Diocesan News

Jamaica School Students Are Published Authors, Historians

City Councilman Eric Ulrich looks through a copy of“Jacob’s Gift.” (Photo: Julia Sandke)

The work of the Aquinas Honor Society at Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy, Jamaica, continues to attract the attention of historical societies and politicians.

In 2007, the school’s society published “Jacob’s Gift – The Story of Christmas Caroling in America.” It tells the story of how Jacob Ris, a Danish-born journalist and photographer, brought the tradition of his hometown to the Richmond Hill community in the early 20th century.

The original printing was sponsored by the Richmond Hill Historic Society. This year the City Council, through City Councilman Eric Ulrich, offered additional funding to the historical society. Part of that money was used to reprint “Jacob’s Gift.”

Artist and Richmond Hill Historic Society member, Debbie Sandke, updated the book by enhancing the original drawings and creating a new format while preserving the original text.

On May 6, the Immaculate Conception Honors Society, along with its moderator, historian Carl Ballenas met with Ulrich.

They were joined by the vice president of the Richmond Hill Historic Society, Helen Day, and Sandke.

Ulrich received an autographed copy of the newly printed book. The councilman presented each of the students a certificate of acknowledgment.

The students also updated the Ulrich on their latest project. They are working on book on the Jamaica Estates World War II casualties and on the World War I casualties on the Buddy Monument in Richmond Hill.

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