U.S. Marine Corps decorated combat veteran George Broadhead, who was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2011, was recently re-elected for a second term as president of the Society of Old Brooklynites. The borough-wide civic group was founded in 1880 when Brooklyn was an independent city and the third largest in the nation.
Other officers re-elected for additional terms include First Vice President Theodore General, Second Vice President Michael Spinner, Treasurer Sherman Silverman and Recording Secretary Linda Orlando. Ellen Haywood, a member of the Board of Directors, was tapped as the society’s new corresponding secretary. The election took place in the second floor courtroom at Borough Hall.
Guest speaker for the May meeting was Aldo Mancusi, curator and executive director of the Enrico Caruso Museum which is located at 1942 East 19th Street, Brooklyn. His topic for the evening was the life and career of Hollywood composer and lyricist Harry Warren who won three Academy awards for best song. Harry’s birth name was Salvatore Antonio Guaragna.
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We were deeply saddened when we heard the somber news about the untimely death of New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack. Artie was a longtime, good friend whom we’ll sorely miss. On several occasions, we had the opportunity of taking pictures while he swore in the officers of the Children’s Ragamuffin Parade organization. We were there when he was given the oath of office as a new Supreme Court judge.
On the day of his funeral service at the Sherman’s Flatbush Memorial Chapel, the row upon row of pew-like benches were packed with mourners including many of his current and retired colleagues from the Kings County Court System. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik conducted the service. A ceremonial squad of court officers marched in with the colors, halted by the open casket, and unfurled a large American flag and draped it over the coffin as another officer played “God Bless America.”
This was immediately followed by Boy Scout officials who came front and center, and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Boy Scout Oath. As we looked around the room, there were several fellow justices and others including former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz reciting the oath in unison. Schack had a longtime affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America.
The room was filled with prominent luminaries, far too many to name all of them here. However, here are a few that I know quite well: Brooklyn Bar Association President Arthur Aidala; New York City Public Advocate Tish James; fellow columnist and community board Chair Brian Kieran and District Manager Josephine Beckmann; Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura; Fran Vella Marrone; Justices John Ingram, Matt D’Emic, Jerome Cohen and Vincent DelGuidice; Craig Eaton; Dozier Hasty; City Councilmember Vinnie Gentile and our publisher Victoria Schneps.
To his wife, Dilia, and the Schack family, my sincere condolences and may the good Lord grant him eternal rest in peace.