Tree Lighting Gets Holiday Season Underway

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Mayor Durkin gets the festivities started.

The holiday season got off to a festive start last week as the Village of Roslyn and the Roslyn Chamber of Commerce held the annual Christmas tree and menorah lighting that took place last Wednesday on the grounds of the Roslyn Clock Tower.

Numerous local dignitaries attended, including Roslyn Mayor John Durkin, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilman Peter Zuckerman. Representing the chamber was Barbara Kaplan. Also on hand was former Roslyn mayor Janet Galante, who led the many attendees in a round of Christmas caroling following the tree lighting.

There was a solemn occasion to the generally festive event. Durkin noted that the day was the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attack on Hawaii, which led America into World War II. The mayor mentioned the sacrifices his father-in-law made during the war and the moment was punctuated by the attendance of three United States Marines flanking Durkin and other elected officials.

Along with the tree lighting and Christmas caroling, there was a new attraction this year: the Clock Tower, which is 120 years old, is now open to the public. Local residents can march up the steps to the top of the tower and get a nice, expansive view of Hempstead Harbor and all points north, west, east and south. Plenty of youngsters were on hand not just for the visit from Santa Claus, but also to have the ultimate Clock Tower experience.

The Roslyn spirit of charitable gift giving was also on display. Delicacies provided refreshments. In addition, local residents donated gifts for the annual Toys for Tots campaign, one that is cosponsored by the Marines and was also responsible for their presence at the ceremony. As usual, residents responded generously while the youngsters waited for Santa.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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