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South Boston Online
  Sunday, March 1, 2015
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Kelly/Tynan Appreciation Banquet
By Rick Winterson

     The Appreciation Night for Councilor Jimmy Kelly and John “Doc” Tynan last Saturday at the Teachers Union Hall may have been the most anticipated Southie “time” of the year.  It was an outpouring of fellowship and good will for two of South Boston’s best.

     The “Doc” Tynan/Jimmy Kelly Appreciation Night had been sold out for weeks.  Last Saturday night, everyone spent a full evening at the premier South Boston event of the year.  Michael Taylor echoed everyone’s sentiments when he called “Doc” and Jimmy “good friends and great guys” – descriptions that are both accurate and well-spoken.

Inside, Jimmy and “Doc” were looking in their primes.  They visibly enjoyed the greetings from 750 guests.  Peter Golemme and Mike Barrett performed World War II songs; there was a buzz of laughter and conversation.  This was going to be the greatest Southie “time” of 2006.

     Commander Joe Murphy led the Pledge of Allegiance; Kathleen Begley sang her trademark rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”.  Fr. Jim Lane gave the invocation:  “Lord, you called John and James to serve you and your community of South Boston.”  Using their formal given names may be a signal that Fr. Jim is going to recommend them for canonization.  How does “St. Jimmy and St. Doc” sound?  Since March 17 is already taken, their joint Feast Day will have to be March 6, the date when South Boston was officially created by the Massachusetts Legislature.

     Mayor Thomas Menino gave the Appreciation night’s keynote speech.  He praised Jimmy Kelly as the hardest worker he had ever met.  The Mayor said he always knew when an issue was important to Jimmy Kelly – “His ears turned red.”

     In reviewing “Doc” Tynan’s long record of public service, Menino mentioned that “Doc” had been shot down five times in World War II, and then said, “That was just the beginning of all that he did.  His service to the community extended over more that two full generations.”

     The Mayor concluded by saying, “Tonight, these two guys outdrew the Red Sox and the B.C./Clemson game, which just went into overtime.”

     Wilbur “Bibby” Lewis presented “Doc” Tynan with his Appreciation Award.  In his usual self-effacing way, “Doc” said that the night was really for Jimmy Kelly.  “He deserves this recognition more than I”.

     John Mullen presented Kelly with his Appreciation Award.  Jimmy took the podium and thanked all who had sent him so many cards and remembrances.  He referred to Mayor and Mrs. Menino as “special persons in my life”, and paid tribute to “Doc” as one “who made South Boston a better place to live – a real leader”.  He closed to a standing ovation by telling the crowd, “I love you all.”

     Cmdr. Joe Murphy announced that two benches bearing Jimmy’s and “Doc’s” names had been emplaced at the World War II Memorial.  These were underwritten by the Brown Fund, which is chaired by Robert Fleming, and were designed by Robert Schur.  Both gentlemen were on hand.

     As the ceremonies closed, “Doc” and Jimmy stood together for a bit.  They were erect and bright-eyed.  It was a magic moment.

     It was time to celebrate.  Music followed, played by Bobby Fowkes, James Michael Kelly, and speedster David Leahy of “Curragh’s Fancy”.  They were joined by Bob Emmett Dunlap and Kathi Taylor of “Slocum’s Window”, forming a quintet that was either “Curragh’s Window” or “Slocum’s Fancy”.

     True to form, “Doc” Tynan stayed longer than almost all the other partygoers.  Don’t ever change, “Doc”!

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Jimmy Kelly and "Doc" Tynan stand for their applause during

the Appreciation Night in their honor.