Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz recently paid tribute to five women in her 29th District for their civic leadership in recognition of March as Women’s History Month.
The event took place on March 28 at the American Legion Post 1424 in Forest Hills. Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) gave proclamations from the City Council to the women, whom she said exemplify public service.
Bea Klier, 94, remembered the sexual harassment and job discrimination she faced as a 19 year-old college graduate with a degree in geology and astronomy.
She interviewed for a geology position at an American oil company in Chile but was told there were no secretarial jobs available. She was denied the job among the all-male group of geologists.
“I couldn’t get a job as a geologist so I worked as a lab technician, making teeth,” she said. Her supervisor made unwanted advances toward her.
“There was no safety net, no organization to protect me in the 1930s,” she said. But today, she urges women: “Don’t keep your mouth shut!’
Klier went on to work at NASA and later spent two decades at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Park.
She was closely involved with an organization called Madre, which advocated for families whose men who were incarcerated for political activities in South American countries.
Klier invented her own telescope, and in November she plans to celebrate her 95th birthday in Fiji watching the solar eclipse. In the meantime, she is editing a book and collecting short stories for another.
Koslowitz said Klier “doesn’t look  or act it. Bea, you’re my idol.”
Gail Gordon was honored for over 20 years as board member at the AIDS Center of Queens, vice chair of Community Board 6, vice chair of the 112 Precinct Community Council, and past president of the board at Queens Community House.
Her volunteer work was in addition to the 38 years she worked at the state Department of Health, specializing in public health programs.
Elmhurst resident Lorraine Donohue has been involved in her community for over 40 years. She is the community liaison for COMET, a civilian patrol, and a Community Board 4 member.
Sylvia Hack of Kew Gardens, a founding member of the Kew Gardens Improvement Association, has been chairwoman of Community Board 9 for the past six years, and served as chairwoman of the Joint Cable Committee of Queens.
“She is a strong advocate for her community,” Koslowitz said. “She knows when something is wrong in her community and is on it.”
Lydia Musheyev is an administrator of a social adult program in Forest Hills and President of Family Serenity, a family and relationship center. She credited her parents, who were teachers and devoted to people.
Lynne Wang, 10, was honored as a competitor in the Junior Olympics, a top swimmer at the Central Queens Y who has mastered the butterfly stroke.
“Her accomplishments are an inspiration to us all,” Koslowitz said.