By the Honorable Judge Norman S. Weinberg

judge weinberg

The temper of the people and their community leaders, both elected and non-elected are in large measure determinative of the quality of life in any given area of our society.

The Brighton-Allston community, a neighborhood in a sense geographically isolated from the remainder of the City of Boston, is fortunately blessed with not only genuinely responsive, sincere and sensitive elected public officials but also with a variety of concerned and enlightened neighborhood civic and business organizations.

Recent years have emphasized the importance of the significant and valued contributions of these public officials and civic and business organizations in an everchanging environment, an environment that requires the constant vigilance of all of its citizens.

On July 30, 2002 as a result of a tragic occurrence we lost Brian Honan, one of our highly respected public officials who had so ably represented the citizens of Allston and Brighton in the Boston City Council. The public reaction to his untimely passing was unprecedented in the annals of his constituency.

I enjoyed an ongoing close relationship with the Honan family for well over fifty years at the time of Brian’s passing, having represented as legal counsel Brian’s grandparents many years ago, and during my years as a member of the Massachusetts State Legislature I was the beneficiary of the loyal support of the entire Honan family. These were years beginning prior to the birth of Brian and his brother Kevin, the latter who is at present on of our current Representatives in the Massachusetts Legislature from the Brighton-Allston district.

I observed both of the Honan boys as they grew up in the West End House Boys & Girls Club and how well they thrived as active participants in the competitive sports programs offered by the Club, and also their lively interest and participation in the ebb and flow of the social and political life within the Brighton-Allston area. They were always well behaved and polite boys having reflected the efforts of their parents’ structured upbringing.

Brian was always a serious, energetic and hardworking young man. He had a fine scholastic record in law school and an outstanding career as an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County. His years in the Boston City Council were also exemplary. He fell in love with the Council and demonstrated his deep interest in his constituents with his ubiquitous presence. To his way of thinking this was not a 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. obligation but rather a twenty-four hour obligation, seven days a week. He seemed to thrive on this incessant activity.

For this he gained the trust and confidence of the people he served as a City Councilor, and this was very much in evidence prior to and following his death. His efforts, his gentleness and kindness continue to live with those of us who had the good fortune to know or work with him. In my memory, which in retrospect harks back to the late nineteen twenties in the Brighton-Allston area, there has been no other public elected official who had the impact on the community, or the respect of the community that Brian experienced.

It is a tribute to Brian and to his past, that he still continues to be honored and appreciated even in his absence.

And as a final note Brian leaves behind two devoted parents.

As we pursue our daily tasks and interested our attention is diverted to the activities of daily living but the surviving parents have no vehicle for diversion; their loss and the sense of loneliness that can accompany it is always present without any degree of dissipation, which at times can be overwhelming. The familial survivors are the one left to suffer the most and this includes not only the parents but a brother and sister who have been deeply touched by this tragic loss.