Belleville Historical Society expands to restore more memorials, monuments

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On Veterans Day, the Belleville Historical Society incorporated a new organization specifically dedicated to the cleaning and restoration of military and veteran memorials. During the past seven years, the society has cleaned and restored more than 50 memorials throughout North Jersey, ranging in size from modest stone markers, to elaborate bronze plaques to life-size statues.

In fact, it recently restored an epic monument to the employees of the Polack Co. on Schuyler Avenue, just outside the CVS.

All of the work is done free of charge. Recently, while doing Armistice Day/Great War research, the society discovered that one World War I British soldier was buried in New Jersey. Pvt. Bertram Joseph Venables was a Royal Marine Light Infantry stationed aboard the British battleship Dominion.

He developed pneumonia and was shipped to New York for medical care where he died April 4, 1918.

“We located his grave at Flower Hill Cemetery in North Bergen, where we had done much previous work. We cleaned his stone and set UK and American flags,” Michael Perrone, the BHS president, said. “On Veterans Day at 11 a.m., we set a small wreath there … it is the least we can do for a young man buried 3,000 miles from home.

“We hope to use our new organization to raise money for repairs of the church steeple at the old Belleville Dutch Reformed Church.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.