The legacy of a neighborhood crusader who was “everyone’s friend and unselfish servant” %u2013 and who preserved the history of the Town of New Utrecht by delivering homespun lessons to the community %u2013 will live on for future generations, thanks to efforts by his peers and family to co-name a street corner in Bensonhurst “Robert M. Buonvino Place.”
The Borough Park native, who lived in Dyker Heights until his death from cancer in March, was immortalized in front of local residents and dignitaries who assembled in a large crowd at the corner of 18th Avenue and 83rd Street for a ceremony hailing the work and dedication of the grassroots gladiator, who founded the Friends of Historic New Utrecht and the Liberty Pole Association.
A leader in establishing as historic landmarks the Liberty Pole, Parish House and cemetery of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, 18th Avenue and 84th Street, Buonvino was recalled with cheers and tears as an untiring and selfless community advocate, particularly his work with young people.
A youth Eagle Scout, he served as scoutmaster of Troop 20, the nation’s oldest troop sponsored by the house of worship, from 1980 until 2005 when he became the chartered organization representative for that troop and Cub Pack 20.
His local affiliations were plenty and included partnerships with the Federation of Italian Americans, the Kings County American Legion and the Regina Pacis/Santa Rosalia Church, 1230 65th Street.
In his biography issued for the ceremony, Buonvino was remembered as spending “countless hours working to preserve local history.”