Newburgh’s ‘Royal’ lady turns 90

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Roxy Royal

NEWBURGH – Roxy Royal turned 90 years young on Sunday and she remains active in her church – Mount Carmel Church of Christ, with her family, and friends.

She began her community service as the first African American secretary with the PTA at the Montgomery Street School in Newburgh.

Later when her family moved and her children attended the Broadway School, she joined the PTA and became the first African American president of the organization.

When Harvey Burger, the chairman of the Newburgh Democratic Committee was elected as an Orange County legislator in 1990, she was elected chairwoman of the political party. She served in that capacity until she retired some four years ago.

Ms. Royal remains informed and active in politics on the local and national levels. President Trump is “just not good for the United States,” she said. As for his tweets and regular bashing of political opponents, often calling them disparaging names, “it takes one to know one,” Ms. Royal noted.

  • “I think it is because some people take advantage of what he is standing for and it is what they believe in and stand for because I am not going to support you if I do not believe in or agree with your ideas,” she said.


“I don’t understand how women support him.”

Ms. Royal reflected on the Newburgh she remembers when her family moved there in 1948 to the city of today. It has the “possibility” of rebirth, noting housing opportunities thanks to Habitat for Humanity and other organizations.

In addition to her political activities, Ms. Royal created the city’s anti-drug demonstration project years ago and worked for 15 years as a social worker assistant at Cornerstone Family Healthcare.

The mother of six – three are living, has 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, one of whom is her namesake, she said proudly.