Babylon Firefighter Community

My great great grandfather came over from England in the late 19th century and quickly settled in the community life of the Village of Babylon located in Suffolk County New York.  He was involved in the Knights of Columbus and his local church. It seems to me that people were so much more involved in fraternal orders and social groups than we are today. We have lost some of that community feeling.

I love this picture of my great great grandfather George William Burke and his friends in their firefighters helmets. They look like a jolly group.George was a volunteer fireman along with his son John and his in-laws.

George Burke and friends

George Burke and friends (bottom left is George)

When George’s son John (my great grandfather) died unexpectedly at age 25, his firefighter friends saluted his son in the funeral procession. Community is such a special, life enhancing facet of life.

John Burke's funeral procession 1930

John Burke’s funeral procession 1930


    1. I know some are still around though not as many. My Germans and Scots in Brooklyn were involved in many ethic groups. I wonder as we became American and identify less with our heritage as the generations are one more removed from the homeland.I would love to join but work and kids make it hard.


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