In the January l0, 2013 issue of the Westchester Guardian
The City of New Rochelle takes great pride in its history. On December 31, 2012, the eve of the City's 325th Anniversary, a Kickoff and Flag Raising was held at City Hall. Referring to the French Huguenots who left their homeland 325 years ago in search of religious tolerance, Hon. Marianne Sussman, Chair of this ceremony, said, they found it when they purchased land "for New Rochelle." Over the centuries, people of different cultures and beliefs have continued to help the City prosper and grow.
An invocation by Father Robert Gahler of Trinity-St. Paul Church emphasized how the City is pausing to celebrate another quarter of a century of history recalling the Huguenot pioneers that left everything, crossing an ocean to come here. He concluded that in diversity we have the resources to build the community. This was following by a musical rendition, "This Land is Green," by the Songcatchers under the direction of Sister Beth Dowd.
Addressing the crowd assembled, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson expressed great pride as he reflected on the "rich history" of New Rochelle. He felt no matter where people came from, they became part of New Rochelle and valued the community. A tribute by Chuck Strome, City Manager, acknowledged the loyalty of the people who lived in the City, and the dedication of the Police, Firemen and others who served it. Strome felt there was a lot to be thankful for in the City including the many committees whose members have given years of dedicated service.
The Boy Scouts of Troop 325 and the Girl Scouts of Troop 2981 participated in raising the United States Flag and the banner of the City of New Rochelle in the front of City Hall. Standing at attention were the New Rochelle Police Department Honor Guard and the New Rochelle Fire Department Color Guard. Enhancing the process was the beautiful voice of Alexandra Anaya singing the Star Spangled Banner.
The finale of this program was the performance of the specially written music by Robert Puleo to the poem, "Queen City of the Sound" by James J. Montague. Again Sister Beth accompanied this musical rendition which included audience participation. The familiar words, "No stern and rock bound coasts is here, ...Amid the placid, green clad hills of lovely New Rochelle...", rang out loud and clear.
Among the people who attended the ceremony was Susan Conte, OSU, who said she was "proud of the City" and the freedom in its history. This program reflected the City's "diversity and talent.'\' Councilman Jared Rice was gratified for the hard work that had been put into this event for the 325th Anniversary of the City. "I am very proud of this City. I was raised in its past, present and future. I look forward to festivities and activities which will commemorate this wonderful community." Future events. including the Fatt Calfe Ceremony on June 9 to commemorate the annual purchase payment for the City of New Rochelle, can be found on www.newrochelleny.com/325.