Community Board 8 Chairman Alvin Warshavik opened the first meeting since June on a somber note Tuesday.
“It’s a sad duty,” he said. “I’m calling for nominations for recording secretary...”
Board member Carolyn Baker Brown was selected to replace Maurice Braithwaite, who passed away in July.
Braithwaite, 72, was a member of CB 8 for 21 years, and also formerly served as president of the Flushing Suburban Civic Association. He also was active in local education initiatives, serving as the long-time coach of the debating team at St. Francis Preparatory High School.
In the last few years he undertook a similar post with children in the Parsons Beacon 168 afterschool program.
He also was a leader in Queens’ Guyanese community.
The board’s memorial included a slideshow complete with pictures and tributes from numerous community leaders. Braithwaite’s sons, Marcel and Rory, were in attendance.
“We will not replace him,” said Ken Cohen, president of the FSCA and of the Northeast Queens Chapter of the NAACP.
Diane Haussermann was a student of Braithwaite’s on the St. Francis speech and debate team before eventually joining the faculty as a social studies teacher and becoming his co-coach.
“The first meeting we had this year, the seniors were immediately helping the freshmen,” Haussermann said. “That’s what Mr. B. would have done. His spirit is still with us.”
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows), who served only briefly with Braithwaite on the board, said he was home when she was out knocking on doors as an Assembly candidate last year.
“He took 25 minutes to work with me on my pitch,” Rozic said. His help apparently worked.
Rory and Marcel Braithwaite thanked the board on behalf of the family.
“His spirit lingers on in all of us,” Marcel said.