Barnegat Officials Honor Retired Dockmaster Phil Greco
Phil Greco, who recently retired as Barnegat Township’s dockmaster after 22 years, received a sendoff with an appreciation plaque given to him by the township committee at its Oct. 4 meeting.
As dockmaster, Greco, 89, was responsible for the safe traffic and mooring of vessels, general operation of the docks and maintaining a safe and clean environment throughout the facility. Since last year, the dockmaster is part of the town’s public works department, a change from his original supervision under the recreation department.
“Phil made sure people paid fees (and) put their trash where it belonged,” said Mayor John Novak in presenting him with the plaque. “But he also helped kids put their bait in crab traps, and untangled fishing lines.”
Novak said some weekends during the summer were especially hectic when they had the boat races.
“He was in charge of organizing the parking,” said the mayor. “Phil probably managed chaos down there better than anyone.”
Novak, who lives near the dock, said Greco often stopped at the facility in the off-season.
“You never knew when he was going to be there,” said the mayor. “He always kept a watchful eye over everything that goes on at the dock.”
Committeewoman Susan McCabe said sometimes Greco “would appear out of nowhere to help.” McCabe recalled that when she was mayor, she performed a wedding at the dock. When she asked the groom to present the ring, he dropped it.
“It went through the slots of the boards to lands unknown,” she said. “While wondering what to do, there’s the dockmaster, who I didn’t even know was in the vicinity, calling public works to pull up the boards and retrieve the ring. We proceeded to complete the wedding. Indeed, the dockmaster would appear out of thin air when needed. And he did it for 20-some years. I hope he does reappear at his favorite place, the dock.” —E.E.