MANVILLE: Gorbatuk takes seat of honor

Memorial Day Parade organizer will be its grand marshal

By Mary Elen Day, Special Writer
Veteran Fred Gorbatuk usually organizes Manville’s Memorial Day parade.
This year, he’ll ride in the seat of honor, though, as the grand marshal for the traditional event, which takes place Sunday, May 25, on Main Street. The parade route will be the same as last year. The parade will begin with the step off at 1 p.m. on Duke’s Parkway, traveling down Main Street to Washington Avenue and up to the VFW Post 2290.
After the parade, there will be hot dogs and birch beer along with a brief ceremony with guest speakers inside the post hall.
"I set up the parade, get it organized and get to ride in a limo," joked Mr. Gorbatuk. he said it will be different if he wasn’t in charge of the parade.
The Veterans of Foreign War Post 2290’s 68th annual Memorial Day parade will step off at 1 p.m.
VFW Post 2290 Commander Charles Goodyear acknowledged that Mr. Gorbatuk deserved the honor.
"I picked Fred this year he is a local guy a native of Manville and has been with the VFW for at least 20 years," he said. "He has been around helping for years doing a lot of work and helping. He is always there when you need him."
Mr. Goodyear also said Mr. Gorbatuk runs VFW rituals, is in the color guard and is a very active veteran. Ironically Mr. Gorbatuk is the chairman of the Memorial Day parade. He coordinates all the marchers and makes all the necessary arrangements. Mr. Gorbatuk is also involved coordinating the VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest and is the charter representative for the Scouts of Troop 193.
"He does quite a bit," said Commander Goodyear.
He has been involved with the VFW since 1971 having served as commander four times and is a Vietnam veteran.
Mr. Gorbatuk was born and raised in Manville and graduated from Manville High School. He served in the Air Force, going through basic training in Texas. Mr. Gorbatuk then went to Nellis Air Force Base Nevada to learn the F 105B thunder chief aircraft. He was sent over to Thailand and spent time there as the leader of operations for one year bombing tactically the enemy targets, roads and bridges. Mr. Gorbatuk came back to Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico to train other troops and pilots. He was discharged after four years.
Mr. Gortabuk came back to Manville and married his wife, Clare, 43 years ago. They have two sons, Patrick and David, and four grandchildren (two boys and two girls.)
Those scheduled to march in the parade include members of Thomas J. Kavanaugh Post 2290 Color Guard and Marching Unit; VFW Ladies Auxiliary Marching Unit, Central Jersey Military Motor Pool, Mayor Angelo Corradino and Borough Council members; Boy Scouts of America Troop 193 and Cub Scout Pack 193; Girls Scouts; Manville Youth Athletic League, Manville Recreation department, all three Manville fire departments and the Manville First Aid and Rescue Squad.
The VFW Post 2290 not only sponsors the parade in the early afternoon, but the members of the post and Ladies Auxiliary will begin their Memorial Day remembrance starting with an 8:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart Church. After Mass, there will be a memorial out front at the post monument at 11, followed by a service at Sacred Heart Cemetery at 11:30. Members will hold a sea service for 12:15 in Duke’s Park by the Raritan River to honor all those who served.
Residents are invited to any and all of the services prior the parade to help honor and remember those Veterans who are not present today.
There is no rain date for the parade. Events will only be cancelled in the event of thunder and lightning.