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Week #1 of Summer 2018: June 5-11

(left to right) Thomas McEvoy ’19, Luca Pontone ’19, Shane Rockett ’19, and Liam Kelly ’20 pictured in front of the statue of Winston Churchill in London

Kenney Legacy Trip Departs:

Generously sponsored by the Kenney family, the Charles F. Kenney ‘06 Legacy Trip flew out of Logan Airport on June 8th. Established just last year, the trip aims to cover many of World War 2 most memorable sites. This year, rising sixth formers Shane Rockett ‘19, Luca Pontone ‘19, and Thomas McEvoy ‘19, along with soon-to-be junior Liam Kelly ‘20, accompanied faculty chaperones Mr. Leonardis and Mr. O’Leary. The first four days were spent in central London, and included attractions such as Churchill’s War Room, before leaving for Belgium via train. Thus far, the group has enjoyed seeing statues of key figures such as Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George. As part of their trip, they have even started a blog on Twitter (@BHSKenneyTrip), where they will be recording photos and videos of their visits to World War II battle sites. The group will not return until Monday, June 17th.

All-Senior First Boat Competes at Nationals:

The Belmont Hill Varsity Crew Team’s first boat (Henry Thomas ‘18, Eric Whitehead ‘18, Sean Mannion ‘18, Andrew Berg ‘18, and Henry Vettel ‘18) just finished competing at the Youth National Championships in California. Beginning on Friday, June 8, the regatta started off well for the BH crew: rowing a time trial against all the crews in the event and needing a top-6 finish to advance straight to the next day’s A/B semifinal, they came 3rd overall (just behind Deerfield and Mercer).According to Mr. Richards, the head coach of Belmont Hill Varsity Crew, the crew “deliberately rowed a pretty conservative race in terms of ratings to try to conserve some energy for the tougher races” of Saturday and Sunday. In their semifinal on Saturday, June 9, the first boat again found success, placing 2nd in their heat and ten seconds ahead of the next competitors, comfortably above the necessary top-three finish to move onto the A final. Looking towards a fierce battle for the national title, Mr. Richards predicted BH’s main opponents: “My sense is that it is going to be a three boat race between Mercer (NJ), Deerfield, and Belmont Hill, with Marin (CA) possibly sneaking into the mix.”

(left to right) Henry Vettel ’18, Andrew Berg ’18, Sean Mannion ’18, Eric Whitehead ’18, and Henry Thomas ’18 mid race

His instincts would prove correct: at 12:50 EST on Sunday, the first boat, seeded 4th out sixth remaining competitors going into the A final, placed 2nd in the country with a time of 6:45.565, just two seconds behind their fellow New England crew Deerfield and less than four-tenths of a second ahead of Mercer. Though they probably had their eyes set on a national championship title and revenge against Deerfield, who beat them at NEIRAs, their performance is still undeniably remarkable and once again affirms the dominance of Belmont Hill crew both regionally and nationally. Congratulations to the first boat, Mr. Richards, and the rest of the Belmont Hill crew team for an exceptional finish to an outstanding season!

Cathedral in Cobh

O’Neill Family Visits Ireland:

Rising senior Kevin O’Neill ‘19, along with his two brothers (Michael ‘15 and Danny) and parents, is currently traveling throughout the western coast of Ireland, staying two nights each in different towns and cities. He and his family began their journey on Sunday, June 3rd, at the Providence Airport, where they boarded their seven-hour flight to Shannon International Airport in Ireland. When they landed, they drove about 2.5 hours to Blarney, where they kissed the Blarney Stone, a block of limestone which, according to legend, endows kissers with the gift of the gab, meaning great eloquence or skill at flattery. Near Blarney, they also visited a town called Cobh, where they went to an Irish heritage museum and learned about Irish immigration, Kevin’s term paper topic, and about The Titanic, which departed from Cobh. After two days in the Blarney area, they went to a small town called Dingle, where they visited various pubs and spoke to the community, which Kevin says was very kind and welcoming. They also went on a tour leaving from Dingle, during which they visited a number of farms and even saw the film location for part of Star Wars Episode VIII. After Dingle, they went further into the country to a town called Fanore, primarily in search of Kevin’s mom’s grandmother’s home before she came to America in 1920. After being caught in a downpour, they eventually made their way into her old village and found the house she lived in with her mother and siblings. According to Kevin, she had her own farm and lived about a ten-minute walk away from the Cliffs of Moher. They stayed in a bed and breakfast at a farm nearby, and Kevin says they could see cows right outside of their windows. After Fanore, they drove into Galway and ventured in a much more populated area and saw the city life. Just outside of Galway, they also went hiking at Connemara National Park. Today (Monday, June 11th), they drove out of Galway and into Shannon, where they will stay until they leave Ireland on Wednesday, June 13th. Tomorrow, they plan to visit Ennis, the 12th largest town in Ireland. In closing his description of the trip to me, Kevin remarks, “Overall, it’s been a really fun trip and I’m really glad we were able to do this as a tribute to my nana, who passed away last May.” We wish condolences to O’Neill family and best of luck on the rest of their vacation.

Small Group of Rising Juniors Explores Prudence Island:

From Friday, June 8th to Sunday, June 10th, a group of rising juniors, including Charlie Richards ‘20, Elias Hyde ‘20, Chetan Shukla ‘20, and Andrew Jinhee Lee ‘20, visited Prudence Island, Rhode Island. During their stay, they biked around the island, went to the beach, explored abandoned bunkers and hangers, remnants of the former naval base on the island, played basketball, and, as evidenced by their pictures, saw some remarkable sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrise on Prudence Island
John Markis ’18 (right) poses for a picture with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (left)

Recent Graduate John Markis ‘18 Runs into the President of Portugal:

On Monday, June 11th, recent graduate John Markis ‘18 ran into and took a picture with the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Massachusetts State House. Interning with Representative Alice Peisch from Wellesley, Markis has been working there since the beginning of June, during which time he was researched potential legislation, especially pertaining to transportation and education, and reported his findings to Rep. Peisch. Thus when he recognized President de Sousa at a large presentation in the morning at the State House (Markis hypothesized that de Sousa was visiting because June 10 is Portugal Day has Massachusetts is home to a large Portuguese population, especially in New Bedford), he had to take advantage of the opportunity, resulting in the wonderful photo op between the two politicians.

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