Some 400 family members, friends, and political and community leaders assembled last Saturday morning in South Boston as the city officially re-dedicated the Marine Industrial Park on the waterfront in honor of former Boston mayor and ambassador to the Vatican Raymond L. Flynn.
The 90-minut e ceremony, led by Mayor Marty Walsh, featured remarks by a number of current and former officeholders, including 1983 mayoral rival and frequent Flynn partner Mel King.
The newly named Flynn Marine Park, once the site of the Boston Army Base and a US Navy dry-dock facility, is a 191-acre site reaching out to Boston Harbor from Summer Street. Flynn’s father worked there as a longshoreman and the former mayor himself still holds an ILA union card from the time when he had his first job working the docks there.
The park includes the Massport-owned Black Falcon terminal, where dozens of cruise ships put into port while visiting the city. The terminal was also named in honor of Flynn. In a surprise announcement, Walsh revealed that the Summer Street bridge that connects the waterfront district with the larger South Boston neighborhood has also been named in honor of Flynn.
“Naming this facility and bridge for Ambassador Flynn is symbolic of so much of what he has fought for every day over a 45-year career in public life,” said Walsh. “Ray Flynn, with his family roots in Ireland and the labor movement, has fought every day for the rights of all working families. This historic port symbolizes what Ray has represented throughout his public life: reaching out and welcoming people from every background, working with people to build one city, with one set of rules for all.
The dedication came at the recommendation of a city commission established to recommend ways to honor Flynn that was co-chaired by City Councillor Bill Linehan of South Boston and longtime Flynn confidant Frank Doyle of Dorchester.
“Naming this facility for Ambassador Flynn is symbolic of so much of what he has fought for every day over a 45-year career in public life,” said Doyle.
Speakers at the Saturday event included Bishop John Borders of the Morning Star Baptist Church; US Rep. Stephen Lynch; state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry; MassPort chief Thomas Glynn; state Rep. Nick Collins; former state representative and 1983 mayoral finalist Mel King; City Councillor Bill Linehan; and Rev. John Casey, representing Cardinal Sean O’Malley.
Numerous dignitaries from government and organized labor, including Angela Menino, widow of the late Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and dozens of former Flynn Administration officials attended. Ray and Cathy Flynn were joined by their six children and 17 grandchildren.