VISIT TO BOHEMIAN NATIONAL HALL
MAY 21, 2017
Martin Dvorak, the Czech Consul General in New York, invited the BHS to present the story of our town as part of the history of Czech immigrants in the United States. The program took place on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York City.
The Bohemian National Hall was built between 1895 and 1897 in what was then a largely Czech Area. It served as a gathering place for social and educational activities. Today, it houses the Czech Consulate General, the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association and a restaurant and its the venue for many events.
Mr. Dvorak welcomed those attending the program entitled, "Do You Know Bohemia?" BHS president Judy Pedneault, speaking for members, who had traveled into New York by car and van, added her greetings. There was a showing of the video, "Bohemia: Then and Now," made for the Society in 2016. Chip Williford, the producer, was present with a group of his associates.
The Children's Choir of the Czech and Slovak School in Astoria, sang a selection of Czech songs.
Bishop Emil Wcela recalled what it was like to grow up in Bohemia in the 1940s, when Bohemia had a population of about 800, mostly of Czech origin.
Dr. John Gil spoke of growing up in Bohemia in the 1980s.
Involved in the planning and presentation were BHS president Judy Pedneault and vice president Judy King and members Lorraine May and Vera Truhlar
The Exhibit of Distinguished Bohemians, persons who had lived in Bohemia, included sports figures Sal Butera. Peter d'Alessandro, John Pacella, Mike Petke; entertainers Michael Carbonara, Jane Monheit, Stephanie Torns; author Patrice Santoro Domozych ; and political figure Tom Croci.
Others involved in planning and hosting the event were, l.to r.,Cheryl Sosa, Ellen Perz, JoAnn Kristoff, Laurie Schwarz
What is a gathering without dessert?
The final presentation was a brief video trip through Bohemia today to the music of Smetana's "The Moldau.." the Vltava River that flows through the Czech homeland. It was produced by Nikhil Bamarajpet and Usman Shafik, honor students at Connetquot High School.