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Society of old brooklynites celebrate 128th year

A Reconstruction-era organization, founded when the borough was still a city, hailed a milestone when the Society of Old Brooklynites celebrated its 128th anniversary in Bay Ridge.

Group officers and directors for the coming year were installed during a program of celebration and rites at the Bay Ridge Manor, 476-76th Street.

Borough President Marty Markowitz and Scot Medbury, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Brooklyn Borough, were the guest speakers.

The Society of Old Brooklynites was established in 1880, devoting special interest to the 11,000 prisoners of war who died in British prison ships in the East River during the Revolutionary War.

They were buried in shallow graves along the Brooklyn shore and the bones of thousands were finally interred at Fort Greene Park, where a monument was dedicated in 1909 by the organization, whose first president was John W. Hunter, a former congressman and Brooklyn mayor. The office of the mayor of Brooklyn ceased to exist when the borough consolidated with New York City in 1898.

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