BERKELEY – It’s been several years since the Bayville dinosaur’s makeover began. He even spent many months without his head. But he’s back and better than ever, hopefully for a long time.
The dedication ceremony for the revamped 80-year-old-plus Bayville landmark will be held shortly before Christmas. And there’s been a few changes for the Berkeley Township icon.
For one, “Dino” has had his name changed to “Bud,” in honor of Charles “Bud” Magahan, the treasurer of the Berkeley Township Historical Society. Magahan was instrumental in helping to restore him, said Anthony Zangari, who owns the plaza and the dinosaur.
“He’s my favorite octogenarian,” Zangari said of Magahan. “This guy stayed here through thick and thin.”
The dedication ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 22, at the plaza, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said.
“I’m extremely thrilled that this community project, that started over three years ago, has finally come to fruition,” the mayor said.
Bud’s body has been moved further back from its former perilous perch on Route 9. His new head and neck no longer jut out so close to the heavily trafficked highway. They now point north, not east.
So hopefully he’ll be less likely to be whacked by cars and trucks.
And if you drive by Bud at night, you can see his sparkling new glass eyes. He used to have lit eyes years ago, but not for some time. He even has a slight smile.
But his new look has been a long time coming.
It was several summers ago that Bayville officials and members of the former Save the Dinosaur Committee announced that artist Shannon MacDonald, who grew up in Bayville, would oversee the renovations. Residents and Dino fans bought T-shirts, bumper stickers and other Dino items to help fund the work.
MacDonald started on the dinosaur, and was paid for her time, but she is no longer working on it, Berkeley Township Historical Society Treasurer Bud Magahan told The Berkeley Times recently. But there was enough money left to finish Dino’s renovation, he said.
Zangari doesn’t want to focus on what happened to the original project. He wants to concentrate on Bud’s future.
He says it was never a question that Bud would remain on the property when he purchased it several years ago from a Texas company. His only request was that the dinosaur remain on site while the work was being done.
“I didn’t want it to leave the site,” said Zangari, who is a Bayville resident.
Then Zangari discovered artists Janelle Kenesko and Debbie Fassi, who completed the renovation work recently.
Amato also credited the Berkeley Township Historical Society, the “Save The Dino” Committee, the Berkeley Township PBA and the Central Ocean Business Association.
“Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank the Zangari Family,” the mayor said. “Without their support and understanding this project would have never happened. They not only embraced the project, they were involved in it every step of the way.”
Dino has watched over Bayville since taxidermist Will Farrow purchased him from a Sinclair Oil dealer back in 1932. He has survived blizzards, hurricanes, nor’easters and Superstorm Sandy and injuries from cars and trucks.
But he developed a large crack around his neck in 2015 and many were concerned for his survival.