Under an ordinance proposed by Mayor Pasquale Menna, the circle at Marine Park would be named for late Mayor Katharine Elkus White, seen below in 1948. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s first and only female mayor, Katharine Elkus White, is up for a drive in the park.
Marine Park, that is. Mayor Pasquale Menna on Wednesday night proposed naming the parking area at the riverfront facility for White, who also served as the first chairperson of the New Jersey Highway Authority and four years as America’s ambassador to Denmark.
Menna had previously floated the idea of designating a new seating area outside borough hall, on Monmouth Street, in White’s memory. But Marine Park, he said at the most recent council meeting, is a better choice to honor her.
“It is prominent, it is dignified, it evidences a view of the world outside Red Bank, which Katherine Elkus White certainly had,” Menna said.
After serving as mayor from 1951 to 1956, White was appointed to the Danish ambassadorship by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and held the post until 1969 . She died in April, 1985 at the age of 78.
Menna said the circular driveway would be named Ambassador Katherine Elkus White Circle, with a plaque installed on an entry island next to a flagpole in the park. The ceremonial naming must be ratified by approval of an ordinance expected to be voted upon at the council’s next session.
Oakland Street resident Carl Colmorgen, who lobbied Menna and the council for the past two years to honor White, praised the Marine Park choice.
“It’s going to be beautiful down there” in the park, he said.
Want to know more about White? Check out this archived redbankgreen article for starters.