There is a new inductee that was added to the John S. DaVanzo Wall of Honor at village hall last week. Village officials, members of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and residents came together to honor 2019 inductee Robert Hinck, who was the village’s former mayor at one point.
“On behalf of myself and the board of directors of the chamber, I can’t tell you how proud we are to be here tonight and be able to once again unveil our recipient of the John DaVanzo Wall of Honor,” said Mineola Chamber of Commerce president Joel Harris.
The John S. DaVanzo Wall of Honor is the brain-child of former chamber president Tony Lubrano.
“Even though I don’t live here, I probably spend more time here than I do in my hometown anyway,” Lubrano said. “I thought it was important to let people know how this place became what it is and to recognize those people who made it a special place, so I came up with this idea of a wall of honor. I think it was with Jack Martins and Mayor Strauss that we came up with the idea of calling it the John DaVanzo Wall of Honor.”
The wall of honor’s placement inside the lobby of village hall is significant since it is the exact spot where DaVanzo, who was also known as Mr. Mineola to many, used to sit and greet people who came into the building.
“This is an annual and special event where we get to recognize a couple of people, one of them being John DaVanzo’s life and also all of the recipients that came before him that made Mineola what it is today,” said former mayor and senator Jack Martins. “If you look at the history of Mineola and what John has done and did in his life is remarkable. There’s a reason they called him Mr. Mineola.”
According to Mayor Scott Strauss, Hinck was one of the movers and the shakers of the village.
“If it wasn’t for Mayor Hinck’s vision, who had a vision, we wouldn’t have village hall,” said Strauss. “It is because of that vision that mayor Hinck had that we are here today. He has given up his life to the community, to others, to his family and to his faith. He’s reached out to homebound people and given communion to those people. He was my little league coach back in the day. On a personal level, thank you for everything you did for me as a kid. You’ll forever be remembered in the Village of Mineola right here on this wall.”
Together Hinck and Strauss pulled off the piece of paper that was covering his very own plaque and unveiled it to the public.
“It is with honor and gratitude that I accept the John S. DaVanzo achievement award tonight,” said Hinck. “John gave a lot to this community throughout his life and it makes me proud that my achievements and my accomplishments have been recognized. As a 71 year resident of this village, in fact I moved here on April 1, 1948, to Sheridan Boulevard, I have seen many changes in this great community some of which I had the pleasure to contribute to. I am happy to call Mineola my home and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this great community. I would like to thank Mayor Strauss, the board of trustees, the chamber of commerce and all the village workers for this.”
In addition, Strauss and the chamber of commerce are also working on a project to have a touch screen computer, that when people touch on a person’s picture they get even more information on that person since not everyone can fit on the wall of honor.