In fall of 1964 a group of Italian-American men from Syosset decided that they wanted to celebrate their Italian ancestry by starting a social club where they could meet to enjoy each other’s company and at the same time help preserve their rich Italian culture for their children and grandchildren. They contacted the “Order Sons of Italy in America” since they had heard this sixty-year old fraternal order was the premier Italian-American organization in the United States.
Richard LaLomia, who later became the first Lodge president, along with Joseph Catania, Joseph Aiello and Anthony Saltalamachio, all future presidents, contacted a new local OSIA lodge, the Columbus Lodge in Farmingdale, and were put in touch with P. Vincent Landi, who would later become a grand Venerable in June 1969. Mr. Landi along with Carmine Caggiano, Gieuseppe forming a new OSIA lodge. On July 21, 1965, Americo Cartise, Supreme Venerable and Modesto Mele, Supreme Recording Secretary signed the charter that officially made the Giuseppe Verdi Lodge #2163 part of the “Order Sons of Italy in America.”
The lodge quickly became a very important part of the social and business life of Syosset. It grew to about one-hundred and fifty members, boasting that just about every Syosset businessman, lawyer and politician, of Italian descent, belonged to the lodge. The lodge enthusiastically embraced all of the charitable activities of OSIA. They especially supported the Cooley’s Anemia patients by providing them with Infusion Pumps that were absolutely vital to a patient’s survival. The program was begun by John Guiliano, during his tenure as Venerable and President. During the 1980’s lodge membeers provided housing for the families of children that were bought to Saint Francis Hospital from Italy to have open heart surgery. Today the lodge continues their legacy of sharing, by having members on most of the OSIA charitable committees and by making yearly donations to these charities.
Some milestones in our history are that Anthony Cassamento, the Congressional Medal of Honor winner attended our 1982 Annual Dinner dance honoring Past Grand Venerable and future National President, Peter R. Zuzolo. In 1985, at our twentieth anniversary dinner dance, we honored future State President, Nicholas Viglietta. At our twenty-fifth Anniversary Dinner Dance, in 1990, we honored Nassau County Executive, Thomas S. Gulotta, at a gala event on a boat sailing around Manhattan Island.
The lodge is also very proud that in 2007, under the Presidency of Anthony Grimaldi, our members voted to convert the lodge from an all male lodge to a Co-Ed lodge. In 2009, Mary Naccarato became the lodge’s first female president. In 2014 the lodge was extremely honored when the Naccarato family was chosen as the New York State “Family of the Year”. We are also very proud that our Past President, Anthony Naccarato, is currently the NYS 1st Vice President and the first member of the Giuseppe Verdi Lodge to sit on the NYS Executive Board.