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Salute to Woodbridge, New Jersey

Port of New York

Salute to Woodbridge, New Jersey

Sep 17 1955






SPEAKERS:

MARTIN WELDON, CBS Commentator

GEORGE MROZ, Administration Chairman

CHARLES GREGORY, Editor & Publisher of the Woodbridge Independent Leader

LEON E. McELROY, Postmaster







Martin Weldon

CBS Commentator 


This is the Port of New York. This is 

your Port Reporter, Martin Weldon. Today, 

The Port of New York Authority, which brings 

you this transcribed weekly series, salutes 

another community in this greatest harbor 

area in the world. Introduced today by 

George Mroz, Administration Chairman of 

Woodbridge, New Jersey. 


George Mroz

Administration Chairman 


The Township of Woodbridge comprises 9 

separate communities and the total of these 

communities approximates 27 square miles. Our 

population today is estimated to be in excess 

of 50,000. And we are located on the bounda- 

ries of Rahway, Perth Amboy, Raritan Township 

and Metuchen. We are approximately 20 miles 

southwest of the center of New York. 


Weldon

Woodbridge, New Jersey one of more than 200 

cities and towns in the two state Port 

District. Not every one of these lies directly 

on the waterfront but all have one thing in 

common, their prosperity depends to a great 

degree on the health of the port, area of 

responsibility of the Port Authority. And 

the Port Authority presents these programs 

in the hope that the experience of one city 

may be shared with others to the benefit of 

the entire Port District. 


In one way Woodbridge, New Jersey is typical 

of many of the cities and towns surrounding 

New York City. It has grown - it is growing. 

Officials like Administration Chairman George 

Mroz know only too well how rapid the rate of 

growth. 


George Mroz:

This community never seems to stand still - 

it's had a reputation for a rapid growth and 

it's continuing right along that line. Wood- 

bridge now is considered to be the largest 

municipality in the County of Middlesex, even 

greater now than the City of Perth Amboy and 

the City of New Brunswick. 


Weldon:

One good reason for the recent progress made 

by Woodbridge is the fact that it lies directly 

on the New Jersey Turnpike. This brings the 

town close to other key places, and accessi- 

bility, as Mr. Mroz indicates, never hurt the 

business of a town. 


Mroz

It's a fact - the Township of Woodbridge is 

closer to the center of Manhattan than some 

of the municipalities in greater New York it- 

self. We are only 20 miles southwest of center 

Manhattan, and, of course, we're in direct 

route to the seashore resorts and the main 

arteries feeding into Philadelphia and Trenton 

also go through the Township of Woodbridge. 

And people who wanted to move out to the 

country found that the transportation which 

is available to them was a great asset because 

we've heard people remark that those who live 

in upper North Jersey and went into New York 

found that even though they had to travel 

almost twice as far, they could get to their 

place of employment in half the time. We have 

the Turnpike that runs through the municipality 

and, of course, we have the Parkway which runs 

north and south through the state. We have 

Route No. 1 which runs from New York all the 

way south to Trenton and Philadelphia as we 

pointed out, the old Route No. 27 and then 

there are many of the outlying roads that 

bisect the community and skirt it but still 

are very accessible to the heart of the Town. 


Weldon:

The folks who live in Woodbridge feel strongly 

about operating their government on a pay-as- 

you-go basis or as close to that ideal as 

possible and it's worked out to the definite 

advantage of the town. 


Mroz:

I know that the municipality was one of the 

first ones in the state to operate on a cash 

basis even before it became law. It means 

that anything you appropriate for must be 

appropriated to the fullest extent in the 

budget and any over expenditures of prior 

years must be incorporated in the following 

year's budget in order to bring it up to a 

full cash basis. 


Weldon:

Now let's look at Woodbridge from another 

point of view. Some of it's citizens have 

gone on to a wider reputation than can be 

measured within the confines of any one time. 

Our authority now is Charles Gregory, Editor 

and Publisher of the Woodbridge Independent 

Leader. 


Charles Gregory

Editor & Publisher of the 

Woodbridge Independent 

Leader 


The first one probably is Zebulon Pike, whose 

ascension to the crest at what is now Pike's 

Peak is a byword to most Americans. More 

recent history was in 1952 when one of our 

local seafarers, Captain Henrik Kurt Carlsen, 

by name, electrified everybody by his staunch 

seamanship on a ship called the "Flying 

Enterprise" which floundered off Wales and 

finally sank. Carlsen himself was rescued, 

and most reluctantly I think he still feels, 

came back to Woodbridge to a hero's welcome 

which I think that everybody felt that he was 

certainly entitled to. 


Weldon

And with the World Series coming up there 

isn't much question about which team most of 

Woodbridge would be rooting for. The ace 

of the pitching staff, of one of the contenders 

is a native son, or practically. 


Gregory

The thing which pleases a great many of us 

Dodger fans is the fact that Don Newcombe 

lives about 4 miles from here in Woodbridge 

Township in a very pretty, suburban home on 

Inman Avenue in Colonia. 


Weldon

The history of Woodbridge goes back somewhat 

earlier than loyalty to a baseball player. 

It contains a footnote or two about the 

Revolutionary War. Leon E. McElroy the Post- 

master and former Borough Attorney and Borough 

Councilman is the expert who has made the story 

of Woodbridge practically a lifetime study. 


Leon E. McElroy:

Postmaster 


Woodbridge is the oldest original township in 

the State of New Jersey. Gordon, in his history 

of New Jersey, says of the charter that it was 

one of the most liberal ever given in America. 

The original immigrants to Woodbridge were 

Puritans and were naturally strict adherents 

in the customs enforced in the New England 

colony of Massachusetts, where the General Court 

at an early date disposed of the matter of 

naming towns by ordering the naming of English 

towns in New England. Many of the early settlers 

of Woodbridge came from Suffolk County, England 

about 68 miles northeast of London and in the 

vicinity of Ipswich. The truth is that Wood- 

bridge gets its name from the community in 

England that the early settlers came from. 


Weldon

Going back to current municipal matters suppose 

we attend a recent meeting of the Town Council 

with Administration Chairman, George Mroz. 

Nothing like a meeting of the Town Council to 

give you the feeling of the currents running 

through a town.


Mroz

Ordinances were introduced to establish approxi- 

mately 10 new playground areas. The reason why 

that was not taken care of in the regular session 

was that there was a terrific amount of engineer- 

ing and legal work and descriptions that had to 

be looked into before the ordinances could be 

properly adopted. Then there were awards made 

on bids that came in on a previous meeting. 

Those bids were referred to the various committees 

and to the Township Attorney for tabulation. They 

entailed equipment such as trucks for the Public 

Works Department and the Sanitation Departments. 


Weldon:

That brings us closer to some of the present 

day issues which interest and affect the folks 

of Woodbridge. They were concerned in the past 

and not too distant past, with a problem of 

sewage and Mr. Mroz has that situation at his 

finger tips. 


Mroz

We're confronted with a terrific sanitation 

problem and being served by the Interstate Sani- 

tation Commission we have undergone a long range 

program in constructing a sanitary sewage 

disposal plant which is perhaps 85 to 90% com- 

plete at the present time. In conjunction with 

that, the Township had to lay many new trunk 

lines not only in the immediate vicinity of 

the Kill van Kull where the pollution had been 

occurring but also in the outlying districts 

of the municipality to abate the pollution of 

well water. The problem is caused by the growth 

of the municipality, and because of the growth many 

areas of the municipality which are now being 

built up never had the facilities of sanitary 

sewage and the days of septic tanks are naturally 

through. An accumulation of these had caused a 

terrific health problem. 


Weldon

You seldom get too far away these day in 

appraising any city or town from the question 

of schools - are there enough of them, are 

they physically adequate, is there a move 

afoot to build a new one. Let's hear from 

Mr. Mroz how they are doing in Woodbridge. 


Mroz

We are in a pretty tight squeeze for schools 

in the township of Woodbridge and I think 

that our problems here are reflected in 

other places throughout the entire country. 

I understand from the members of the Board 

of Education that we require approximately 

300 classrooms in order to permit our pupils 

to be on a full time day session. At the 

present time they are on 1/2 day sessions, 

and that program has been going on now for 

approximately 15 to 20 years in the high 

schools. The community has constructed 

several elementary schools, another one is 

under construction, and to be in operation in 

September 1956 is a complete new high school. 

It's located on St. George's Avenue near 

Route No. 1. 


Weldon

We found earlier that Woodbridge is enjoying 

something of a boom as far as industry is 

concerned. We can go into detail on that 

vital subject with the Administration Chairman. 


Mroz

We had the pleasure of planning the welcoming 

to the municipality to companies like Radio 

Corporation of America, the expanded plant 

facilities of the Spring Meadow Ice Cream 

Company. A new building for Minerals and 

Chemicals Company in Iselin and a distributing 

point for Hanson and York in Woodbridge. We 

also like to point out that the Shell Oil Com- 

pany who now have quite a large oil installa- 

tion in Seaworn, along one of our fine ports, 

has acquired approximately 800 additional 

acres which we hope will be for a possible 

future expansion program. In addition to that 

the California Oil Company has also acquired 

approximately 80 acres for some possible 

expansion program. 


We have more than 50 industries in the 

Township of Woodbridge of all types and 

we like to point out that Public Service 

erected a generator plant in Seaworn which 

indicates to us that they had terrific vision 

in seeing the growth of this particular area 

and the surrounding areas and at the present 

time the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company 

is erecting a new building in Woodbridge for 

a dialing system also indicating to us that 

the area of Woodbridge Township is in for 

still a terrific growth. 


Weldon

Industry is one thing - it provides the stimulus 

of a town but a good place to live in is aware 

of other needs, other expressions. In recent 

years Woodbridge has made a rather remarkable 

record in its churches. This story comes from 

our editor and publisher, Charles Gregory. 


Gregory

Within two years 5 of our churches, - well 

within three years 5 churches and a synagogue, 

and a handsome synagogue, have had building 

funds and drives and each one of them has 

completed them. Their buildings now are 

either already completed or in a short time 

will be. Now out of that there is a Jewish 

Synagogue, there are two Roman Catholic 

Churches and there are three Protestant 

Churches, $1,750,000 all told. 


Weldon

And that's how things appear today, just 

a few miles down the Turnpike in Woodbridge, 

New Jersey. 


This is your Port Reporter, Martin Weldon. 

This weekly series telling the story of your 

town and other home towns was brought to you 

by The Port of New York Authority, an agency 

of the States of New Jersey and New York 

which was created to promote and develop 

the commerce of the greatest harbor in the 

world. All of the cities and towns in this 

Port District, whether or not they are 

directly on the waterfront, have in common 

a stake in the welfare of this, - the world's 

greatest harbor . 


Next week in continuation with this series, 

a profile of Tottenville, Staten Island. 

Week after that Carteret, New Jersey. 


This transcribed program is a public service 

feature of Station WCBS AM and FM. 


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