What’s Happening on Main Streets

Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez along with Principal Aliece Dutson with her Kevin Fitzgerald award at the MHMS event.
Courtesy Photo

(A timely observation) “I believe mankind longs for freedom from, and rumors of, war.” Sixty-three years ago this month at the Geneva Conference, President Eisenhower spoke of this craving at the Palais des Nations, which was once the site of the ill-fated League of Nations. The “man from Abilene” stunned the world with his call for opening up military facilities for mutual nuclear inspections after the Korean Conflict. Sadly, fear, distrust and excessive partisanship kept the Korean Peninsula a political tinderbox for seven decades. I’m relieved for the families of our POWs and MIAs who will finally receive their loved one’s remains. Whether you like or loathe President Trump, we all must appreciate this significant moment in our history. General Douglas MacArthur said, “The soldier above all prays for peace.” As a veteran and father of a veteran, I’ve known many who have proudly worn a U.S. military uniform. I cannot think of one who isn’t supplicating to Heaven that a true and lasting peace may finally be at hand.

Who doesn’t like art and music? A new pop-up storefront called ARTSpace showcasing local visual artists and musical performers opened at 1520 Tremont St. near Mike’s Donuts. A big night is planned for July 14th from 6-8:30 pm, so check it out.

The glassed atrium of the new Hale Center for Transformative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Fenwood Road proved the ideal setting to welcome summer at the Mission Hill Main Streets Awards Night on June 21. More than two hundred guests gathered to recognize local worthies and celebrate our friendly little corner of Boston. Always the capstone of the event is the presentation of the “Honorable Kevin W. Fitzgerald Friend of Mission Hill Award” presented annually to an individual whose actions personify the boundless love for the Mission Hill people exhibited by the life of the late state representative. The always-elegant Tricia Fitzgerald and son John conferred the prize this year on Aliece Dutson, Principal at Mission Grammar School. Her inspiring and gracious remarks reinforced the brilliance of her selection. This year, Ali stole the show.

Mission Hill Main Streets each year presents photo-plaques of our basilica spires to worthy individuals, chosen by our Board of Directors, who enrich the community called Great Neighbor Awards. Briefly and alphabetically, they are: Mort and Nancy Ahmadifar, a beloved Sachem Street couple with a rich and active legacy of helping community, charitable and children’s causes; Patricia Connolly, one of the many McCuskers from Delle Avenue, who works one day each week at the Main Streets office and does it all with perfection and avoids recognition; Suffolk Sheriff’s Department Superintendent in Chief Michael Harris, who never forgot his old neighborhood by assigning inmates to install Christmas wreaths or performing neighborhood clean-ups and caring for local lads paying for their crimes; Mission Hill Gazette editor Peter Shanley whose thoughtful and dogged steward for our community comes through in his consistent and fair-minded oversight of our neighborhood newspaper; Sherrill House CEO Patrick Stapleton oversees one of the finest rehabilitation facilities in the Northeast and is popular locally as someone quick to provide neighborhood preference in hiring and treatment; Nonagenarian and Charlesbank resident Enoch Woodhouse II, who positively influenced the careers of thousands through his decades of distinguished legal and military career beginning with his WWII enlistment in 1944 with the immortal Tuskegee Airmen. A surprise Great Neighbor Award was presented to the taciturn former Menino chief of staff and now NE Baptist Hospital Senior VP David Passafaro who in less than three years in his post has made an admirable imprint on the community. Congratulations!

Elegant catering by Milkweed Café put the crowd in a merry mood and authenticated why this neighborhood is gaining regional “CRED” as a dining destination. Complimentary summer recipes from Sam Adams brewery and E & J Gallo Wines (free soft drinks were available) added to the festive ambiance while this year’s Business of the Year The Laughing Monk and Volunteer of the Year Chad Rosner were presented to the adoring crowd. The annual “Golden Broom Award” was conferred upon the area’s cleanest business and graciously accepted by The Mission Bar co-owner Harry Walsh. Notable community and government leaders along with bigwigs from the various institutions relaxed and laughed the night away while live music put everyone in a seasonal mood on that first night of summer. Lavish gift baskets and door prizes filled with dining cards, a stay at the EnVision Hotel, Red Sox tickets, pro athlete autographs, museum passes, vintages, tours, knick-knacks and other generous donations were raffled off to close off the evening.

In next month’s column I will describe in full the other special awards presented and the reasons for them. On behalf of everyone at Mission Hill Main Streets, I extend a hearty thank you to all the gracious and generous sponsors, volunteers and attendees. Happy summer and Go Red Sox!

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