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MTA Replaces Historic Weather Vane at Islip LIRR Station

Long Island Rail Road
Updated December 6, 2021 9:15 p.m.

Local Vietnam War Hero Bernardino F. ‘Dino’ Genchi Created the Original Weather Vane for Islip Station’s Dedication in 1963

View Video from Weather Vane Dedication Ceremony

View Photos from Weather Vane Dedication Ceremony


Fifty-eight years after a local high school student topped the Islip LIRR Station with a train-themed weather vane he created before being lost in the line of duty in Vietnam, MTA Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng today joined veterans and local officials to install a new one on top of the Islip Station.

Islip High School student Bernardino F. “Dino” Genchi, then 16, made the original weather vane as part of his school training using designs created by Richard Boyd, an Islip resident who designed the station building. When the Islip Station building was dedicated on Dec. 7, 1963, Genchi had the honor of placing the weather vane on top of the station’s central tower.

Sadly, less than six years later, Genchi was killed when the helicopter he was piloting was shot down in Vietnam in July of 1969. The LIRR installed a replacement in 1998, which has been lost to time, and the original is now stored in the Railroad Museum of Long Island in Riverhead.

The new weather vane being installed today more closely harkens back to Genchi’s original.

"The Long Island Rail Road is steeped in history over its 187 years, and we're so proud to preserve U.S. Army Warrant Officer Bernardino Francis Genchi's place in that history," said LIRR President Phillip Eng. "A Vietnam War Veteran and Gold Star Hero, Bernardino will forever be remembered through this rededication at his hometown station at Islip, as we honor his courage and that of all past and present veterans and those who continue to serve our country."

“This is important because it sort of codifies our history and it’s important for us to remember the history” said Angie Carpenter, Town of Islip Supervisor. “It really brings the community together and we’re very very happy for that.”

“This is beautiful that we’re doing this – to remember history, remember a great man, Dino,” said Steven Flotteron, Suffolk Co. Legislator, “his history, his memory of what he’s done when he was in High School to how he gave his life for our country, for our freedom. This is terrific.”

“This means a lot to us veterans that we can recognize somebody from Islip who did this little task by making a little wooden train in 1963 and come back in 2021 and remember him, remember this train station, what he did, and for his friends and the community and school not to forget Dino,” said Town of Islip Councilman John C. Cochrane Jr., Chairman of the Town Islip Veterans Advisory Board.

“Although I never met Dino, he is my brother, as are all Vietnam vets, men and women. We have a bond that no one will ever break,” said Roby Johnson, Commander, Suffolk County American Legion. “I wish I had known him, anybody that would do what he did, he sacrificed the most – the ultimate sacrifice, his life – for this country.”