(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2014)
With the smell of potatoes and corned beef wafting out of the St. Monica’s Church basement, South Boston’s seniors celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.
The annual dinner, dubbed the Tommy and Eddie Butler Senior Salute, seeks to provide the neighborhood’s elderly with a chance to feast on some quality Irish cooking and discuss their St. Patrick’s Day plans.
“For one it gets them out of where ever they are living, it gets them with their friends, and it reignites that South Boston pride they’ve had their whole life,” explained Tommy Butler, who helps organize the event. “This is the true identity of South Boston. We take care of or seniors and we take care of our kids, and that’s what South Boston is all about.”
Sponsored by the South Boston Citizens' Association and various other neighborhood groups, the event has become a favorite for both volunteers and participants.
“It’s one of our signature events,” said Tom McGrath, president of the South Boston Citizens’ Association. “They [the seniors] were there for us and it’s our turn to take care of them.”
It’s not quite clear when the first Senior Salute was held, but it’s been going strong since its founding, with hundreds turning out for a hot meal delivered by smiling volunteers.
“I just became a senior so this is my second year, but it’s great,” said Phyllis Corbitt, as she enjoyed her lunch. “You get to be with all your friends, your neighbors and the people you grew up with.”
As politicians sang, the seniors enjoyed their meals clad in green, occasionally stopping to sing along.
“The parade is definitely my favorite part of St. Patrick's Day,” Corbitt added. “It really just makes the day.”