Soon, a prominent Bay Ridge street corner will forever memorialize the legacy of a late, equally esteemed, community stalwart.
At a ceremony on May 18, the corner of 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway will officially assume the co-name “Lawrence ‘Larry’ Morrish Way,” commemorating the Bay Ridge bigwig who died in February 2016 at the age of 71.
An application for the co-naming received unanimous support from Community Board 10 last year. Councilmember Justin Brannan, whose office will host the unveiling, then advocated for it in the Council.
Submitted by Morrish’s wife, Phillipa, and delivered to the board by longtime friend Jack Malone, the application highlighted Morrish’s “more than 40 years of nonpartisan community activism and involvement,” board member Brian Kieran recounted at the time.
Supported by past and present elected officials and accompanied by more than 20 letters from individuals, churches, organizations and associations, Kieran and Traffic and Transportation Committee Chair Jayne Capetanakis agreed, the application “far exceeded” the board’s guidelines for a street co-naming.
Along with providing readers of this paper with local news, Morrish – a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School – was also an early supporter of the Ragamuffin Parade (he went on to serve as the event’s chair for 16 years). The community leader was also one of the original founders of BRAVO (Bay Ridge’s volunteer ambulance service) in 1974, started the Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and was actively involved in community clean-ups.
The location of the proposed co-naming was chosen because, Kieran recalled, Morrish was a “self-appointed ambassador” for the Fort Hamilton Army Base. “His support of the garrison and its families was extraordinary.”
Those charitable acts alone, the board said, don’t even begin to scratch the surface of Morrish’s legacy.
Above all else, Kieran said, Morrish treated people with dignity and with respect.
“He brought people together and fostered the community with his humor and his good nature,” he said. “His optimism and outgoing nature was infectious.”
Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann also remembered Morrish as a unifier.
“Larry was always bringing people together,” she said, “and I think on May 18, he’ll bring those people together again.”
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who eulogized Morrish, called him “the beating heart of Bay Ridge.”
“This street renaming is a special one,” Beckmann added, “because Larry Morrish has a special place in all of our hearts.”
The co-naming will take place at 11 a.m.