The historic house museum in Jamaica celebrates the legacy of Rufus King. King, a signer of the Constitution, was a leading voice in the early abolitionist movement.
The night’s honorees were Congressman Gregory Meeks and Andrea S. Ogle, vice president of the Assigned Counsel Association of Queens Family Court and a member of the Board of Managers of the Queens County Bar Association.
“More than 35 years ago, I raised my right hand and swore an oath to the Constitution,” Ogle recalled at the September 17th event. “Many naturalized Americans, like myself, have their own journey to share. I am one version of the American dream.”
Ogle’s family immigrated from Guyana in 1969 and settled in Queens. She graduated from Queens College and Seton Hall University School of Law before managing her own law practice in Queens for over 20 years.
Her legal work includes Family Court and Supreme Court Family Law practice, but Ogle has organized countless community events as well.
She has organized various programs with elected officials, Department of Probation, Queens Engagement Strategy for Teens, and the Interfaith Council for Community Development.
“We should never take for granted the fact that America’s strength is in the diversity of its people,” Ogle said. “We are the fabric of our community and we must use our time, talent and resources as a renewed incentive to intensify our commitment and service to our people.”
Meeks’ wife, Marie, accepted the award on his behalf. She shared her husband’s story of rising to where he is today.
“His parents came from South Carolina and he was the first person in his family to go to college,” she said. “His entire family paid for him to go to law school, and he slept on a beach chair the first two years. It shows the kind of dedication that he was going to have in his life.”
Now in his 11th term, Meeks is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, and sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
King Manor executive director Kelsey Brow also honored museum caretaker Roy the Fox, who celebrated 30 years at the museum.
“He’s been living here longer than Rufus King has,” Brow joked. “Fox cares about this place and all of us in it so deeply and is always going way above and beyond any contractual obligations for the caretaker agreement.”