One Christmas tradition continues

| 28 Feb 2024 | 09:37

Ann Genader wrote about how Christmas celebrations have changed in December.

I enjoyed reading the piece for several reasons: Overall I found many of the historic details interesting, as I have lived in the township almost my whole life. Her reference’s to St. Joseph’s Church and her mother, Verina Genader, has a personal connection as well.

When I was about 6 years old, I occasionally had Verina as a substitute teacher at St. Joseph’s School. At that time, the “older” people - Ethel (Tintle) Kochka, for example - called her Rini.

Rini was my hero, mostly because she played the old pipe organ that Ann references. It was a Hinners, built by a small company from the Midwest.

Besides being a part of the visual architecture, for me it had an even greater intrigue: I was fascinated by the sound, the look, the whole thing.

Years later, I would finally get to play the instrument - something I had wanted to do since I was 5 years old.

Some years back, first one, then another electronic organ were brought into the church but the old Hinners pipe organ has not been removed. Incredibly, it is still somewhat functional, although in need of much maintenance.

This past Christmas Eve, I played it for a few hymns to accompany the children’s choir at St. Joseph. Most of the time, the organs are played by my son Greg, who is much better!

This photo that I took that evening shows that the organ played by Ann’s mother is very much still there and can occasionally be heard.

God bless Rini Genader and her family!

Bill Marra

West Milford