Belleville Historical Society celebrates Chinese Memorial Day

Scores of visitors at the Belleville Reformed Church Cemetery observed the traditional Chinese memorial day, known as Qing Ming, Saturday, April 9. In 1870, Belleville became home to the first successful Chinese community on the east coast of the United States. Many of these immigrants became members of the Belleville Reformed Church and Christ Episcopal Church and are buried here. America, in the 19th century, was in a time of severe discrimination of Chinese immigrants, but they found a welcoming home in Belleville. The event was sponsored by the Belleville Historical Society and the United Chinese-American Association of New Jersey. Speakers included the church Pastor Lillian Ortiz, of La Senda, Antigua; Margaret Lam, president of UCAANJ; former Englewood Cliffs Town Council President Bill Woo; Belleville Councilmen Steven Rovell and Vincent Cozzarelli and Belleville Historical Society President Michael Perrone.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.