On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, approximately 350 well-wishers gathered at the El Caribe Country Club at 5945 Strickland Ave. in the Mill Basin section of Brooklyn, to celebrate the retirement of Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns after 15 terms and 30 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. With his wife, Gwen and family members at his side, the former congressman was extolled by friends and dignitaries from the business community, clergy, academia, and the political arena.
“This is a very special night for me,” Mr. Towns stated. “I have spent most of my adult life representing people in my district, the borough of Brooklyn and beyond, and it is heartwarming to be appreciated this way.”
Mr. Towns’ son, Darryl, the State of New York Commissioner of Housing, served as master of ceremonies for the evening.
Among the many elected officials who showed up to demonstrate their appreciation were: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. who presented Mr. Towns with a proclamation from the people of Brooklyn; Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez; Kings County Democratic Leader Frank Seddio; State Senators John Sampson and Kevin Parker; New York City Comptroller John Liu; State Assemblywomen Annette Robinson and Inez Baron; City Councilmembers Jumaane Williams, Charles Baron and Lew Fidler; and District Leader Melba Brown.
Longtime political ally and Chief of Staff Albert C. Wiltshire led the host of former staffers and political associates in attendance. Among the clergy in attendance were: Mr. Towns pastor, Rev. Dr. Arlee Griffin, Jr., pastor of Berean Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Robert Waterman, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church; Rev. Richard Lawson and wife, pastor of New Canaan Baptist Church; Rev. Clinton Miller, pastor of Brown Memorial Baptist Church; Rev. Conrad Tillard, senior minister of the Nazarene Congregational Church; Rev. M. Ziddie Hamatheite, pastor, Wayside Baptist Church; and Rev. Adolph Roberts, pastor, Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan.
Other dignitaries attending included: George Hulse, vice president, Healthfirst; Janie Whitney, president, Trey Whitfield School; Angelo Mangelo and wife, president of the Brooklyn Letter Carriers Association; and Ernie Logan, president, CSA.