October 27, 2010
Honor Society of Immaculate Conception School (ICS) in Jamaica
Estates, NY and St. John’s University partnered yesterday to unveil
a commemorative plaque on the University’s Queens campus, at the
intersection of Utopia Parkway and the Grand Central Parkway, to
honor the Glacial Period.
Joseph Sciame, Vice President for Community Relations at St.
John’s, welcomed the students and St. John’s alumna and current ICS
Principal, Dori Breen. Breen, who credited the Honor Society
students for bringing St. John’s and ICS together through their
research project, spoke about how the students of the Honor Society
are not only actively involved in projects at the school but also
within the community.
President of the Honor Society and Vice President, Lia Lew,
speaking on behalf of their classmates, shared the reason for
today’s commemoration. Eighteen thousand years ago, the Great Ice
Age formed the topography of this land which became a recreational
site called Redder’s Pond, they explained. Tragically, in
January 1908, two brothers ice skating on the frozen pond fell
through the ice into the freezing water. A passerby tried to
help the two brothers but unfortunately all three boys never made
it out of the icy waters.
Albert Lahood, Commanding Officer of the ROTC Unit at St. John’s
University, explained how this has touched him because it
symbolizes the selfless act to save another. It is the embodiment
of the Immaculate Conception and why both schools, ICS and St.
John’s, exist, he explained. He concluded by saying, “It
makes me proud that young Americans are bringing forth the message
of selflessness and memorializing it for others to learn.”
The group unveiled the boulder, a remnant of the Glacial period in
Queens, which now displays a bronze plaque commemorating the day’s
event. Students laid flowers at the foot of the boulder
following the ringing of a memorial bell and a moment of silence
honoring the young men whose lives were lost at this site.
The Aquinas Honor Society was developed to allow for students to
work on programs that are outside the normal school
curriculum. The historical research conducted by these
students has been chronicled in a book on the subject written by
ICS history teacher and Queens Historian, Carl Ballenas, and the
Aquinas Honor Society students titled, Images of America: Jamaica
Estates (Arcadia Publishing) which was released on March 8,
Brian Browne, Assistant Vice President of Government Relations
at St. John’s University and graduate of ICS commented on the
lasting impression the school made on himself and his family. “ICS
is a great school that provides a great educational experience and
teaches lessons of personal growth. I expect the innovative
learning and support of educational experiences that has taken
place over the past 70 years will continue for a long time.”
For more information contact Lauren Groom, Graduate Assistant in
the St. John’s Office of Media Relations, by calling (718) 990-2451
or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.