Community Life

East Orange Historical Society Honors Goldie T. Burbage in Women’s History Month Tribute

Credits: John Henry - SOTI

EAST ORANGE, NJ - In observance Women’s History Month, the East Orange Historical Society honored one of its own, Ms. Goldie T. Burbage for her many accomplishment of the years. 

Mrs. Burbage was the first African American in the history of East Orange to serve as Secretary to a Mayor 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 Mayor William S. Hart, who succeeded Mayor James W. Kelly Jr. 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.     

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Mrs. Burbage attended Newark Secretarial School and is a Business Administration Graduate of Upsala College.

Mrs. Burbage also served as the first female from Essex County to serve as Coordinator for Women in Municipal Government representing New Jersey, Puerto Rico and parts of New England. Her role as a humanitarian led to serving as President of the Haitian American Cultural Society and President of New Jersey Transit's Minority Advisory Council which was responsible for the integration of minorities and women as bus drivers. She also became the first minority to serve as President of a state organization under the auspices of the national food program known as SHARE (Self Help and Resource Exchange). She was also elected as the Coordinator for the East Orange HIV program.   

Her vast array of citations include the NJ Assembly, the NJ Senate, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the NAACP of the Oranges and Maplewood, the North Jersey Unit of the National Association of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, SHARE New Jersey, East Orange Division of Senior Citizens, East Orange Education Association, National Community and Congressional Health Promoters, Inc., East Orange Black Heritage Award, Committee on the Status of Women, Essex County Civic Club and Essex County College as well as the East Orange City Council and East Orange Mayors William S. Hart, Robert L. Bowser and Lester E. Taylor III. 

Widow of Purnell "Pete" Burbage, she is the mother of Geoffrey, Bernadette and Kevin Burbage and grandmother to Ciarra and Ariana Burbage.  And is still quite active in the community.           

Most Recently:

Co Chairperson Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary of East Orange.

Currently:

President of the East Orange Historical Society 

President East Orange Educational Foundation, Inc

3rd Vice President Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Constitution Chairperson Presidential Heights Community Association (PHCA)

Chairperson of the Board for the Salvation Army of the Oranges and Maplewood

Vice President of the East Orange Chamber of Commerce

Member of the ad hoc Committee of East Orange General Hospital 

Member of the East Orange YMCA Shaping NJ Committee - "Healthier East Orange Coalition"

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