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  Sunday, March 1, 2015
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xtra xtra!
126th Citizens' Association Banquet
By Rick Winterson
    The numbers are impressive - the 126th Anniversary of the South Boston Citizens' Association, and 230 years since the first Evacuation Day. "The enemy having been put to flight for the first time, Boston was recovered on March 17, 1776."

     Last Friday, the South Boston Citizens' Association Evacuation Day Banquet took place.

     The locale was the main ballroom in the new Convention Center. Hogan's Goat - Bob Dunlap, Kathi Taylor, and Skip Toomey - played Irish tunes for the crowd; Dru Errico was the DJ for dancing in the front foyer overlooking the City. Since the St. Patrick's Day Breakfast serves scrambled eggs and corned beef hash, for many of the attendees it would be the last corned beef and cabbage feast of this year.

     It was colorful. Tuxedoed officials and award winners mingled with green-clad celebrants, Navy personnel from the USS Philippine Sea, and the red/black/white uniforms of the Fort Ticonderoga contingent. Elizabeth Balaclonis, Miss South Boston, wore a deep emerald formal gown; Molly Casper, the Michael Tighe Award, was in a silver-gray dress. Yes, it was very colorful.

     Part of the evening was devoted to recognizing some of South Boston's more outstanding volunteers. As you know, Jim Kelly received the David Farragut Award in recognition of his lifetime of hard work and community service on behalf of South Boston. This is an award rarely given. In recent years, it has only been awa5rded to Mayor Thomas Menino and the late Joe Moakley. Because of Jim's convalescent status, his award was accepted for him by his children, Jammie, Sandra, and Tommy.

     Jim Rooney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, was honored with the 2006 John J. Moakley Award for Outstanding Citizenship. This award recognizes Rooney's extensive efforts, from athletic coaching to fundraising to making the Convention Center available for a variety of community functions. In his acceptance remarks, Rooney thanked his mother and father, Peg and Fed Rooney, for bringing him up well, and his wife Millie (O'Malley) for her support over their 22 years of marriage.

     John Mullen was given a Shamrock Award for his years of community leadership. For their services to South Boston youth, especially in Pop Warner football and cheerleading, Dan Ferrara, Bob Ferrara, Robert Pacitti, and Patrick Egan got Shamrock Awards as well. Elizabeth Balaclonis, Miss South Boston, was presented to the Banquet attendees. Molly Casper received the Michael Tighe Award.

     Several elected officials came to the Banquet, many of whom sat at the lengthy head table. A surprise guest was Pat Hynes, the Lord Mayor of Galway, who was visiting Boston and is actually a cousin of once Mayor of Boston John B. Hynes. Several politicians tried out their St. Patrick's Breakfast jokes in advance. State Rep. Brian Wallace would have gotten the evening's record for telling six consecutive jokes without drawing a breath, but he disqualified himself by attributing four of them to Jim Kelly.

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Mayor and Mrs. Thomas and

Angela Menino arrive at the

South Boston Citizens'

Association Banquet.

Jim Rooney (center) receives

the 2006 Moakley Award at the South Boston Citizens' Association Banquet.