The Upstairs Lounge at Iberville and Chartres Sts. was the site of the deadliest fire in New Orleans' history. Thirty-two victims died, numerous individuals were injured.
On Wednesday, June 24, 1998, members of the Gay and Gay friendly community meet together to remember and celebrate the lives of these victims. In 1973, only one member of the New Orleans' clergy, The Rev. William Richardson of St. George's Episcopal Church, was brave and GOD loving enough to immediately hold a service for the victims of this horriffic event and their families. Almost a week later, St. Mark's United Methodist Church allowed Rev. Perry to hold a memorial service. In 1998, representatives from varied religions and Christian denominations took part in the Memorial Service held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Grand Ball Room. Gathering with the Gay community to celebrate the lives of those who perished were The Rev. Carole Cotton Winn, District Superintentant of the United Methodist Church, Senior Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn of Temple Sinai, Rev. Kay Thomas from Grace Fellowship in Christ Jesus, The Honorable Troy Carter, City Councilman, and thirty-two members of the New Orleans' community who represented the thirty-two persons who died in the fire.
The Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, rushed to New Orleans in 1973 to assist with the healing of a community. Rev. Perry returned to New Orleans to speak at the Memorial Service. He also held television and radio interviews to address the questions of the events surrounding the fire and the place of the Christian church in the Gay community.
New Orleans Councilman Troy Carter, District C, lead a Jazz Funeral to the site where flowers were placed for each of the 32 dead. A plaque will be place at the site at a later time.
Organizers of the event, The Rev. Dexter Brecht, Pastor of New Orleans' Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church and Toni J. P. Pizanie, Chair of The Mayor's Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, wish to thank those who supported the event.
The Names to be Remembered!
Partners, Joe William Bailey & Clarence Josephy McCloskey, Jr. perished together. McCloskey's sisters and two neices attended the Memorial Service. His neice, Susan, represented McCloskey in the Jazz Funeral.
Ambush Mag 2000
The Honorable Troy Carter, Councilman, District C
Crescent City Guest House
Royal Sonesta Hotel
Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church
Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain
Donald St. Pierre & Robert Turner
Toni J. P. Pizanie
Gulf Area Gender Alliance
Mayor's Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Issues
A Memorial Plaque Fund has been set-up through the Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church. Should you wish to donate to this fund, please make checks payable to VCMCC and note on the check that it is for Fire Memorial. Send donations to VCMCC, Attn: Rev. Dexter Brecht, 1128 St. Rock, New Orleans, LA 70117.
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