By Ellen Walker
Special to the Gazette
July has proven to be quite a rainy and hot month this year! It has also been a very busy month on Mission Hill.
Mission Hill Main Streets Board member, Chorlette O’Neill of Circle Properties and former Board President, Michel Soltani, worked their magic to create a memorable evening to honor Fr. Phil Dabney of Mission Church. The evening began with a celebration of the mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Mission Hill followed by a fabulous dinner and entertainment. Almost 400 guests braved the torrential rains that decided to make an appearance that evening. The setting was stunning, and Our Lady of Cedars banquet hall was the perfectly elegant backdrop for this very warm and emotional evening. Located on Rockwood Street in Jamaica Plain, it is a hidden gem! The night was filled with speeches, awards, laughter and song. Fr. Phil wrote a song and asked everyone to sing along. After a wonderful Caribbean-inspired meal and an assortment of delicious cakes provided by two Mission Church parishioners, the guests continued to mingle and share memories celebrating the years of service Fr. Phil has given to the community. The evening was a perfect blend of music, delicious food and drink, humor, speeches, hugs and good-byes! A few days later, he took a well-deserved vacation prior to the start of his new assignment in Washington, D.C.
Then back in Mission Hill, I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Chris Norris who is the Executive Director of Metro Housing Boston. We talked about some of the great programs that are offered by his organization to help families and individuals who are homeless, struggling to keep their home or are stably housed and working towards a better life. They meet you where you are and provide answers and solutions to fit your needs. This includes helping to resolve housing challenges, moving families from homelessness to housing, making homes safer and helping people grow their assets. You can reach Metro Housing by phone at 800.272.0990 or by email at [email protected].
Overhead on the “main streets” the other day were comments by a couple as they walked past one of Mission Hill Main Streets’ flowering planters. They were discussing how full and beautiful the flowers were. I agree and thanks go to Circle Properties and Northeastern volunteers who helped to fill the pots and set them out and to Tim who is continuing to maintain them for Mission Hill Main Streets. Great job!
This year’s “Mayor on Main” trolley tour took a detour, so to speak. The event was held in Jamaica Plain and celebrated with Hyde/Jackson Main Streets. We had a great turnout thanks to the efforts of many including the Mission Hill Board of Directors, Roxbury Tenants of Harvard, our Facebook followers and all the Mission Hill small businesses who promoted the event! The rains held off as we heard from the Mayor who acknowledged each of the recipients individually. This was followed by photo opportunities with the Mayor which kept him busy for quite a while. Also, in the crowd were Police Commissioner William Gross, City Councilors Michael Flaherty, Anissa Essaibi George and Matt O’Malley as well as many of the Mayor’s supporters. Eric Alden, CEO of Longwood Properties here in Mission Hill and a member of the Mission Hill Board of Directors, had photos taken with Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Gross as all three of them had attended the same school! After the speeches were done, guests mingled and spent time reconnecting with neighbors and friends. In addition, the Brendan Behan Pub hosted the food and beverage which included donations from Milkweed Café and Mike’s Donuts.
Remember that refrain “all the mission bells will ring … when the swallows come to back Capistrano.” This phrase makes one think of the students returning to Mission Hill. Well, our Mission Church bells will be ringing when the students come back. It is almost that time of year and we are seeing many of Mission Hill’s educational institutions gearing up for their Day of Service when students volunteer in the neighborhood. We have reached out to several colleges already and look forward to them helping us to beautify Mission Hill sidewalks and streets.
This is also the time of year when homeowners start to work on projects. Right here in Mission Hill, we are fortunate to have resources to help in that area! No matter how big or small your next DIY plan is, Boston Building Resources, at 100 Terrace Street, has on site designers for kitchens, specialists for doors, materials to help childproof, and maintain, antique windows and a variety of workshops coming later this fall.
Mark your calendars for September 28th for the Mission Hill Annual Road Race and Walk. You still have time to register to participate. More information will be available as the date approaches.
Please friend us on Facebook, like our page and watch for more changes and updates. Our Facebook friend numbers are growing daily, and we are diligently working towards a new web page and other social media options to better connect with all our neighbors here in Mission Hill.
Mission Hill Main Streets wishes you a healthy and safe summer!
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby