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Scotch Plains Council Honors the Late Mayor Walter Grote

Mindy Scarlett

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 • 7:39pm

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – At the Tuesday night Scotch Plains Township Council meeting, a resolution was passed honoring the late Mayor Walter Grote for his contributions to Scotch Plains over many years.

Councilman Lou Beckerman acknowledged that it was Mayor Grote who encouraged him to move to Stout Avenue in Scotch Plains.  “He said it was a great neighborhood and a great town and he was right.  He loved Scotch Plains dearly. He was always interested in what was going on. He was very proud to live here and even prouder of having the pleasure and honor of serving the citizens of the town.”

Councilman Beckerman went on to outline some of the details of Grote’s professional life with Exxon, and his service to the Town of Scotch Plains.  “Walter Grote lived his life by the motto on the Grote family shield - 'To do good, rather than be famous.' Once he was offered a 'free lunch,' he kindly declined the offer and told the supporter that there was no such thing as a free lunch and that he'd rather pay for his lunch than create a nebulous I.O.U. ­--a lesson that will be passed on to future generations, including myself.”

At the conclusion of his comments, Beckerman invited former Mayor Mauro Checchio to join him at the podium to assist with the reading of the resolution. Grote’s widow and other members of his family were present, and at the conclusion of the formal comments, the “young” Dr. Walter Grote got up to speak.

Dr. Grote thanked the Council for honoring his father and commented on another item on the agenda – the preservation of Scotch Hills Country Club, formerly known as Shady Rest Country Club, the first such club to be owned and operated by African Americans.

“Black or white never made any difference to my dad.  The best values I ever learned were right here in Scotch Plains – we are all equal,” Dr. Grote said. “Look around – Scotch Plains is a very special place.”

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