2005-10-27 / Little Old Canarsie

American Legion Post Organized After WWI

Little Old Canarsie
John Denton


The BUILDING BEHIND THE BUILDING —  The building next to headquarters of American Legion Canarsie Post 573 at East 92nd Street and Conklin Avenue is used for meetings and church services.                                         Neil S. FriedmanThe BUILDING BEHIND THE BUILDING — The building next to headquarters of American Legion Canarsie Post 573 at East 92nd Street and Conklin Avenue is used for meetings and church services. Neil S. Friedman This story began when a group of young men had returned after the end of World War I and “The American Legion” had been organized over in France. A group of boys from Little Old Canarsie decided to form a Post, which was chartered as No. 573 and a small building on a plot of land at the corner of East 92nd Street and Conklin Avenue was erected, facing Conklin Avenue. Among the organizers were Daniel J. Fullerton Jr., Fred Ernes, Harry Miller, Ray McAvoy, James Mcloy, James Collins, William Brown Sr., Wilmot Earl James, Herbert Ford, Morris Levy, Walter VanHouten, Edmond Alex-ander, Belmont Woodward, Sam Levy, Russell Collins, and Lawrence Corrigan. All of these were Comm-anders as each year rolled around and two of them served three terms, Ed Alexander and Ray McAvoy.

After about eight years the boys decided the little building was too small and they planned to erect a new and larger building which was built by a well-known Canarsie builder, William J. Morris facing East 92nd Street in the year 1928. Many weddings and dance affairs have been held there over the years. In the early twenties it was quite a struggle to get in enough revenue to meet expenses and with the help of Daniel J. Fullerton Sr., Frances X. Smith and Thomas Rule, Manager of our local bank and assistance of the business men of Canarsie, the building was saved. When the prohibition law was repealed in 1933, a bar was opened which only served beer and then a couple of years later liquor and wine were added. This helped to carry it to a great success from the patronage of the member and their booster friends. When the boys got home from World War II, they selected Wm. McGann as their commander. He served two terms with great success.

Among the first World War I Com-manders were George Amann: Wm. Strahl and Edward Scafani, who each served a term.

Among the hard working hosts were Pete Fenn, Eddie Fenn, his son and the two famous men, Al Bock and the famous Gasper (Geppy) LaRosa with assistant hosts, Al Cerbelli and Al Schaaf headed by the well-known and hard-working Eddie Simmons with the assistance of George Dory and Santo Puglese. Much credit must be given to all the ladies of the Auxiliary, which at various times in the early days had as their presidents: Josie Panichella, Ann DiBari, Mrs. Ed Scafani, Ella McLean and Gertrude Farrell. Mabel Cappadora did some great deeds that will be long remembered for these Vets and their children.

Each year in May, a large turnout honors the Vets of the Civil War at Canarsie Cemetery. They also honor other Vets at the cemetery who served in all Wars at the Memorial Statue.

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