Our family, my beautiful mother, Rose Alba, loving sister, Ellamarie Alba McMullen, brother-in-law, Patrick McMullen, and I would like to thank the Narragansett Town Council for honoring my dad Albert Alba Sr., on Jan. 19 with a proclamation for his accomplishments in his life and his contributions to the Narragansett Town Council meetings for many decades.
My dad was a champion for strategies on keeping taxes low, promoting tourism by promoting our natural beauties such as our beaches, and advocating for small businesses.
Dad supported giving seniors a tax break, the homestead exemption, and spending money on schools and libraries. My dad always taught our family the value of a good education, providing resources for all those wanting to learn and socialize, and the benefits of being engaged in dialogue with our community leaders. In addition to the above suggestions to the Narragansett Town Council, our dad also advocated for putting up posts for dog waste bags along the Ocean Road sea wall, an outdoor ice-skating rink, and the reconstruction of the Narragansett Pier.
The outreach and support for our family was also most appreciated. Our family received many sympathy and Mass cards from people who knew my dad personally or from those who recognized him from the Narragansett Town Council Meetings, and they thanked our family for his advocacy for our town.
My dad came from a family of 14. He was the youngest of the seven sons. He has one sibling still living, Angelina Alba Aiello Pisaturo, who is 96 years old. The Alba family was featured in a You Tube video with Judge Frank Caprio’s family. His mother and father immigrated at a very young age from Sicily. For those that may be interested there is a video that discusses the history of Federal Hill and gives an overview of the Alba and Caprio families growing up on Federal Hill, called “Federal Hill Providence, RI.”
Many of my dad’s ideas have been used throughout the years by past Town Councils and most recently the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce. Our local chamber purchased an outdoor ice-skating rink which my dad advocated for at numerous Narragansett Town Council Meetings. Peg Fradette, chamber operations manager purchased the ice-skating rink with the chamber’s “Take It Outside Grant” money that remained after the cancellation of their planned Holiday Street Faire. Numerous private donations have come in to cover the costs for shipping and set up. The rink will be located on Clarke Road at the Park & Recreations location. It is made with a synthetic material, so the temperature is of no consequence. My dad felt an ice-skating rink would be a fun and recreational activity, and it would also encourage people to come to Narragansett in the winter season and could also help our local businesses. My dad being a small business owner himself recognized the struggles small businesses have during the winter.
Our family knows my dad would want the ice-skating rink be open for everyone at no cost. Businesses are encouraged to purchase banners or sponsor fire pits. Individuals can donate by mailing a contribution to the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce. Information for making donations can be found at the Narragansett of Chamber of Commerce Website, www.narragansettcoc.com, the Our Town: Narragansett, and the Narragansett Town Council Forum pages. If the rink becomes very popular, the town may even consider purchasing additional sections to expand its size. This rink is heavy, but it is moveable so perhaps we will see this rink on Veterans’ Park or at Gazebo Park in the future.
In reflecting on my dad’s wishes to have a rink in Narragansett and his discussions with me on why he advocated for an ice-skating rink so frequently, I put together my dad’s “I Have A Dream Speech for An Ice-Skating Rink” in honor of my dad. When my sister and I were young we went ice skating with our dad and the memories are forever with us.
Below is the speech I wrote by “Divine Intervention” from my dad in honor of my dad:
I have a dream to have an ice-skating rink in Narragansett
Where family, friends, and loved ones can meet
Where parents and grandparents can watch their children and grandchildren learn how to skate
Where families and all those who gather can have wonderful memories that will last a lifetime
Where skaters of all levels can enjoy the beauty of skating or watch others skating in a safe location
An ice-skating rink that will promote tourism; tourists will visit Narragansett to go skating or watch others skate in a safe location
An ice-skating rink that will allow businesses to promote their businesses by putting up banners or purchasing fire pits
A rink that may allow our local hockey teams or figure skaters go to practice
A rink that may allow skating instructors to give skating lessons as they have dance lessons in the Narragansett Towers.
A rink that may be rented out for several hours for a nominal fee for a family’s special event such as a birthday party if it’s available.
A rink that may even be possibly adopted to a roller-skating rink or other type of rink (skateboarding rink) during different seasons.
Thank you all again for honoring my dad, and for making many of his Dreams become a reality to what he would call a little bit of Heaven on Earth, Narragansett, RI.