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Pol club celebrates century

In 1910, the U.S. Census reported 284,041 people lived in the entire borough of Queens. Impressionism was still the rage in the art world, Portugal became a republic and a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cost about 9 cents.

On June 14 of that same year, a cadre of Flushing residents created the Jefferson Democratic Club. And 10 decades later on Sept. 7, its current membership celebrated its 100th year of serving area residents.

The event welcomed more than 200 people, including a wide range of area leaders, to Douglaston Manor, where they danced and ate dinner to celebrate the milestone for the historic club, which its president, David Fischer, said “is one of the oldest clubs in Queens, if not in New York City.”

When the club was founded, Queens was not yet divided into state Assembly districts, but it has always served the same general area and is now defined as representing Part A of the 26th Assembly District.

The club serves as a representative of the district, advocating on behalf of its residents, remaining engaged in local politics and government and performing community service, such as a recent drive to raise money for the St. Albans VA hospital.

The event was a way for members and leaders to commemorate that legacy.

“It was great, we had over 200 people. It was a great success as far as turnout from elected officials, union leaders and club members,” Fischer said. “They loved Douglaston Manor. They loved the food and the service there. It’s such an historic occasion, the 100th anniversary, and they were honored to be a part of it.”

The event was the last that the current district leaders, outgoing Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) and Joseph Bechtold, will preside over. After Tuesday’s primaries, Carol Gresser and Michael Sais were expected to take over their seats, according to Fischer. District leaders serve leadership roles in political clubs such as the Jefferson.

The club presented Carrozza with the Hon. John J. Clabby President’s Award — named for her late uncle, a judge who was well-known in northeast Queens — for her dedication to the community.

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) said he recently made a speech before the House of Representatives congratulating the club on its 100th anniversary and gave the club a plaque with a transcript of his remarks and a flag honoring the club that flew over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the milestone.

City Comptroller John Liu and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) presented the club with a framed proclamation.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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