2001-04-26 / Other News

Canarsie Historian Salutes Us For Chronicling Community’s Past Dear Friends:

Canarsie Historian Salutes Us For Chronicling Community’s Past Dear Friends:

Canarsie Historian Salutes Us For Chronicling Community’s Past Dear Friends:

Congratulations to the Canarsie Courier upon its 80th anniversary. We, of the Canarsie Historical Society, salute you upon this momentous occasion. For the past eighty years, the Courier has faithfully brought the news - sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes entertaining, sometimes disturbing, but always relevant, always timely, always interesting - to the people of Canarsie.

The Canarsie Courier is both an important part of Canarsie’s history, and, at the same time, a living entity, continuously growing and evolving, along with the community. While other local newspapers, such as the Canarsie Weekly (c. 1904), and the Canarsie Local (c. 1915), existed prior to the Courier, none of them remained viable for more than a few short years. The Courier has come a long way since 1921, when Walter S. Patrick and Lester J. Stillwell, occupying rented desk space in Harkavy’s real estate office, at Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road (where the Green Point Bank now stands), established it with capital of only $200.00. For the first six months, Messrs. Patrick and Stillwell literally had to give the paper away for free, before they began to cultivate a readership. Only after six months, did they finally show a profit of $100.00. The Courier ceased operations briefly in 1923, and was reestablished by Mr. Patrick. The Courier was subsequently published by Edward Herrschaft, and later by the Samitz family (brothers Joe and Bob, and Bob’s wife, Mary). A few years ago, an era sadly came to an end with the death of Mary Samitz. After a period of approximately forty years, the Courier passed from the hands of the Samitz family. However, the tradition lives on under the able leadership of the current publishers, Sandra Greco and Donna Marra, and the editor, Chuck Rogers.

To name everyone who was associated with the Courier over the last eighty years would literally fill a book. However, in addition to those named above, I would like to mention a few such people who are no longer with us. There are the artist and sign painter, Gus Richter, who designed the Courier’s distinctive logo, the local historian, Edwin (Ted) Rowland, who, for many years, wrote a column for the Courier, the long-time editor, Maurice Paul, and my mentor, the eminent local historian, John F. Denton.

I would like to remind your readers that, in cooperation with the management of the Courier, we of the Canarsie Historical Society are offering a $250.00 reward to the first person who can produce an original copy of the first edition of the Canarsie Courier, dated April 22nd, 1921. While we cannot offer a similar reward for them, we would also be interested in seeing other early editions of the Courier, or any other early Canarsie newspapers, which your readers may have in their possession.

May the next eighty years be as prosperous and successful as the last eighty were, and may the mutually beneficial relationship between the Courier and the Canarsie Historical Society continue to grow.


Ira M. Kluger, Co-President

Canarsie Historical Society

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