By RICK WINTERSON
Officials from the South Boston Citizens’ Association local elected officials, mayors from Ireland, parade officials from the Allied War Veterans Council, South Boston sponsors of the banquet, guests of honor and SBCA award recipients, officers and crew members from the visiting USS McFaul (DDG-74), and many tables of honored guests gathered at the Convention Center last Friday, March 18. The occasion was the SBCA’s 136th anniversary Evacuation Day Banquet, an annual event. SBCA President Tommy McGrath proudly stated that at 136 years of age, the SBCA is America’s oldest civic organization. And 2016 is the 240th anniversary year of the American nation, which was formally declared independent in 1776. The banquet was a gala event.
At 7 p.m., the “Head Table to Infinity” – there were 22 seated at it – marched in while singing “Southie Is My Home Town,” accompanied by Curragh’s Fancy (Bob Fowkes, Michael Kelley and Dave Leahy): “I had an argument the other day, with a guy from Oscaloo …”
Father Joe conferred a blessing, and a dispensation for corned beef; the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem were then said. This was followed by a delicious boiled dinner in the locally prevalent Irish tradition – gray corned beef (of course), cabbage and carrots, and soda bread with raisins (but no caraway).
As is the SBCA tradition, many awards were conferred. Mayor Marty Walsh gave Jimmy Kelley Shamrock Awards to Chris Flaherty, Ryan Long and Andrew Lane for their heroism in a water rescue; Congressman Steve Lynch conferred the McCormack Public Service Award on his friend and associate Kevin Ryan, who had served both Steve and Joe Moakley for many years. State Rep. Nick Collins, absent at a wedding (not his own), received the SBCA’s President Award. Pattie McCormick also received a Jimmy Kelly Shamrock for her 37 years of service at the Boys & Girls Club, along with her many other community activities. Commander Michael Gunther USN from the USS McFaul (DDG-74) and Parade Chief Marshal Bill Thomas were both recognized for their participation in the St. Patrick/Evacuation Day festivities this year. It was a great party.
Liam Galvin (center), the mayor of Limerick City and County, with Parade Chief Marshal Bill Thomas and Billy Higgins.
A few of the officers and crew of this year’s parade Naval ship, the USS McFaul (DDG-74), a guided missile destroyer, with Allied War Veterans commander Bill Desmond (third from left).
State Auditor Suzanne Bump with Sal Giarratani of the Boston City Paper at the South Boston Citizens’ Association Reception and Banquet.
These shamrock-clad ladies are enjoying the South Boston Citizens’ Association Reception.
Proud father Rick Lane, with his three sons David, Rick, and Andrew, who was to receive an Award at the SBCA Banquet last Friday.
The 2016 Parade Chief Marshal Bill Thomas greets Commander Michael Gunther of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) at the SBCA Banquet last Friday evening.
Finn and Bob Shields, both decked out in green, are enjoying the South Boston Citizens’ Association Reception and Banquet last Friday evening.
Curragh’s Fancy – Dave Leahy, Bob Fowkes and Michael Kelley – performed before and during the South Boston Citizens’ Association 136th Evacuation Day Banquet.
Jean (seated) and Ed Shiflett with Chris Hamilton, at the South Boston Citizens’ Association Banquet.
The “Head Table to Infinity” singing “Southie Is My Home Town” at the 136th Evacuation Day Banquet, an annual celebration of the South Boston Citizens’ Association.
Singing “Southie Is My Home Town” gets that old adrenalin pumping at the Evacuation Day Banquet.
Pattie McCormick is one of the honorees, with an SBCA Award for her long service at the Boys & Girls Club and all over South Boston.
Boston City Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty and Congressman Steve Lynch serenaded the Banquet’s guests with Irish songs.
Chris Flaherty (center), Ryan Long (third from right), and Andrew Lane (second from right) receive South Boston Citizens’ Association awards for their heroism in making a rescue.
State Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry presents an SBCA Award to Commander Michael Gunther of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) and thanks him for the visit of his ship and crew to South Boston.
City Councilor Bill Linehan presents an SBCA Shamrock Award to Pattie McCormick for her long service to the South Boston Boys & Girls Club and our whole community.
Chief Marshal Bill Thomas (center) receives his 2016 SBCA Award from State Auditor Suzanne Bump and Clerk of Court (Civil) Michael Donovan, as Steve Lynch and Tommy McGrath look on.
The ladies of the South Boston Citizens’ Association receive elegant bouquets as recognition of their irreplaceable work behind the scenes of the 2016 Evacuation Day Banquet.