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Ernie Day Rotary Park -Egg Harbor City, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 32.220 W 074° 38.554
18S E 530715 N 4376431
Quick Description: This park was made possible by the local Rotary Club. The park pays tribute to Ernie Day, who passed away on On January 29th, 2005. He was very involved with the NJ Fireman's Museum and the Rotary Club.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 6/30/2010 8:04:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM957Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 4

Long Description:

There is a small, stone monument on the rear of a shed which lists 13 names to whom the park is dedicated. There is also a sign which explains the park was dedicated by Egg Harbor City Rotary.

This is an open-spaced park with the immediate section reserved for all types of playground equipment like swings, slides and other stuff to crawl around, over, between and in. Much of this area is simply open-space for running, playing or whatever mood strikes your fancy at the time. Income to support this park, as well as the club's other endeavors, has come from a variety of sources including the 21-Week Club, Nights in the Park, and dues.

I found the following HERE about the parks namesake:

On January 29th, 2005 we lost a great friend and citizen of America, Mr. Ernest N. Day or as he was known to thousands, Ernie Day. His 94 years on this earth witnessed many great events, both inspirational and tragic. Ernie stood firm throughout, a clever fellow, a kind friend and a role model for generations.

Born in September 1910, Ernie became a Boy Scout at 15 and attained the rank of Eagle Scout by age 17. The following year he joined the volunteer fire department of New Market and in 1933 he established the New Jersey Fire Equipment Company. Under Ernie’s untiring energy and enthusiasm, the company prospered. Fire engines would prove to be one of Ernie’s great interests. As he sold fire apparatus throughout the northeast United States, Ernie took the opportunity to purchase obsolete and unwanted apparatus when delivering new equipment. Over time, Ernie amassed a collection of vintage apparatus and equipment to rival any museum collection.

Ernie’s interests in the community reached far beyond the fire department. His years of dedicated service to Rotary International were recognized with his nomination to the Rotary International Hall of Fame in 1997. In that same year, Ernie was named the Distinguished Eagle Scout of New Jersey in recognition of his many years of support to the Boy Scouts. He also generously supported a variety of children’s hospitals, summer camps, animal shelters, the Salvation Army and similar humanitarian organizations that focus on children in need across the state and region.

In 1987, Ernie retired from New Jersey Fire Equipment Inc. after selling thousands of fire apparatus across the Northeast USA but he remained in frequent contact with the employees to whom he sold the company which remains in business today.

As far back as 1963, Ernie started donating his museum collection to the state which agreed to erect an appropriate museum to place the collection on public display. A site was chosen adjacent to Allaire State Park in the center of the state and approximately $500,000 was invested in design work and site preparations including water and sewer services. Over the last 15 years, Ernie’s persistence in lobbying politicians to honor the agreement to build a museum came very close to reality. By 2001, the necessary legislation to fund actual construction came very close to passage but the tragedy of 9-11 and the subsequent state financial crisis pushed the museum aside once more. A non-profit organization was formed to support the museum and today it is focused on non-governmental financing. A Capital Fund Drive is currently underway to build the museum and education center that will be home to Ernie’s historic collection.

Ernie was a favorite speaker at organizations across the state. He had great lines and a polished routine that charmed and entertained his many audiences. As he pointed out at his 90th birthday party a few years ago, he had reached the point that when introduced as the oldest living member of the organization hosting the event, he would smile and point out that he was the oldest living member of every organization he belonged to! In October 2003, despite an overcast day that turned to rain, Ernie attended the first-ever Fire Museum Muster at Allaire State Park where his sharp eye pointed out several apparatus that he had sold many years earlier.

Selfless men who work hard, do well and share their wealth so freely as Ernie do not come along very often. We will miss his wit and personality and remarkable example of how to live a good life. In the fire museum project we have the opportunity to raise a structure that provides a permanent home to his treasured collection and a place of honor where the story of his life will be on display to encourage and inspire future generations to follow his example of hard work and a kind heart.

Plaque or monument: Other or unknown

Placed by?: Egg Harbor City Rotary

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