Thursday, April 3, 1997

Street Sign Will Honor Community Activist

By REGINALD PATRICK

ADVANCE CITY HALL BUREAU

The late Peter Siringano Sr., martial arts legend and community activist, will have a West Brighton intersection named in his honor under a bill headed for passage in the City Council.

Approved by the Parks Committee in a unanimous vote yesterday, the bill calls for the placement of a sign with the name "Grandmaster Peter Siringano Sr. Square" at the intersection of Clove Road and Castleton Avenue. The intersection is a short distance from where the elder Siringano was born in 1928.

The full Council is expected to pass the measure when it meets on April 16.

Siringano died at the age of 66 years in 1994, following a six year illness.

"Pete Siringano is the kind of friend you never forget," said Councilman Jerome X. O'Donovan (D-North Shore), the bill's prime sponsor. "He helped everybody, the poor, the disabled, and he clearly deserves this honor."

The committee vote came after Peter Siringano Jr. of West Brighton gave emotional testimony in support of the measure, along the way providing city lawmakers with a thumbnail biography of his dad.

"It's really hard to sum up a life in one minute," said Siringano Jr., his voice choked with emotion. "But I should say my father was a humble man who did what needed to be done. His motto was, "Do a favor and forget about it. Receive a favor and never forget it."

A native Staten Islander, the elder Siringano opened the first martial arts school in this borough in 1956, and in 1965 hosted the first karate tournament here.

He had first shown an interest in martial arts at the age of 13, sending away for a home correspondence course in Jiu Jitsu and earning a second degree black belt in 1946 while in the U.S. Army.

He later attained the ranking of 10th degree black belt.

During a martial arts career spanning 50 years, Siringano maintained as many as 12 branch schools in five states, picking up an international reputation.

During his career, he taught more than 5000 men, women and children, including many underprivileged children to whom he offered his services free of charge, teaching them self-defense, respect and discipline.

He also taught the art of self-defense to many outpatients at the former Willowbrook State School and worked with the 120th Precinct to create patrols to help curb community crime.

Because of his work to reduce crime in West Brighton, Borough Hall declared July 28, 1988 "Peter Siringano Sr. Day" on Staten Island. He was also the posthumous recipient of the Martial Arts Legend Award from the World Head of Family Council.

"I can't really find the words to say how proud I am to see my father honored," said Siringano Jr., who now runs the Staten Island Jiu Jitsu Karate Dojo at 1285 Castleton Avenue, the martial arts school his dad started four decades ago. Like his dad, Siringano Jr. holds a 10th degree black belt.

Thursday, April 17, 1997

Island Activist Honored By Council

By REGINALD PATRICK

ADVANCE CITY HALL BUREAU

The City Council approved measures yesterday honoring a Staten Island martial arts legend.

A bill introduced by Councilman Jerome X. O'Donovan (D-North Shore) adds the name "Grandmaster Peter Siringano Sr. Square" to the intersection of Clove Road and Castleton Avenue in West Brighton.

In a 50-year career as a martial arts teacher and community activist, Siringano, a native Staten Islander who died in 1994, is credited with teaching his art to the underprivileged children free of charge and assisting in community efforts to keep crime down.

He opened the first martial arts school here in 1956, eventually expanding the operation to 12 schools in five states and gaining an international reputation.

The street name change was approved unanimously.

Saturday, April 26, 1997

Street Corner Gets New Name

Mayor signs bill that honors late Peter Siringano Sr., martial arts instructor and community leader.

By REGINALD PATRICK

ADVANCE CITY HALL BUREAU

NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani Signs Bill.

Mayor Giuliani Offers Congratulations To Grand Master Siringano

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani yesterday signed a bill into law honoring a Staten Island Martial Arts legend and community activist who made a life-long career of helping the less fortunate and working to improve the community.

The bill adds the name "Grandmaster Peter Siringano Sr. Square" at the corner of Clove Road and Castleton Avenue, a short distance from where Siringano was born in 1928.

The location is also near the site where Siringano, who died in 1994, opened the borough's first martial arts school in 1956 and went on to teach karate to thousands of underprivileged children free of charge.

"This is a very emotional day for me," said Peter Siringano Jr., who was joined at the City Hall signing ceremony by wife.

"They say a person never really dies, if they're never forgotten," said Siringano. "Whenever we look up at that street sign, we're all going to remember."

He described his father as an ordinary guy who became a hero.

"And you know there aren't enough heroes in the world today," he said. "So it's nice to know there are ordinary people out there, like my dad, who are willing to step forward and say, 'I'll do it. I'll take the load. I'll be responsible.'"

When the new street name is officially dedicated, they plan to stage an all-day open house at the Staten Island Jiu-Jitsu Karate Dojo at 1285 Castleton Avenue. the school is now run by the junior Siringano.

The city Department of Transportation (DOT) had not set a dedication date yesterday. Councilman Jerome X O'Donovan (D-North Shore) was the prime sponsor of the name change bill. the Council approved the measure by a unanimous vote on April 16.

The elder Siringano, a 10th degree black belt, taught the art of self-defense to many outpatients of the former Willowbrook State School and worked with the 120th Precinct, St. George, to create patrols to help fight crime in the community.

Because of his anti-crime efforts in West Brighton, Borough Hall declared July 28, 1988, "Peter Siringano Sr. Day." on Staten Island.

He was also the posthumous recipient of the Martial Arts Legend Award from the World Head of Family Council.

  

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