On May 19, the City of Bayonne held a ceremony to dedicate the park at 28th Street and Avenue F as Makowski Park in honor former City Council Member Joseph L. Makowski and his late father, former City Council Member Joseph E. Makowski. The newly renovated park includes basketball courts, playground equipment, benches, and picnic tables.
Mayor Jimmy Davis said that the Makowski family “has always given back” to the community. He explained that the park was dedicated to the Makowskis, because of the work the family has done for the people of Bayonne over many decades.
Lincoln School Principal Keith Makowski, son of Joseph L. Makowski and grandson of Joseph E. Makowski, recalled playing in the park in his childhood and learning about basketball from his cousin. Principal Makowski also reminisced about his grandfather’s cigars and his walks around the East Side neighborhood.
Director Coffey introduced Joseph L. Makowski, calling him a “passionate” man of “unbridled” enthusiasm, and as someone who “didn’t go with the flow.” Joseph L. Makowski credited his father with giving him a start on his career. He described the senior Makowski, a onetime insurance agent, as having been “a people person,” who paid customers’ insurance premiums if they were short of money. The younger Joseph Makowski recalled that his father was part of the first group of Council Members when Bayonne began its current mayor-council form of government in 1962.
He credited Mayor Francis G. Fitzpatrick with having “laid the foundation of what we have today”during his administration (1962-1974). In that period, the City of Bayonne rebuilt the public library after a fire, constructed the current city hall, and completed an urban renewal program.
Joseph L. Makowski, who often opposed Administration positions while on the City Council (1982 to 1998), said he was proud to have been “the other voice.” He said he knew that he had “won” when then-Mayor Dennis P. Collins came into Council meetings to defend Administration policies in person.
In addition to those already mentioned, the crowd at the event included members and friends of the Makowski family, former Mayor Richard A. Rutkowski and Mrs. Regina Rutkowski, former Mayor Leonard P. Kiczek and Mrs. Gina Kiczek, Mrs. Geraldine Halecky, Council Members Juan Perez and Gary LaPelusa, Sr., current and former municipal officials,representatives of the Polish-American community, East Side residents, and community activists. The ceremony took place the day before Joseph L. Makowski and his wife Karen were set to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Father John Fencik, Pastor of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, provided the opening prayer and benediction.
Renovation work on the park was completed by Picerno-Giordano Construction. Engineerin g services were provided by Consulting and Municipal Engineers (CME).
Banner Image: Ribbon-cutting for Makowski Park: Members of the Makowski family joined current and former City officials for the dedication for Makowski Park at 28th St. and Avenue F in Bayonne. Among those in the photo, shown approximately left to right, are: Third Ward Council Member Gary LaPelusa, Sr., Lincoln Community School Principal Keith Makowski, Karen Makowski, former City Council President Joseph L. Makowski (with giant scissors), Joseph Makowski, Carlene Makowski, Jack Makowski, Lisa Makowski, Regina Rutkowski, former Mayor Richard A. Rutkowski, Mayor Jimmy Davis, and Council Member At-Large Juan Perez.