By Ellen Walker
Special to the Gazette
We are already halfway through the year and 2020 will be remembered as quite memorable! As the City guides us through the various phases of re-opening, it is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the beautiful parks we have in our neighborhood. The views from the Kevin Fitzgerald Park are always beautiful and to see the downtown high-rises from Sheehy Park, next to the Mission Church, is always breath-taking in any season. As you stroll down the neighborhood streets take the time to enjoy the beautiful gardens and flowers that you will discover around every corner.
During the month of May, Mission Hill Main Streets flower planters were filled and installed throughout the Mission Hill neighborhood! A special thank you goes to John Coppola and his staff at Circle Properties and MHMS Board member Chorlette O’Neill. In honor or Memorial Day, and with the help of volunteers, MHMS was able to install the American flags on Huntington Avenue and Tremont Street. Thank you all!
The past few months have been quite busy as MHMS worked to support our small businesses by keeping them up-to-date on safety and health guidelines, coordinated online meetings for small businesses with the City and worked to unravel the challenges of understanding Federal and State programs for grants and financial support. With the guidance of our leadership and working together in community spirit, we have hope and a path to follow to restore our economy. Flexibility and innovation were key for Mission Hill businesses as the restaurants offered take-out/delivery and curbside service to accommodate customers while providing a safe environment. Other businesses went online with yoga and exercise classes, senior hours for shopping and home repair instructions. Please support your local businesses – and remember – shop small as we give kudos to all the businesses in Mission Hill!
MHMS wants to acknowledge all our local heroes too: In addition to our health care workers, first responders and store clerks (just to name a few!), we also appreciate those who checked on their elderly or sick neighbors and shopped for those who could not. The tough times remind us how good people are.
On Memorial Day, Mission Hill Main Streets honored our fallen veterans with a dedication ceremony at the monument in Brigham Circle. We were joined by members of Post 327, including Post Commander Colonel George Rollins as well as many veterans and residents. As Retired Colonel Rollins led us in recognition of the service by these fallen heroes, he spoke to the brave efforts of those who gave their lives for our freedom. Together we placed a beautiful wreath on the monument in their honor. One of the veterans in attendance was Enoch Woodhouse (known to his friends as Woody) who is a Retired Lt. Colonel of the Tuskegee Airmen of the Second World War and a MHMS Advisory Board member.
It was a beautiful event on Memorial Day and, after the dedication ceremony the attendees enjoyed coffee, donuts and talking to each other about their experiences and love of Mission Hill. There were several stories about growing up on the Hill and in the projects, good-natured teasing between friends and memories of English High and Mission High Schools were shared. Everyone had a story to tell while laughter and good cheer was heard as old friends connected and new friends met. The neighborhood came together with a true picture of what a great neighborhood Mission Hill was, is and will continue to be. Thank you to Mike’s Donuts for the refreshments and to all who volunteered and participated in this wonderful day!
On May 28th, I had the pleasure of “virtually” attending Mission Grammar’s Road to College Gala. This year’s gala, like so many other events, has gone virtual due to the COVID crisis. The gala began with remarks from the Very Reverend Father Tizio, C.,S.s,R., of The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He welcomed everyone with an inspiring opening and review of the strength of the school “Mission Grammar survived the Great Depression and the Great Recession, the 1918 Spanish Flu and two world wars. Mission Grammar thrived despite these crises and will continue to thrive.”
Ali Dutson, Principal of Mission Grammar School, noted the annual gala gives her the opportunity to connect with many individuals personally but this year is different. She went on to talk about how Mission Grammar is both thriving and expanding due to the generosity of all their supporters. Several uplifting speeches followed. The students always play an important role and this year was no different. The student step dance performance, musical renditions and closing prayer were wonderfully entertaining and joyful to watch!
This was my first virtual event and it was done superbly. Kudos to everyone who was involved in this very worthwhile fundraiser. Remember. it is not too late to show Mission Grammar your support (www.missiongrammar.org/roadtocollege).
Until next month, Mission Hill Main Streets wishes you stay healthy and safe! Visit us on our webpage – www.missionhillmainstreet.com, “like” us on Facebook and download our free mobile app on Distrx.com.
“Friendship is nurtured by the mystic chords of memory.” – Abraham Lincoln