Hill Happenings

Congrats to Joannie Kern, a 1959 Mission High School graduate, who was a Gala Honoree at the Mission Possible banquet last month, which celebrates the legacy of the Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood. Joannie, a lifelong Mission Hill resident, has helped raise thousands of dollars, enhancing the Xaverian High School scholarship fund. Xaverian High School is the successor to the Brothers’ educational ministry at Mission High School.

When Joannie attended Mission High, she lived around the corner from the Xaverian Brothers home on Parker Street when the Brothers were teaching the boys at Mission. Joannie would often walk to school with the Brothers. Said Joannie, “The Xaverian Brothers would always be providing me with advice.”

A generation later, Joannie and her husband Ed sent three of their four sons to Xaverian High School. Ed Kern the younger, Steve Kern and John Kern were outstanding students and terrific football players for Xaverian. John Kern, who still lives in Mission Hill, played on the school’s 1986 Super Bowl championship team. That title game was played at Foxboro Stadium and witness by many howling Mission Hill fans.

When I attended Mission High School in the ’60s, the Xaverian Brothers departed after my sophomore year, going to Xaverian High School in Westwood, shortly after the school was built in 1963. Truth be told, Mission High School was never the same. We did have a mixture of lay teachers and dedicated nuns, including my superb English teacher, Sister Dorothy. However, there was no replacing the hard-knocks discipline enforced by the Brothers.

Families had been moving out of the neighborhood and my 1967 graduating class had only 32 boys. Mission High School eventually closed in the early ’90s. As a wise man said, “Change is the most powerful law of nature.”

This month in Mission Hill history—April 12, 1894—Gordon Dexter began developing the Mission Hill area. Dexter chose Indian names, perhaps because a piece of land already laid out in 1845 was called Alleghany Street.

Peter Flynn is the new cook at The Crossing on Tremont Street. Stop by and check out Pete’s tasty lunches. Pete, Mission Hill’s favorite chef, will still be slinging eggs and hash at Flann O’Brien’s on Sundays.

Many dazed motorists refuse to turn right on red at the bottom of Calumet Street going onto Tremont Street. As I’ve mentioned previously, you may and should turn right on red—of course, after a complete stop and when there are no pedestrians crossing and no oncoming traffic. Last week, I noticed the Calumet Street traffic backed up past the Stop & Shop while several motorists leaned on their horns, urging the head car to turn right. Don’t be a knucklehead! Turn right; otherwise it takes several minutes for the red light to change to the green arrow.

Joan Kern (center) is joined by fellow Mission High alumna Peg Schmidt (left) and Mary O’Brien (right) at the Xaverian Brothers High School banquet March 24. (Courtesy Photo)

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