Generally Speaking: Greeks celebrate 194 years of independence

A large contingent of local Greek American marchers helped celebrate 194 years of Greek freedom at the 84th annual Greek Independence Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The parade route was from 64th to 79th Street.

Bay Ridge’s Greek School of Plato Marching Band had the honor of playing the American National Anthem and then singers from the school performed the Greek National Anthem (“The Hymn to Liberty”) at the start of the parade.

The school, currently based at 479 81st Street, was founded in 1977. Eleni Karageorgiou is the principal and director, and Vasilios Danas is the school president. The parade, which is reportedly the largest gathering of Greek compatriots outside of Greece, had as this year’s grand marshal Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Among the area marchers behind the banner of the Kimisis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church was Anthony Grigos, executive vice president of the Bay Ridge Credit Union.

New York State Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis held a news conference at the St. Nicholas Home on Ovington Avenue, where she was joined by Bay Ridge AARP President Peter Killen, and MTA Access-A-Ride users.

Before the group in attendance, she discussed a host of recommendations to help improve the service, reduce costs and make it much more user-friendly. One of the startling statistics she mentioned was that 30 percent of the users are 80 or older, and the MTA still requires periodic re-certification!

Our congratulations to the lovely Lauren Benson, who was just chosen as Miss Norway 2015. She will be riding in an open car in the annual Norwegian-American 17th of May Parade along Third Avenue on Sunday, May 17.

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by Arthur de Gaeta
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Justin Brannan, better known for his politics and as a chief aide to City Councilmember Vinnie Gentile, was at Bay Ridge’s St. Patrick’s Church on Palm Sunday narrating the “Passion of Christ” along with Reverend Richard Bretone. It turns out Brannan, a member of the church’s Men’s Club, is also a Eucharistic minister. Do wonders never cease to amaze!

How would you like to have your name formally inscribed, (not carved!) on the back of one of the chairs in your old high school’s auditorium? If you happened to have graduated from Fort Hamilton High School or your son or daughter went there, as part of a fundraising campaign, the school’s Alumni Association is offering inscribed plates, depending upon the section you choose, from $50 to $200. For more information email:

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