WESTFIELD, NJ--On September 19, the Westfield Hall of Fame inducted 10 new honorees. They are:
Bob Bauer 1918-
Bob Buck 1914-2007
Charles Clark 1753-1821
Bill Clotworthy 1926-
Charles Codding 1866-1925
Grover Connell 1918-
Sam Downer, Jr. 1760-1848
Dr. Gerald Glasser 1932-
The McGinley Family 1920’s-50’s
(Ed II 1901-1985, Ed III 1928, Gerald 1931, Richard 1933)
Robert Rooke 1891-1994
These, the fourth group of honorees, were inducted at a recognition ceremony by the Westfield New Jersey Hall of Fame. The event was held at Echo Lake Country Club. Mayor Andrew Skibitsky introduced the program, and former Senator Richard Bagger served as master of ceremonies.
According to former Town Councilman and current Chairman of the Westfield Hall of Fame Committee, Lee M. Hale credits the genesis of The Hall of Fame portion of the Westfield Historical Society to the late Ralph Jones, known as the town historian.
"The process began about five years ago,” said Hale. “Folks submitted names of residents they believe made viable contributions to the Town of Westfield. Nominees are honored for becoming accomplished in their field, as well as making a significant impact on the town, state or nation.”
Richard Bagger shared a letter from his former boss, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who praised the town of Westfield and the gentlemen who made a positive impact on the community.
Bagger noted, “The letter referenced the importance of volunteerism, leadership, and philanthropy as major contributions to a successful community. As residents of Westfield, we are geared to the concept of devoting time and energy toward helping others, while make our community a better place to live."
"As a town, we are blessed to have so many people willing to volunteer their time and energy toward helping others and making our community a better place to live," said Bagger.
One common thread echoed throughout the program: Each inductee who was present recognized the importance of the pride and spirit of learning and volunteerism that takes place throughout Westfield's school system. As each spoke, they recalled their days as students in the Westfield Public School System. They praised their teachers, the fine education they received and the fine extra curricular activities that were always available to them.
Born in Westfield, Hall of Fame recipient Bill Clotworthy said, “We all lived near one another. We’d spend hours near a cannon close to Benson Place and Fairacres Avenue.”
Now a historical writer, Clotworthy is the author of "Homes of the First Lady," a copy of which he recently donated to the Westfield Memorial Library. Clotworthy, who worked for NBC and its program "Saturday Night Live," was associated with a young Ronald Reagan while host of the General Electric Theater.
“Our Hall of Fame presentation is one of many special events sponsored by the Westfield Historical Society,” said Nancy Priest, president. "We are all looking forward to our Applefest and Grandma Ginny’s Antique and Collectible Sale, which will take place at the Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center. located at 314 Mountain Avenue, on October 20th."
“As part of our continuing fund-raising efforts, our following major endeavor will be to raise money for an Archive Building, which will serve as home for our town bell and important memorabilia,” said Sherry Cronin, Hall of Fame 2012 committee member and executive director of Downtown Westfield Corporation.
“We want our Archive House to be a viable addition to the the Reeve History and Cultural Center. We want Westfield residents and visitors to have access to pertinent history regarding our Town," added Priest.