Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Evacuation Day: the 222nd anniversary of the Liberty Pole

Although the Friends of Historic New Utrecht, the New Utrecht Liberty Pole Association and the New Utrecht Reformed Church commemorate the Liberty Pole on Liberty Weekend each June, these three organizations also sponsored an interfaith service on Evacuation Day each November 25 with a flag-raising ceremony at the Liberty Pole. Both the service and ceremony were canceled this year because the church sanctuary has remained closed since December 2003. November 25, 2005 marks the 222nd anniversary of the evacuation and the erecting of the first Liberty Pole. The Friends need to raise $700,000 to begin repairs on both the roof and bell tower. The cost has been estimated at nearly $2 million.

The New Utrecht Reformed Church, a member of the mainline Reformed Church in America (RCA), was founded in 1677. Its minister is the Rev. Terry Troia of Staten Island. Rev. Troia also is executive director of Project Hospitality, which serves the needy.

More information is available at (718) 256-7173 and (718) 234-9268. The Friends Web site is www.historicnewutrecht.org. Contributions toward restoring the church may be sent to Friends of Historic New Utrecht, 1831 84th St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11214. Tax-deductible checks can be made out to the Friends of Historic New Utrecht Restoration Fund.

An historic account of Evacuation Day and the New Utrecht Liberty Pole follows.


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