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Posted on: August 14, 2023

Mayor Hector C. Lora Honors Tom Saba and His Family as the City of Passaic Designates Van Houten

Tom Saba Press release

Passaic, NJ- On August 8th, Mayor Hector C. Lora, joined by the city of Passaic officials, honored the family of Mr. Tom Saba with a momentous street naming ceremony that designated the Van Houten and Passaic Avenue train station area as “Tom Saba Square”. Mr. Saba served ice cream and hot dogs to the community for decades by the baseball field in Third Ward Park. The street naming ceremony was attended by Saba’s family, including his daughter, niece, friends, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who traveled from Europe to witness this occasion. In homage to his legacy, the City distributed hot dogs with his special signature sauce in his memory. Mayor Lora expressed “As the Mayor, I would like to say that it is a great honor to be here for this particular proclamation and designation. There is this remarkable sort of nostalgia that occurs when we’re taken back to a time a little more innocent”. 

Mayor Lora presented his proclamation to the family, affirming that Mr. Saba was a staple in the city through his hard work and dedication, expressing “As mayor, I often share that it would be impossible for us to truly appreciate our present and have a direct and effective vision for the future if we do not stop and honor our past". He further asserted that the dedication Mr. Saba displayed should be emulated. Mayor Lora added, "We inspire our youth when we tell stories of those inspired by resilient and amazing courage of spirit, tenacity, and dedication who came to this country with a willingness to work hard; not to receive, but to give”.

Mr. Saba’s daughter, Barbara Mendello, and niece, Anne Ramundo, spoke of his legacy and expressed deep gratitude towards Mayor Lora. “I’m so proud of my dad. He humbly came with only twenty dollars to his name. I don’t know who knew him, but he would always sing ‘God Bless America’ every single day. It was just a blessing to meet new people every day. I’m very touched by what Mayor Lora has done today” said Mendello.

Grandchildren Kevin and Ernest Mendello expressed their nostalgia and sense of Passaic pride for their beloved grandfather conveyed “It was very moving. It brought back a lot of memories. Such nice words that the mayor spoke about my grandfather. It was beautiful”. Mayor Lora presented both a proclamation and an adopted City Council resolution to the family and those present to commemorate Tom Saba’s life. 

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