(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
For a man who gave so much to his community, it was a fitting tribute for the community to give back and remember George V. Kenneally, Jr. Saturday afternoon.
A large crowd gathered on Neponset Avenue, as residents, politicians and friends dedicated Kenneally Square, making sure his name will not be forgotten.
“This is long overdue,” said Paul White, who served in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives. “You are acknowledging a terrific public servant.”
Kenneally, who served as the State Representative for Dorchester and was eventually elected to the State Senate in 1964, passed away in 1999 from a heart attack.
“George did so much to help Dorchester on so many issues,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who worked with Kenneally at the State House. “We should never forget those individuals who stepped up to the plate.”
Whether it be his dedication to seeing the University of Massachusetts Boston built or his fight against a football stadium proposed for the banks of the Neponset River, Kenneally always had his eye on what was right for his neighborhood and the people who lived in it.
On Saturday old friends told stories and his family thanked well-wishers who stopped at the ceremony to remember Kenneally. Now benches and a stone monument tell a story to those passing by the small park, across the street from the St. Ann Parish, about a man who worked tirelessly for his home.
“I’ve often said one of the reasons Neponset is a great neighborhood is because it produces great people,” said James T. Brett, a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “I valued his council, his wisdom and more importantly his friendship.”
Now with a memorial that reads: “every neighbor’s concern was his concern, every person’s problem became his to resolve, and resolve them he did.” A man will not be forgotten for the work he did, the family he raised and the friends he made.
“I think of how important this neighborhood was to him and all the people who came out of it,” said Kevin Kenneally, the son of George V. Kenneally. “This is truly a special place.”