EAST ORANGE, NJ - Yesterday members of the City of East Orange gathered to celebrate and honor a civic service icon (See video). Residents, politicians, clergy, business owners and educators all came out expressing their gratitude to a women that has served the East Orange area for more than 60 years.
Some of the more notable attendees offering words of congratulations at the event included Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin and Mayor Ted Green. Lieutenant Governor Oliver (who lives in the same ward) best summed up the accolades of her popular neighbor by suggesting, "Ms B is our queen".
Ms. Goldie T. Burbage was the first African American in the history of East Orange to serve as Secretary to a Mayor (James Kelly) as well as Secretary to the Director of the Law Department, the Tax Collector and as Secretary to the Business Administrator of the East Orange Board of Education. In addition, she served as Secretary to the Honorable William S. Hart, who succeeded Mayor Kelly as the first African American Mayor of East Orange. Under Mayor Hart's administration, she created the city's first Personnel Office and was appointed by Civil Service as the city's Chief Personnel Officer.
At 94 years old Burbage continues to be active in the community, serving on the boards of The Historical Society of East Orange, Inc., The Salvation Army of the Oranges and Maplewood and the East Orange Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.