The Great Neck Alert Fire Company honored three members of the fire department on Sept. 1 for each devoting 70 years to the community. Harry Rubenau, George B. Motchkavitz and Leonard “Lenny” Motchkavitz all joined the Alert Fire Company in 1946.
Born on Feb. 8, 1925, longtime Great Neck resident Harry Rubenau is a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy for three years in the South Pacific. Rubenau worked at the Arrandale School for 21 years and John F. Kennedy Elementary School for 20 years, where he served as head custodian. During his tenure with the Alerts, he served as first lieutenant, vice president and trustee.
George and Lenny Motchkavitz are twins, who were born in Great Neck on May 27, 1927—in the very same house where George currently lives. The brothers both served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and later ran a plumbing business, M & P Plumbing & Heating, in Great Neck for more than 45 years.
Both George and Lenny attained the rank of chief and president of the Alerts, and served for many years on the board of trustees. Lenny also served as chairman of the board. George was the Alert Fire Company chief from 1963 to 1966 and Lenny was chief from 1969 to 1972. Both twins also served as president of the Eighth Battalion Past Chiefs Association. In addition, Lenny served as chairman of the Nassau County Fire Commission.
The Great Neck Alert Fire Company recognized and honored the three noble men who spent most of their lives living, working and proudly serving the Great Neck community. Their 70 years of dedication and service to the Great Neck Alert fire department has helped shape and guide the company.