In Bill Brett’s terrific new book “Boston: Irish” there is a strong Mission Hill flavor. Jack Harrington a Mission High School graduate from Parker Street, is featured. Jack,co-founder of Atlantic Associates, has been involved in several charities, including the Home for Little Wanderers. Jack created the Harrington House, a 16-bed home in Mission Hill serving children. The house is named for his parents, John and Patricia Harrington.
John White is chronicled in Brett’s book for his work with city kids and for his support for the Posse Foundation, which provides scholarships for Boston students. Local folks my age remember John White as a great guy and a terrific athlete. I have fond memories of playing in the Mission Hill Summer Basketball League in the mid-’60s competing against White, Frank Nagle, Jim McLean and other great players. On a memorable summer evening, White scored 57 points as the large throng, many of whom were perched atop the Tobin Court roof, watched in amazement. White is currently director of capital markets at Barclays.
Also pictured in Bill Brett’s book is Boston Police Officer John Ridge and his brothers Robert, William and Steve, all of whom are also Boston Police officers. John Ridge was a beloved police Community Officer in Mission Hill for several years.
My longtime Mission Hill neighbor, John Todd, 84 years young, is still in fine shape. John swims at Curtis Hall in Jamaica Plain, and the folks there refer to John as “Mr.Sunshine.” Lina, who works at the pool at Curtis Hall, said, “With John’s attitude and positive outlook, the sun shines when he’s here.”
Last month the prestigious Worcester Handball Tournament featured an all-Mission Hill final, as former Irish national champion Dan Martin defeated Mike Killion. Martin, from the Mission Hill projects, won his title in County Clare in 1994. Killion, from Fenwood Road, is a 1964 Mission High School graduate. Mike was a safety on the ’64 Mission High football team, which beat St. Mary’s of Brookline 12-8. That was the last game between the teams, which was said to be the longest continuous rivalry game between Catholic schools. Mission discontinued football the following year, and the school closed in 1990.
Longtime local Stop & Shop worker Angela DaSilva is a proud mother, as her son, Derek DaSilva, was recently accepted to Harvard University. Derek’s lovely mom is a manager at the Brigham Circle Stop & Shop. Another delightful woman at our local Stop & Shop is Tyrene Hill. Tyrene and her colleagues raised hundreds of dollars for local food pantries, collecting $10 for delicious turkey dinners over the holidays. Home-cooked meals were prepared by the talented Tyrene, who is a proud Mission High school graduate.