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County Mayo Association's Annual Dance

“The U.S. flag is a symbol
Of what Americans treasure.
It represents the values
We cherish beyond measure.

Our flag flies high for freedom
For legal equality,
For Constitutional rights,
And justice for you and me.”
“Our Flag Flies High” by Joanna Fuchs

Hubby has already put out the flag and will keep putting it out each day until after the Fourth of July. Unless it is raining, he makes sure it is flying on Memorial Day, on Flag Day, and on the Fourth. He also has red, white, and blue mini lights, which he will tie to the porch railing until after the Fourth. I have an old photo, from World War II, of my Uncle Tom in his Army uniform, standing with me. I am the little kid standing next to him, holding the small flag in the photo. He must have been home on furlough around the Fourth of July.

Hubby and I always enjoy attending the County Mayo Association’s annual Mass, held on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton. We were early when we arrived on May 30. Hubby dropped me off in the back and went back to the general parking lot. We had our choice of seats. The Association’s President Evelyn Fennessy was speaking with Fr. John McCarthy, the celebrant of the Mass. No sooner did we sit down than the place filled with people. Sitting in front of me were my friends Nora Boyle and her daughter Maureen. We had a lovely chat before the Mass began. We also had a chance to chat with our friends, Austin and Mary O’Malley. Paddy and Peggy O’Malley came over to speak with me when they weren’t busy helping to set up the room for the Mass.

Pres. Evelyn mentioned, after Mass was finished, that the October, 2009, Mayo Dance was very successful. Noel Henry’s Irish Showband played that evening. John Staunton, a country-western singer from Westport, County Mayo, sang during the evening. Proceeds from that dance went to: the Holy Ghost Fathers, St. Francis House for the Homeless, Gena Heraty Orphanage Fund in Haiti, the Mayo Football Club, and to the Winnie Henry Haiti Dance. Evelyn also announced that this year’s Mayo Dance and Reunion will be held on Sat., Oct. 2, at Concannon’s in Norwood. Once again, Noel Henry Irish Showband and John Staunton will perform. Proceeds from this year’s dance will be donated to the Addergoole Titanic Society in Ireland. This society will commemorate the lives of those lost on the Titanic in 1912. A special tribute will be given to the 14 individuals from Addergoole (in Mayo), who left Cobh Harbor on that fateful day. (Only three survived.) Hubby and I will definitely be at the dance. There is only one fault with the County Mayo Mass. It is at the same time as the Mass in memory of the deceased at Cedar Grove Cemetery. We try to go to the Mayo Mass because my father’s mother, Mary Murphy, was born in Westport, County Mayo. When we leave the Mayo Mass, Hubby always says to me, “Your grandmother would be proud of you.”

The Pope’s Hill Meeting, on May 26 at the Leahy-Holloran Community Center, was a short but interesting one. (The Celtics were in a semi-final game at 8:30 p.m.) Pope’s Hill’s Vice Pres. Mike Juliano was in charge of the meeting because Pres. Phil Carver was home with his lovely wife Pam, who had shoulder surgery that day. Trooper John Maloney filled in, that evening, for Trooper Brian Dunn. (He is, by the way, Lieut. John Maloney, who is in charge of the South Boston Barracks on Day Blvd.) He said that there would be Zero Tolerance for alcohol at the beaches. Lieut. Maloney received a great many complaints about the excessive traffic on the streets of Neponset, caused by the construction on the Neponset River Bridge. Many businesses are being badly hurt because people are not able to park to go into these businesses. Several members said that they are not even able to get out of their streets, especially at rush hours. Lieut. Maloney said that he has been at meetings where the heavy traffic has been the subject of discussion. Several Pope’s Hill members offered suggestions to the Lieutenant about ways to ease the traffic.

City Councillor Felix Arroyo came with his aide, Stu Rosenberg, and said a few words. Treasurer Judy Burke gave her report. Ed Kelly, the head of the Boston Firefighters’ Union, also came to the microphone and gave the firefighters’ side of the battle over the mediated contract, to be voted on by the City Council. City Councillor Maureen Feeney also spoke. She said how sorry she was that long-time businesses, noting the car wash and the Mud House, were being impacted by the traffic problems caused by the bridge work.

District C-11’s Community Service Officer Dennis Rorie then came to the microphone. He mentioned the Bike Rodeo, to be held at the IBEW Hall on Freeport St., on Sat., June 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a “crash vehicle” at the rodeo, to show how seat belts save lives. The public will be instructed as to how to cross the street safely. Youngsters will be told how helmets are necessary when riding bikes. There will also be info on in-line and skate-board safety. Dennis also mentioned that the first four Community Service Meetings this fall will be “CSI” meetings, showing the various investigative divisions in the Boston Police Dept. He urged members not to leave anything of value in their cars because there have been car breaks in the area. Sgt. Doyle, driving up Pope’s Hill St., saw two kids acting suspiciously. He was able to catch one of the boys. Inside the boy’s backpack were a couple of GPS’s.

The next item on the agenda was the annual election of Pope’s Hill Officers and the Executive Board. The officers remained the same: President Phil Carver, Vice President Mike Juliano, Corresponding Secretary Janice Schneiderman, Recording Secretary Chris Whittemore, and Treasurer Judy Burke. The Executive Board consists of: Kate and Mike Brohel, Andrew Carver, Michele Cooper, Kathy Costello, Pat Dennehy, Melissa Driscoll, Therese Fitzgerald, Robert Genduso, Mark and Noreen Hegarty, Alice and Susan Holloran, Rita Hurley, Ray Johnson, James King, Tom Lynch, Derek Mourad, John Schneiderman, and Chris Stockbridge. Joe Harty and I will remain as senior advisors. Please feel free to speak with any of these people if you are having problems.

Before he closed the meeting, Vice Pres. Mike Juliano complimented John and Janice Schneiderman for entering the Chili Cook-Off for the association. Mike also praised Melissa Driscoll for coordinating about 100 volunteers during the Boston Shines Weekend, where they cleaned up local areas. Mike urged everyone to come to the annual Lawn Party, to be held on McKone St., on Sat., June 26, noon to 6 p.m. There will be three awards: Person of the Year, Neighbor of the Year, and Business of the Year. It has already been announced that Jack O’Connor will be awarded the Person of the Year Award posthumously. His family will be there to accept the award.

I was delighted to hear from Steve Graham Sr. that he and his wife Marie have become great grandparents for the 11th time. Their granddaughter Christine and her husband Bill Norris became parents of Ryan William, their first child, on June 3. My pal Steve Jr. is now a grandfather for the third time. Bill and Christine live in the same house as Bill’s parents in Quincy. By the way, Ryan weighed in at eight and one-half pounds. My best wishes are sent to all.

I was sorry to read of the death of John Walsh on June 2. John was originally from Callowfeenish, Carna, County Galway. I send my sympathy to his wife Mary (O’Malley) and to his children John Patrick and especially to my friend, Rep. Marty Walsh.

Flag Day is next Monday. If you have a flag, be sure you fly it on that day.