2008-02-28 / Little Old Canarsie

Little Old Canarsie

Our Legion Post Started After World War I

This story begins when a group of young men returned after the end of World War I, after the American Le-gion had been organized over in France. A group of boys from Little Old Can-arsie decided to form a Post which was chartered as No. 573 and a small build-ing on a plot of land at the corner of East 92nd Street and Conklin Avenue was erected.

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 Van Houten, Ed-mond Alexander, Belmont Woodward, Sam Levy, Russell Collins, and Law-rence Corrigan.

All of these became Legion commanders as each year rolled around and two of them served three terms, Ed Alexander and Ray McAvoy.

After about eight years, the boys de-cided 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 in 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 the assistance of the businessmen of Canarsie, the build-ing was saved.

When the prohibition law was repeal-ed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, a bar was opened that 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 members and their booster friends.

When the boys got home from World War II, they selected William McGann as their commander. He served two terms with great success.

I know that some names may have been omitted for their great deeds of the past in helping to make a great name for Canarsie Post 573 in the County and State Veteran Organization.

Each year on Memorial Day, a large turnout honors the vets of the Civil War at Canarsie Cemetery. They also honor all vets who served in all wars at the Memorial Statue on the Legion post's grounds.

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