Brian Rush will become Boston’s 483rd mayor on May 15. Brian ran a successful business in Boston before retirement. His wife, Jayne, will be Mayoress, and is a successful businesswoman in the hair and beauty industry. Here in his own words, he writes about how he came to Boston and why he stayed...
Why Boston? That has been the question most often asked of me since I settled here.
I arrived here 46 years ago and simply fell in love with this place and its inhabitants.
I am very aware of the growing concerns expressed by Bostonians, whose families have lived and worked here all their lives.
I believe the presence of a port has allowed Bostonians to experience, and value, a wider range of visitors than many other towns. Some of those visitors, like me, have gone on to lay their roots here, so this town is used to cultural differences.
The town’s history of welcoming visitors from other shores and its role as a trading partner with Hanseatic countries contributed to its medieval wealth and is reflected in much of our architecture, with its Continental influences.
We are about to enter a new era of challenge. I believe our internationalism is about to flourish, and I am beginning to feel the same type of excitement I felt as a 17-year-old, when I set foot on the gangplank of the Duke of Abercorn passenger steamer, in Belfast Harbour, for my first solo foray to England.
I remember, on my first visit to Boston, being blown away by the magnificence of the fields, the sheer magnitude of field crops, and the volume of fully-laden delivery trucks as they nightly snaked their way out across the country.
As Irish Catholic families go, mine was, I think, fairly typical, despite there being 12 of us – and that does not take account of Mother or Father! Meal times in our house were always a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
My given name is actually Bernard, the same as my Father, but I picked up the nickname Brian in the RAF. As Leading Aircraftman Bernard Rush I was a crash incident fireman at the airbase. Airmen had to have a nameplate on their billet door with their rank and name on it, but there was not much room, so my first name was not displayed, just the initial letter B and, for some strange reason, everyone assumed my name was Brian. After a while I got fed up correcting everyone, and since then I have always been known as Brian.
I, as returning airmen have done, always feel a sense of comfort upon seeing Boston’s famous landmark, St Botolph’s. I remember reading how airmen coming back from raids must have felt a sense of safety and welcome, as they would finally spot the ‘Stump’.
Which brings me back to the completion of my voluntary service engagement, in the Royal Air Force, during which time I had also become the proud father from my first marriage of two wonderful children; Darryl, a chef lecturer, who lives in Brisbane, Australia, with his beautiful wife, Helen, and their two lovely infant daughters, just one year old; and daughter, Kerry-Jane, who has completed 22 years in the RAF, and lives with her partner, Nick, near King’s Lynn.
Darryl’s adult son, Sam, and daughter, Rachael, live with their partners in bonny Scotland.
My soulmate and gorgeous wife, Jayne and I, have been especially blessed by two fantastic sons, Andrew and Patrick, and in turn they too married two wonderful ladies, Sarah and Kate.
Andrew and Sarah have Calum, Niamh and Harry, and Patrick and Kate have Jack, Freya, Noah and now young Rex.
Jayne and I will have been happily married for 37 years this May after meeting at a dance at the Gliderdrome, as have so many couples from this area.
During my year in office I want to help Boston become commercially attractive and encourage economic regeneration. We need to build on new ideas and we have to be innovative as we go forward.
My Deputy Mayor will be Coun Barrie Pierpoint and Deputy Mayoress will be June Petherick. My chosen charities will be Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) and The Respite Association, a national charity with its headquarters at Bicker which provides support and respite breaks for those caring for someone with a disability or long-term or terminal illness.