Brooklyn Transition Lions make ‘awe-inspiring’ tour in community fundraiser

Statue of Thurgood Marshall, first Black Supreme Court Justice, in Maryland State Capitol.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Gloria Rennie-Murray, the Grenadian-born former president of the Brooklyn Transition Lions Club has described as “awe-inspiring” last weekend’s fundraising tour of Maryland in which club members and supporters visited the cities of Baltimore and Annapolis.

“Most of the people had not toured Baltimore before, and they thought it was interesting and informative, as they learned a lot about historic Annapolis, which was like stepping back in time,” Rennie-Murray, who served as Team Leader, told Caribbean Life, after the tour.

“Our guide had wonderful stories and pictures during the tour of the campus of the US Naval Academy,” she added. “It was all awe-inspiring!”

Rennie-Murray, however, said Toby’s Dinner Theater’s musical rendition of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was “fun, delightful, enjoyable, and the best part of the weekend.”

On Saturday morning, patrons departed East Flatbush, Brooklyn on Deluxe Motor Coach, arriving four hours later at Inner Harbor in Baltimore for a narrated Harbor Cruise.

After the cruise, patrons checked in at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Baltimore, which boasts of an indoor pool, fitness center and lounge, among other things.

After checking-in and relaxing, the Deluxe Motor Coach took patrons to one of the area’s “best” Dinner Theater to see “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

The next day, after enjoying an extended Deluxe Continental Breakfast at the hotel, patrons departed, via Motor Coach, for Maryland’s capital,

Annapolis, where they participated in a three-hour coach and stroll-guided city tour of Annapolis and the US Naval Academy.

Annapolis, the seat of Anne Arundel County, is equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. It is located on the Severn River, about two miles from its mouth on Chesapeake Bay.

Annapolis was settled in 1649 by Puritan exiles from Virginia. The community had a series of names, including Providence and Anne Arundel Town, until it was finally named Annapolis in 1694 in honor of Princess Anne, then the heir apparent to the British throne. It was incorporated in 1708.

After the Revolutionary War, Annapolis was the scene of several important events, including meetings of Congress and Washington’s resignation from command of the Continental Army in 1783.

According to history, the Annapolis Convention met in the city in 1786 and is considered the precursor of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia the following year.

Annapolis is best known as the location of the United States Naval Academy, which occupies 200 acres on the banks of the Severn. Next to the academy is St. John’s College, chartered in 1784 and tracing its roots to King William’s School (1696).

In the center of Annapolis stands the Maryland State House, built in 1772, and the state treasury, built in the 17th century for the House of Delegates.

St. Anne’s Protestant Episcopal Church was a state church during the late colonial period. Paca House and Garden is the restored home of William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary-era governor of Maryland.

The Banneker-Douglass Museum, was named for two prominent African-Americans, Benjamin Banneker and Frederick Douglass. The Annapolis Maritime Museum operates from the Barge House and the adjacent McNasby Oyster Company building.

In 1902, the Annapolis Emergency Hospital opened in a small cottage. The institution eventually evolved into Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Patrons also visited the Maryland State House and were awe-inspired by statues of among others, Thurgood Marshall, the very first African American Justice of the US Supreme Court, and George Washington, first American president, commander of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention and gentleman planter.

After the tour, patrons enjoyed lunch on their own at the waterfront on the banks of the South River.

“My takeaway from the Trip was the visit to the State Capitol — the format of the checks and balances, and where it began and by whom; when and where women were involved, and how they were involved,” said Lydia Griffith, the Guyanese-born co-Team leader.

Club members said funds raised during the weekend get-away goes back in helping the less fortunate in the community.

Tour guide Squire Douglas Klakulak, a retired US Army surgeon, with Brooklyn Transition Lions’ tourists on the steps of the Maryland State Capitol.
Photo by Nelson A. King

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