Kinton Honored at Logan Hilton

April 12, 2011

By Joshua Resnek

Thomas Kinton.

Massport Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr. was honored at the East Boston YMCA’s annual breakfast held at the Logan Hilton last week.

More than 500 were in attendance.

Former State Senator Robert Travaglini presented Kinton with a plaque of appreciation for his 35 years of meritorious service with Massport.

“Tom Kinton did an awful lot for East Boston. Over the years, he’s done more for the community than any number of people combined. He has always been a great friend and supporter of this neighborhood – and he is a dear friend of mine –  and he will be sorely missed when he leaves in June,” said Travaglini.

Kinton delivered brief remarks following the presentation of the plaque.

“Thank you so much for this,” he said while holding the plaque. “Whatever I learned I learned from Tommy Butler and so it is fitting that you’ve chosen to honor him today.”

Butler, who died recently, served side by side with Kinton for almost 25 years as Massport’s Director of Government and Community Affairs.

Members of his family were introduced and a number of YMCA scholarships for young people in the community given in his name were announced.

“What better compliment can there be about an Irish guy from Southie who gained the love, the loyalty and the respect of the largely Italian crowd in East Boston,” Travaglini said.

“He was the kind of guy who understood things that you don’t learn at Harvard. He understood the street, the neighborhood and the community and he was so great at it that even when he couldn’t do as he was being asked, those doing the asking came away from the discussion feeling that Tommy was owed.”

The crowd loved it and a burst of applause followed.

Kinton will be leaving Massport in June.

The Massport Board has yet to pick a successor.

Travaglini’s effusive expressions of warmth for Kinton were well received by the largely East Boston crowd.

Kinton received a standing ovation at the end of Travaglini’s remarks and received a second standing ovation following the conclusion of his own.

“You won’t be unemployed for very long,” Travaglini assured Kinton. “There’s no doubt about that, is there?” he added.

Kinton nodded in approval.

At the end of the festivities dozens of East Boston residents lined up and crowded around Kinton to shake his hand and to say a few words.