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EDITORIAL: A Perth Amboy Treasure Who Left Many Lasting Memories Behind

Artist Tom Ward poses next to a doll house he made on display at the Proprietary House. Photo taken on 10/4/15. *Photo by Katherine Massopust

Artist Tom Ward poses next to a doll house he made on display at the Proprietary House. Photo taken on 10/4/15. *Photo by Katherine Massopust

Perth Amboy lost another true treasure recently. During the Council Meeting held on 10/14/15 a moment of silence was observed in tribute to Tom Ward and also Mrs. Marie Petrick, mother of Councilman Bill Petrick.  Council President Lisa Nanton became very emotional as she spoke about Ward not only as a friend, but for his service as a Board Member of the Proprietary House and on Municipal Boards. One person at the Council Meeting mentioned that the City should lower the flag at half-staff for Tom Ward. The City did so on 10/16/15.

Tom Ward paints the foyer in City Hall *Photo by Noelia Colon

Tom Ward paints the foyer in City Hall *Photo by Noelia Colon

The first time I was aware of Tom Ward was when he was an honoree at the Ides of March Dinner for his contributions to the City. He was recognized for his artwork and devotion to Perth Amboy history. If you ever visited the Prop House or eaten at the Barge Restaurant and admired some of the paintings on the wall or the murals, you’ve seen his artwork. On the outside of Bayside Creamery there is also a mural painted by Tom Ward. These are only a few of his many works.

When Wilda Diaz became Mayor of Perth Amboy, she commissioned Tom Ward to paint a mural in the official office of the Mayor to depict many of the historical sites in Perth Amboy. On the Market side of the entrance to City Hall, as soon as you walk into the foyer on the left hand side of the staircase, there is another of Ward’s artistic renderings.

Each year the Royal Garden Club conducts tours of historical homes that are showcased on High Street and Water Street. Many of those homes had murals painted by Tom Ward also depicting scenes from Perth Amboy.

Sometimes it’s not necessary to go inside of these homes to view the murals by Ward, because some of the garages and other exteriors of the homes have drawings by Ward. Some of them are of flowers like Council President Lisa Nanton’s home on Gordon Street.

Ward’s talents not only included drawings but he could also build things such as the doll house depicted above. He also painted landscapes. He also has lent his talents to restore pieces in the Propriety House and in some of the local churches.

Some of Tom Ward’s artwork is displayed in this issue and will be displayed in future ones. He joins his wife, Betty who passed away in July of this year.  C.M.

One Response to “EDITORIAL: A Perth Amboy Treasure Who Left Many Lasting Memories Behind”

  1. Kurt Epps says:

    I have submitted a suggestion to the Mayor and Council to name the gray-blocked area around the monument Tom built in front of International Park as Tom Ward Plaza. It would not cost much to affix a theft-proof plastic plaque on the side or back of his monument. It would require only that the Council approve such a designation. Tom Ward was, in many respects, a true Perth Amboy treasure. I believe this is a fitting way to honor his contributions to the city.

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

 

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WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

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