Woodside came together Saturday to honor a man who officials call the “great son” of the western Queens neighborhood.
Local politicians, community leaders and residents celebrated the life of former Councilman Walter McCaffrey during a ceremony in which 61st Street on Woodside Avenue was renamed “Walter McCaffrey Place.”
“The late Walter McCaffrey will never be forgotten,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who introduced legislation into the City Council to rename the Woodside street, where McCaffrey once had his district office. “A Woodsider till the end, Walter never stopped advocating for his neighborhood and this district, setting a high bar for all elected officials who followed him in office.”
McCaffrey, who passed away last July at 64 years old, was born and raised in Woodside, and served as councilman of the 26th District from 1985 to 2001. Before being elected to the Council, McCaffrey served as chair of Community Board (CB) 2.
“Here we are to honor the life and legacy of [Walter], the person who did so much for our city, so much for our community,” said Joseph Conley, chair of CB 2, during the renaming dedication. “And as Walter taught me and many people here today, there was no greater exercise in life than to reach out your hand and help somebody.
While in the City Council McCaffrey also served as chair of the Zoning and Franchises subcommittee, and was on the Land Use, Finance, Public Safety and Transportation committee.
Friends, colleagues and others who were at the street renaming ceremony remembered the late councilman for his sense of humor and devotion to serving the residents of western Queens.
“The dedication of Walter McCaffrey Place is a fitting tribute to a selfless public servant who was synonymous with the Woodside community,” Congressman Joseph Crowley said. “Walter fought for the people of Queens with great passion, leaving behind a legacy of advocacy and accomplishment that improved the lives of middle class families across the city.”