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St. Patrick's Day comes early for South Boston seniors

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 4, 2013 12:05 PM

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)


Volunteer Mark McGonagle picks up a tray full of plates for hungry seniors.


With steaming plates of food and Celtic music playing in the background, St. Patrick’s Day came a little early for the seniors of South Boston.

An army of volunteers and over a hundred seniors filled the St. Monica’s Church basement Saturday morning to take part in the annual Tommy and Eddie Butler Senior Salute.

The yearly event exemplifies South Boston’s dedication to community service and its older residents.

“The unique thing about South Boston is we take pride in our history and part of that is the older generation,” said Tommy Butler, the chair of the event. “It’s great to get everybody together and get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.”

With plates piled high with corned beef, cabbage, and mashed potatoes, the seniors sang along to traditional Irish songs, talked neighborhood gossip with friends, and shared stories of St. Patrick’s Days past.

“Our seniors were there for us and we feel obligated to take care of them,” said Tom McGrath, the president of the South Boston Citizens Association, the sponsor of the event. “I just hope somebody is around to do it for us.”

Like every year the local politicians got up on stage to serenade the crowd of seniors during their meals, belting out classics like “Southie is my hometown.”

“It’s great to have a chance to reconnect with our seniors and it’s a fun time,” said Representative Nick Collins.

Saturday was all about honoring a generation that paved the way for many of South Boston’s residents, but it was also about keeping up with the long tradition of civic dedication in the seaside neighborhood.

“It’s really important to say thank you to the elderly for what they’ve done for South Boston,” said Ed Flynn, the Chief Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “They helped build this great neighborhood and community.”

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2013)


Seniors sing along.


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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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