Sunday, May 8, 2016

Graham M Skea

Graham Skea was recreation director in East Orange during the late 1950's and until 1967 when he left to head recreation in Orange County, NY (Middletown area).

Mr. Skea became well-known in recreation circles around the country because of his 1958 project to bring a surplus Korean War jet to Soverel Field in East Orange.

[East Orange] "was THE first in the nation to secure surplus military equipment for its playgrounds. The present director, Graham M. Skea, asked the Navy for a surplus fighter plane. It was granted, if he could  remove it from the depot in Philadelphia. He secured a truck and, with the aid of some of the department’s maintenance men, brought the plane to Soverel Field, where it became the cynosure of eyes all over the United States." (From 1964 Centennial History of East Orange)

                                   Above: from East Orange's centennial celebration, 1963

Mr Skea was born on March 20, 1928 in Orange but both his parents and an older brother were born in Scotland. In 1940 the family lived at 513 Main St (south side of the block across from Muir's).

                                    Below: senior photo in 1946 East Orange High yearbook

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