Sept. 25, 2014 By Christian Murray
A piece of old-world Italian tradition will be on display on Vernon Boulevard this Sunday.
Members of Societa Sant’ Amato Di Nusco, which is located at 47-39 Vernon Boulevard, will be holding their annual procession through the streets of Hunters Point. The members will carry a life-sized statue of their patron saint, Saint Amato, as they pay homage to him.
Saint Amato is believed to have lived in the town of Nusco, about 40 miles outside of Naples, during the 11th century. He was canonized following his death in September 1093.
The Societa was established in 1903 by immigrants from Nusco, and since then they have paid tribute to their patron saint on the last Sunday of September.
“This was a big tradition we brought with us from Nucso,” said Frank Stagliano, the club’s secretary. “He [Saint Amato] is like our home town boy.”
The club, which operated out of Long Island City church basements and meeting halls in its early years, bought its Vernon Boulevard building in 1959, Stagliano said. He said that the club today has about 150 to 200 members, with about one-quarter of them still living in Long Island City.
Stagliano said that all the members are all from Nusco or have ancestors from there.
The group was founded to help fellow immigrants make their way in America, at a time when there were no social services to help those in need.
Sunday’s procession is the biggest event on the club’s calendar. The event starts at the club at 10 am, with the procession beginning at 11:30 am. It is followed by a church service at St Mary’s at 1 pm.
The procession will incorporate sections of 11th Street, Vernon Boulevard, 47th Road, 47th Avenue, 48th Avenue and Center Boulevard.