At home with Boston's 483rd Mayor
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. Brian's Irish brogue gives him away. Here he speaks about how he came to Boston... and why he stayed.
Why Boston? That has been the question most often asked of me since I first decided to settle in this town of Boston.
My response today, having arrived here some 46 years ago, remains the same as it was back then... I simply fell in love with this place and its inhabitants.
Of course I am also very aware of the growing concerns that have been, and are being, expressed by indigenous Bostonians, whose families have lived, learned and worked here all their lives.
It may be of little consequence to Boston, but I believe the presence of a long-established port has allowed Bostonians to experience, and then value, a wider range of visitors than many other towns. Some of those visitors, like me, have also gone on to lay their roots here, so this town is used to cultural differences.
The town has a long history of welcoming visitors from other shores. Its role as a trading partner with the Hanseatic countries contributed to its medieval wealth and is reflected to this day in much of the architecture of some of our oldest and finest buildings, with their Continental influences.
We, and our Nation, 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 when, as a 17 year old, I set foot on the gangplank of the Duke of Abercorn passenger steamer, in Belfast Harbour, for my first solo foray to that faraway place called 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; growling along from every corner of the Borough and beyond, distributing the freshest of produce, as they went right across this nation of ours, and beyond.
By evening, dinner plates would steam, and the smell and taste of fresh produce would be consumed within hours.
To a young, little travelled, wet behind the ears Air Force recruit, such as I was then, this wide expanse of low-lying prairies, was remarkably different from the scenic rolling hills and glens of my homeland, pronounced locally as "Norn" Ireland.
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, for friends and visitors, were always a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
For me, my brothers and my sisters, eating, drinking and a love of listening to music kept us all happy.
Folklore suggests something special about middle children in large families, but the only specialness I ever felt was being the only one my father ever put in charge of family shoe cleaning, and while it was never measured, I think I may hold some unofficial Irish title for fetching bread, milk, or any other edible substance we would regularly run out of.
My given name is actually Bernard, the same as my father, but I picked up the nickname Brian in the RAF and have been better known by that name ever since.
As Leading Aircraftman Bernard Rush I was a crash incident fireman at the airbase. You had to have a nameplate on your billet door with your 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.
Except for back home in Northern Ireland where I was called Junior.
I always feel a sense of comfort upon seeing Boston's famous landmark, St Botolph's, as it rises from amid the terracotta roofs crowding around this limestone giant.
I remember reading how returning airmen felt a sense of safety and welcome, as they would finally spot the 'Stump', and I can understand, and to a much lesser degree, identify with those feelings.
That ever-watchful lady stands tall, proud and welcoming, just as the hardworking people of Boston do for their county and country.
Which neatly 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, both of whom I am immensely proud of; 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.
Throughout my life in Boston, I have met, and got to know, some of the most wonderful people anyone could wish to know. However, I make no apology for declaring that no-one could ever be quite so special as my soul mate and gorgeous wife, Jayne.
She 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.
It is said that grandparents, in the evening of their years, live for their grandchildren, and both Jayne and I agree.
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.
Jayne, was an only child, however her introduction to the Rush tribe may have been more than a little overwhelming.
But, in true Irish tradition, not only did she gain a husband, but also a whole bunch of sisters and brothers.
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 Cllr Barrie Pierpoint and Deputy Mayoress will be June Petherick. My 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.