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Olive Swift - photo courtesy of Wesley Swift

Olive Swift – photo courtesy of Wesley Swift

With sadness, Fenway Civic Association reports the death of our long time President and friend, Olive Swift, who passed away at her home in Sedalia, Missouri on July 14, 2014 at the age of 89.

Olive was a highly respected, vocal supporter of the Fenway neighborhood, and served as FCA president in the 1970’s during the early years of the association. A long-time resident of Clearway Street, she continued to advance the interests of the Fenway for many years on the often contentious FenPAC and Prudential project (PruPAC) committees and as a historical resource to the FCA board, before moving to Missouri in 2009 with her husband, Wesley.

In the words of Ed Burke, who co-chaired FCA with Olive in the late 1970’s, “When I first became involved with FCA, Olive Swift was the driving force and glue that held the organization together. Olive was small in stature but had the drive and the guts to take on anyone or thing that was impeding her Fenway. We had battles because of our different approaches to problems, but usually reached a conclusion that we could agree on. May she rest in peace.” Linda Brown, resident services coordinator for Morville House, recalls “Olive was my introduction to Fenway Civic Association when I came to Morville House. She cared so much about the Fenway community.”

 

A stickler for detail, Olive was known for keeping precise minutes — penned in shorthand — of the many meetings she attended for FCA, which she kept at the ready if any public official dared diverge from a previous commitment. With her sweet smile and dogged tenacity, Olive accomplished more than her size would ever suggest.

 

It was Olive’s allegiance to FCA and the importance it held for the Fenway neighborhood that compelled her to retain for years the historical records of Fenway Civic Association, dating back to its first meetings as the “Fenway Citizens’ Committee” in the former Hemenway Hotel in 1961. Happily, prior to Olive and Wesley’s departure from Boston in 2009, FCA board members retrieved the boxes of historical documents from her and arranged for their preservation, cataloging, and public access at Massachusetts Historical Society.

 

Olive is especially remembered for two of FCA’s signature events. The annual Flower Share with Northeastern University began in 1976, when she and then NU President Ryder devised the idea of NU offering flowers from its greenhouse for FCA members to beautify the Fenway and to also serve as an incentive for residents to join the neighborhood’s civic association. Another favorite, the annual Rose Garden Picnic, was begun by Olive and Ed Burke to highlight the poor condition and safety of the Back Bay Fens in the 1970’s and to begin bringing people back into the park.

 

For this writer, one of the most endearing memories is that of tiny Olive Swift in high heels, smiling up at her tall husband, Wesley, as they danced to the rhythmic swing of the seasoned “No-Name Band” at the Morville House  Christmas Party. We are greatly indebted to Olive for her positive spirit, determination and accomplishments that have made the Fenway a more caring, livable neighborhood.

 

Fredericka Veikley, FCA Board Member

Swingin’ in the Fens

with Ron Mahdi and Friends

Wednesday, July 23rd 6:30 PM

Swingin’ in the Fens is an annual free outdoor concert held at beautiful Ramler Park, 130 Peterborough Street, in the West Fens. Presented by Berklee College of Music, Fenway Civic Association, and the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, this year’s featured jazz artist is Berklee alumnus and professor Ron Mahdi, bassist, recording artist and clinician.

Mahdi has performed with such artists as Chet Baker, Kevin Eubanks, Roy Hargrove, and Stanley Jordan and toured worldwide with Roy Haynes, Nnenna Freelon and Teodross Avery, among others.

Bring a friend! Picnics and folding chairs are encouraged.

This event is fair weather only.   Please note – this concert will be held on the reserved RAIN DATE listed below.

Swingin_card_2014

Dear Members and Friends:

DUE TO THE INCLEMENT WEATHER, THE ROSE GARDEN PICNIC HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO THE RAIN DATE OF WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11TH.

Fenway Civic Association is pleased to host its annual Rose Garden Picnic on Wednesday, June 11th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., outside of the Kelleher Rose Garden (across from 85 Park Drive).

Please join us with your picnic basket, chairs, or a blanket, and enjoy light fare, entertainment, a stroll through the roses, and a chance to connect with your neighbors! Bring a friend!
Live Music, courtesy of Emmanuel College, will be performed by The Whiskey Boys
Light fare, provided by Jerry Remy’s

This event is free and open to the public and is FAIR WEATHER ONLY. Our rain date is Wednesday, June 11th.
Special thanks to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department for their support of this event

The Friends of Symphony Park are pleased to announce their 4th season of free Tai Chi classes at Symphony Park.
 
Funded by the Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series and the Mews, and supported by Community Arts Advocates, this hour long, 8-class series will provide free healthy movement opportunities for seniors and neighborhood residents alike. Instruction will be provided by Sifu Huan Zhang of Huan’s Tai Chi, and will take place in the park, located at the corner of Edgerly Road and Norway Street in the East Fenway. In event of rain, classes will be moved to Morville House, located adjacent to the park at 100 Norway Street. New warm up exercises and movements will be added to make the curriculum interesting for both new and returning participants.
 
Instructor Huan Zhang has over 25 years of experience in Tai Chi Chuan. He has given lectures, seminars and demonstrations at locations including Harvard University, Northeastern University, and MIT.
 
All are welcome to join- wear comfortable clothing; feel free to bring your water bottle. Restrooms and water fountains will be available inside Morville House.
 
Classes will start  June 3rd at 10:00 a.m. and take place every Tuesday with the following schedule:
  • June 3, 10, 17, 24
  • July 1, 8, 15, 22
Please see the Flyer for more information. Hope to see you there!
Calling all birders and nature enthusiasts: Please join us for Fenway Civic Association’s annual guided bird walk in the Back Bay Fens. Thrill to the sight and sound of the array of birds that inhabit the Fens each spring on a morning walk led by naturalist Stephen Baird of the Friends of Jamaica Pond. This event is rain or shine- bring a friend and binoculars! This event is open to all.
Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Time: 7:00 a.m.
Location: Back Bay Fens park in Boston’s West Fenway neighborhood. Meet at the Japanese Bell outside the Kelleher Rose Garden (by the footbridge across from the Museum of Fine Arts)
Photos: Naturalist Stephen Baird with chickadee, yellow warbler, ovenbird, bluebird. Bird photos taken in the Back Bay Fens. All photos courtesy of Stephen Baird
BairdStephenBirdwalk.jpgYellowWarblerS.jpg
Ovenbird0892s.jpg BlueBirdflight6941s.jpg

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 from 


6:30pm until 8:00pm at Thorton’s on Peterborough Street.

What is the Fenway Young Professionals?
A network for young professionals living in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. We are a division of the Fenway Civic Association. Like our page to stay updated for future events!

Please RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/829121843770263 or by emailing fenwayyp@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

 

PUBLIC MEETING 

BACK BAY FENS CROSSWALK IMPROVEMENTS 

Thursday, February 20, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

Museum of Fine Arts, Riley Seminar Room

465 Huntington Avenue, Boston

 

http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/news/public-meetings/materials/parklands/2014feb20-backbayfens-notice.pdf

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