Two Who Left Shrewsbury A Better Place

first_imgBy John Burton SHREWSBURY –  With the planting of a tree and placing of a bench plaque, the borough honored two citizens whose efforts contributed to the borough’s quality of life over the course of their lifetimes.On Friday morning, Mayor Donald Burden joinedMonmouth County Freeholder John Curley, community and family members, as well as members of the borough police department as they offered their tributes to Hermann A. Allen and John J. McGuire Jr. These two longtime borough residents, now both deceased, gave of themselves for many years to the town they called home.The mayor looked around at the group and reflected on the small-town sentiment in the two-mile square community, “It really gives me a sense of what Shrewsbury is all about,” he said.“This is a community that is so tightly knit,” observed Curley, who grew up here. He compared it to the fictional Mayberry of “The Andy Griffith Show.”“It really is neighbor helping neighbor,” Curley said.Burden unveiled a bench located in front of borough hall at 419 Sycamore Ave. with a plaque recognizing McGuire’s contributions.Janet McGuire, widow of former Shrewsbury Borough Police Chief John J. McGuire Jr., attends a ceremony last week honoring her late husband.McGuire, who died in August at age 72, had lived in the borough since he was 12. He had been a member of the borough police for 27 years, retiring as chief in 1993. Afterwards McGuire worked as a Monmouth County undersheriff and served on the Borough Council for a number of years.“He was always a good mentor,” said Burden, referencing the days when he had first been elected to the borough council. And Curley recalled his time as an 18-year-old police dispatcher and how McGuire offered guidance to him.“He was an amazing individual and certainly gave a lot to this community,” said Police Chief Louis Ferraro, who also worked with McGuire.A short distance away, borough employees planted a red oak tree in memory of Allen, made possible through donations by the borough Environmental Commission and borough employees. Allen, who died in October 2010 at 91, was a lifetime honorary member of the borough Historical Society and member of the environmental commission. Burden and Shade Tree Chairman Bill Gerth told how Allen became a fixture at council and Planning Board meetings, offering his input on the government’s actions. He worked tirelessly in many ways, volunteering for numerous projects, Burden added.“When Mr. Allen stepped forward we all listened,” the mayor noted. Burden added, “For me personally, he was my buddy,” as the two regularly worked on those projects together.“In many ways Hermann was a de facto member of the borough council,” given the extent of his involvement, Gerth said.The red oak, which is also New Jersey’s state tree, will grow upward of 75 to 100 feet and will be a lasting tribute to Allen, Gerth added.last_img

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