Each year, the mayor of Boston’s office and the South Boston Citizens’ Association host the annual South Boston Senior Salute in St. Monica Hall. This is a noontime corned-beef-and-cabbage banquet to which all seniors are invited. This event ties into the St. Patrick “season” in South Boston, and is always well attended. This Year of Our Lord 2016 was no exception.
Approximately 300 seniors showed up for the feast. It was a complete Irish banquet, including ample coffee and soda bread. Yes, it was the kind that had raisins in it – lots of them – but no caraway flavoring. After all, we didn’t want to start another Irish Civil War. There were many, many raffles, and even a brownie at the end – not very Irish, we admit, but very good.
Music was provided by the Mike Reynolds duo and step dancing was on the program. Fr. Steve offered a blessing. The Pledge of Allegiance was offered to the flag by all, followed by singing “God Bless America.”
Many elected officials showed up. Michael Flaherty continued his reign as our premier Irish-singing politician. Congressman Steve Lynch also sang and cracked a joke about making the parade last for a long time: “We’ll walk the new route very slowly this year.” The seniors laughed at his joke, but booed the mayor’s decision afterwards. Rep. Nick Collins pulled raffle tickets industriously. Mayor Walsh announced that Marine Industrial Park on our Waterfront will now be known as Mayor Ray Flynn Industrial Park. He then congratulated photographer Eileen O’Connor on her long, productive career; this Senior Salute was Eileen’s last official function. Walsh also pulled a bunch of winning raffle tickets.
The Senior Salute ended on a celebratory note. And now it’s on to Sunday’s parade.