It was an emotional night at Village Hall Monday as newly-elected Trustee Patricia Canzoneri-Callahan was sworn into office to finish out her late husband's term.
It was around this time last year, that Jim Callahan was taking , surrounded by his wife and four children, after he had won a fourth term on the village board. Just 52 days laterbattle with cancer.
"It's a little bit bittersweet for me because Jim Callahan is not here with us this evening," Gail Wakefield, co-chair of the village's celebrations committee, said at the start of the program. "I miss him terribly, he's my friend and always will be, but I'm so happy that his wife is here this evening as our newly elected trustee."
Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald also reflected on the loss of then-Deputy-Mayor Jim Callahan, and thanked Canzoneri-Callahan for selecting her for the honor of swearing her in.
With her four children - Thomas, Katherine, Elizabeth and Christina - at her side, Canzoneri-Callahan then took the oath of office once again, reciting the same words she said when to the board to fill her husband's vacant seat in July. (Her youngest daughter, Christina, raised her right hand to take the oath as well.)
After hugging Mayor McDonald and exchanging kisses with each of her children, Canzoneri-Callahan wiped away tears and addressed the audience.
"I'm truly honored to stand before you tonight as your elected trustee," she said. "I want to thank all the residents for having confidence in me and allowing me to continue to serve on this board. As I promised in my candidate's speech, you can trust me to represent you well and I will do just that every time I act as your trustee."
She said, "It is a privledge to be able to continue to make Malverne the wonderful place we all call home ... and I'm honored to assist the efforts of all the volunteers of the many organizations that make Malverne what it is."
Canzoneri-Callahan also thanked her fellow members of the Independent Party of Malverne and other friends who have provided her with support and guidance over the past months.
Referring to her husband, she said, "To quote a leader who I respect and learned so much from, 'When the village board works together there is nothing that can't be accomplished and no obstacle that can't be overcome.''
These words were spoken by Jim during his Candidates Night speech last year, she explained, adding,"I believe it to be very true. This is a guiding principle of which I am always mindful."
Finally, she thanked her four kids, and told them, "You are the main reason I am doing this job; to be an example for you and to help make Malverne a special place that you can grow up in. I love you all so much and I am so proud to be your mom."
In closing, she thanked the residents once again and promised not to let them down, remarks that inspired a standing ovation from the crowd.
Click through our gallery above to see photos from Canzoneri-Callahan's installation. You can also watch the full video coverage of the event, courtesy of Malverne TV, here.