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Astoria intersection named for Vincent Iannece

The street corner in Astoria where a prominent statue of Christopher Columbus now stands will be co-named for Italian community leader Vincent Iannece.
Following the ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, September 30, the area - where 31st Street, Astoria Boulevard and Hoyt Avenue all intersect - will be called Cavaliere Vincent Iannece Corner.
Iannece had already been bestowed with the title of “Cavaliere,” which translates to knight, by the Republic of Italy.
The founder and former President and Executive Chair of the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens (FIAOQ), Iannece also served as a long-time member of Community Board 1 in Astoria. He helped to found the annual Queens Columbus Day Parade, which has been running for more than four decades.
In addition, Iannece started the St. Michael’s Society; a local group named for the patron saint of his hometown, and was an active member of the Astoria Civic Association.
In 2005, he passed away from lung and heart problems brought on by cancer, and about six months later, local community members and his family began the long process of having a street renamed in his honor, said Iannece’s son Jerry. In December 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the street renaming application into law.
“To name that location for him … I’m very honored on behalf of my family,” Jerry Iannece said, explaining that the site is where the Columbus Day parade concludes each year. In addition, the spot also bears the image of another Italian immigrant - Columbus.
Iannece, who came to the New York with his wife Clara from Senerchia, Italy in the 1950s, worked his way up through the restaurant business. He retired as a special investigator with the New York State Department of State.
“He was a wonderful man, an inspiration to me and a lot of other people,” Jerry Iannece said. “He came here with nothing but the clothes on his back, not a word of English, and he is a success story.”
Jerry Iannece has since taken over the role of Vice President of the FIAOQ, and his sister Angie Markham serves as the group’s Executive Director. Vincent Iannece’s third child, Mary Dawber, works as a junior high school teacher.

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