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Former Mayor Left A Legacy In Glen Cove

Joseph M. Reilly, 85, former mayor and assemblyman, passed away last month

Last month, Glen Cove lost a man who helped make the city what it is today. Joseph M. Reilly, former assemblyman and mayor of Glen Cove, devoted a large part of his life to improving Glen Cove and preserving most of the green spaces residents now cherish. He died on Sept. 23, at the age of 85, after battling an illness.

“He loved Glen Cove, was born and raised here, and utilized everything it has to offer, from the parks to the golf course to the beaches,” said daughter Nassau Supreme Court Justice Margaret Reilly.

She said her father was instrumental in securing the 204-acre Welwyn Preserve, establishing the Glen Cove Golf Course, and having Garvies Point purchased by the county.

Her father was a teacher for the North Shore School District for 10 years, and was elected mayor to the City of Glen Cove in 1961. He served from 1962-1966, when he was elected to the New York State Assembly, where he served for 16 years, until 1982. He then became commissioner of general services for Nassau County, a position he held for 10 years, until his retirement in 1992. Until 2003, Reilly was the chairman of the Glen Cove Republican Party.

Reilly enlisted in the U.S. Navy while a senior in high school, and then returned to graduate from Glen Cove High School after a short stint. A man who excelled in athletics, Reilly lettered in varsity football, basketball and track while at Glen Cove High School and then played for the Glen Cove A.A. semi-pro football team. He was inducted into the Glen Cove Sports Hall of Fame.

Reilly attended Rider College in New Jersey on a football scholarship, receiving a bachelor of science degree in education, then returned to Glen Cove and enrolled at Hofstra University, graduating with a master’s degree in administration in 1953. While at North Shore, Reilly organized the district’s first football team and became its coach in 1955. Around the same time, he also helped organize the first Midget football league in the City of Glen Cove.

Justice Reilly stressed that, despite the notoriety he gained in his role as a politician, her father never lost sight of the importance of making his hometown a better place and making sure his four children also took full advantage of Glen Cove’s amenities.

“He never belonged to a private club, and he made us take advantage of what the city had to offer, from swimming lessons at Pryibil Beach to tennis lessons at Stanco Park…he made sure we utilized services just like everybody else,” Justice Reilly said.

She said her father was very proud to see her become a Nassau County Supreme Court Justice.

“He was a big influence in my life,” she reflected, adding, “He helped me get involved in politics, and never thought that just because I am a woman it should stop me from succeeding.”

News

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”

The Mayor’s Annual Snapper Derby had plenty of kids, fish and fun on the Pryibil Beach Pier in Glen Cove this past Saturday. On the pier were lots of parents and children fishing for prizes. Below the pier the snappers in the water were only too happy to cooperate with the children trying to catch them. For a while it looked like the children were “catching” and not fishing.


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com