Hill Happenings

More than 400 runners and walkers participated in the Mission Hill Road Race on Oct. 18. The race, which starts and ends at Kevin Fitzgerald Park, has become something of a Mission Hill holiday. The event attracted a plethora of former Mission Hill folks, creating a jovial atmosphere on a glorious Saturday afternoon.

Before the race, 4-year-old Noah Curran entertained the crowd, showing off his dancing talent to the rhythm of the hip-hop music.

Jessica Barry, Mission Hill’s favorite teacher, who nurtures the Maurice J.Tobin children, finished the 5K race in a bit over 33 minutes. Peter Killion, from the Mission High class of ’71, completed the hilly course at 29.22, while 77-year-old Tom Killilea clocked in at 38.04.

I ran the race, finishing in third place—from the bottom—322nd of the 324 runners, in 43.53.

John Fitzgerald did a fine job as the MC, and it was a nice touch by John to acknowledge Big Jim Moynihan, who was in the crowd. Big Jim is the father of the Mission Hill Road Race, having organized  the initial race in 1980.


The amazing 1953 Mission High School basketball team was honored last month at an athletic banquet at Xaverian High in Westwood. The ’53 Mission team won the Eastern Mass. Tourney at the old Boston Garden.

Mission,with only 66 boys in the senior class, had no home gym and they practiced in the St. Alphonsus Hall basement. In the tourney, they beat Somerville, English and Durfee High in succession.

Three members of the ’53 team attended the function: Tom Kenneally, Don Blake and Tom McManus. Kenneally was high-scorer in the title game against Durfee, netting 13 points. I attended the event. I enjoyed reminiscing with the boys, and the prime rib was delicious. Faces in the crowd paying tribute to the ’53 team included Jim Donovan, Ed Kirker and Mike Foley, all Mission High men, Class of 1964. Coach John Grady, Mike Hammond and Mike O’Connor also attended the function.


Condolences to the family of Pat F. Kennedy, a longtime Mission Hill resident who passed away last month. Pat,a U.S. Army veteran, was a daily communicant at Mission Church. He was a quiet man who worked in the post office for 40 years.

Mitch Hilton worked with Pat for years at the South Station post office, and Mitch recalls hearing Pat raise his voice only once. That occurred in 1981 when a worker uttered a disparaging remark about Bobby Sands. Sands was a political prisoner in Northern Ireland who died at age 27 after a 66-day hunger strike. Sand’s funeral was attended by 100,000 mourners. Pat brissled at the caustic remark, but he stopped short of strangling his co-worker.


It was an honor to be invited to the Mission Hill Little League banquet last month at the Parish Center in Mission Church, as I introduced guest speaker Lt. Col. George Rollins. George played in the Little League Class of 1962, and he is a West Point graduate.

George emphasized team work and discipline as the large crowd listened attentively to his sterling speech. Thanks to the wonderful Little League volunteers, including President Rafael Luna, coach and umpire Dan Weldon, and secretary and jack-of-all-trades Susan Hauck.


Condolences to the family of Christine Curran, who passed away Nov. 3 at age 47, surrounded by her family.

Christine, the daughter of John and Noreen Curran, was a beloved woman who participated in the Special Olympics for many years. Christine worked for Harvard University in the Science Center. The Currans, many with large families, are wonderful folks. Christine will be dearly missed.


Condolences to the family of Lorraine Dottin, who passed away Sept. 21 at age 90. Lorraine lived on Mission Hill for many years, having purchased her Hillside Street home in 1954. Lorraine, a beautiful and personable woman, loved chatting with folks during her thousands of walks up the Hill. Lorraine leaves three children, Sam, Lynn and Angela.


It was nice that Ellen Saucier joined the boys at the Mission Hill Post to watch the Pats horse whip the Denver Broncos last Sunday. Along with her nice companionship, Ellen also arrived with a tray of turkey and roast beef sandwiches that was greatly appreciated.

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