Limbo performed brief skits and sang in concert with their brotherhood theme, “My Town/My World.”


Principal Marie DiBella, who revealed this was her 24th annual Brotherhood Tea as a teacher, AP and now principal, complimented the youthful performers by reflecting “Out of the mouths of babes” and told the kids, “You were excellent, you put a smile on my face.” During the opening exercises, PTA President Donna Periera addressed the children, parents and guests.

After the program, a reception followed in the school cafeteria. While they still served tea, coffee seemed to be hot beverage of choice. Among the invited guests were Community Education Council President Laurie Windsor, Bay Ridge Community Council Secretary Sandy Vallas (a graduate of P.S. 104) and District Family Advocate Bill Chin.

This school is one of the oldest halls of learning in Southwest Brooklyn. It traces its roots back to when the site was part of the old village of Fort Hamilton in the then Town of New Utrecht. When the Town of New Utrecht was annexed by the then City of Brooklyn in 1894, the school number designation was changed from “4” to 104.

Even the school’s annual Brotherhood Tea has a long history dating back to the early 1940s when it was the school’s Mothers’ Club that hosted the community tea. I’m told decades ago it was truly an old-fashioned tea with white fabric tablecloths, china place settings, dainty cakes and sweets.


Matthew Scarpa, second vice president of the Bay Ridge Historical Society, just released a second book on Bay Ridge history. It’s titled Old Bay Ridge and the Village of Ovington.

Image courtesy of History Press
Image courtesy of History Press

The new tome,” hot off the presses,” as they say is available locally at Bay Ridge’s Bookmark Shoppe, 8415 Third Avenue.   It features a cover color shot of the famous hand-colored 1860 Currier and Ives lithograph of Bay Ridge looking out toward the Narrows.

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