Wearing a bright blue-and-white-striped tie and his trademark grin, a reflective John R. Connolly stood to deliver his final formal address to City Council colleagues.
In a year that saw him transformed from an underdog mayoral challenger to the front-runner and then the runner-up, Connolly went from backyards to church pulpits to storefronts, proclaiming the need for better schools and more governmental accountability. Boston’s future was bright, Connolly spent the summer declaring, and his role in the city’s continued success was to be prominent.
But Wednesday’s address was different. It served as a somber walk through memories and anecdotes by a politician who for now concludes his public service with a quiet exit. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.