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~ Malden Musings ~ MHS Alumni Hall of Fame 2024

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By Peter Levine


Drumroll please…inductees for the 2024 Malden High School Alumni Hall of Fame have finally been announced! A star-studded list of Malden’s best and brightest will be honored and will enter that hallowed hall on Friday night, May 3, at Anthony’s of Malden. Before we get to the honorees, business must be served. Tickets can be purchased for a mere $45 apiece by sending a check to MHSAA, PO Box 47 in Malden. Or call Camille (Colantuoni) at 781-632-1646 if you want to speak to a human being (or email at cmc5767@aol.com). Best way to get all the important info on the banquet: www.maldenhighalumni.com.

  • Malden war hero and current Malden Fire Department Commissioner Emery Haskell (from that much beloved Class of 1973) is getting the nod in the field of Military. My note, I like this one a lot.
  • Also, from that very same class (a class that may have spent more time at Jack Haney’s in the Square than in class – insert smiley face) is James Barretto, who enters in the field of Government. Looks like Jimmy was the exception to the (“Let It Be”) Class of ’73 and hit the books regularly! In 2009, Governor Deval Patrick appointed him to the bench, as a District Court Judge. How ’bout that! Not bad for a Malden guy! Congrats, Jimmy!
  • Everybody’s favorite organist and former City Solicitor, Jordan Shapiro, enters in the field of Business. A much-beloved figure in Malden for decades, Jordan graduated from that legendary Class of 1960 and immediately immersed himself in his community. Memberships in the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Masons, Odd Fellows, UMA and Temple Tifereth Israel have made Jordan a household name in Malden. Jordan provides the music for the Triple Threat Trivia fundraisers at the MPL. His between songs banter and witticisms are usually the highlight of the evening and would make a Borsch Belt comedian blush (and, at times, Dora).
  • From the Class of 1962 came this slam dunk! Retired Ward 7 Councillor/City Council President and current Malden City Messenger, the incomparable, Neal Anderson! Neal also enters in the field of Government after spending most of his adult life making Malden one of the most desirable locations in the Greater Boston area to live. I have been a fanboy of this ageless wonder since I was a wee pup back in the day reading about his amazing groundbreaking exploits in all the Malden dailies. These days he is a gentleman of leisure and Harbormaster for the Malden River, making sure there are no maritime disasters in Malden! Insert a great big smiley face right here and extra special congratulations to you, my friend!
  • Posthumously, from the Class of 1954, Norman Silverman enters in the field of Community Service, and another from that famous Class of 1960, Paul L Sieswerda, enters in the field of Science – both more than worthy inductees.
  • Decorated U.S. Army Veteran (Silver & Bronze Stars) Charles Desmond from the Class of 1963 enters in the field of Education. This Fulbright Scholar spent 30 years at UMass Boston and his entire life trying to make this world a better place. Way to go, Mr. Desmond!
  • From the Class of 1979 comes a personal friend and somebody I’ve admired as a wonderful human being and just a good guy ever since I met him those many years ago, Philip Bynoe. Philip enters in the field of Arts/Music and the fact that he is a three-time Grammy Award nominee, and an Emmy Award winner also, made this a slam dunk for the committee. Philip is currently on tour playing bass for guitar deity Steve Vai having just sold out the Orpheum in Boston. Philip joins his dear friend Gary Cherone in the Alumni Hall, both from the last class of the 1970s!
  • Gary’s little brother Mike is well known in Malden. You probably know him as that shining star at Malden Access TV aka UMA. I know him as a talented thespian, one of Josephine’s five favorite boys, and the guy who, as cohost of ratings blockbuster “02148,” put MATV on the map (along with retired Executive Director Ronny Cox, of course). His question-and-answer style has made him a household name in Malden, and I could swear I’ve noticed Jimmy Kimmel appropriating some of Mike’s interview techniques. But I digress…Mike had these words (another guy with great words) to say about his longtime friend Phil Bynoe: “I have known Phil for close to 45 years. He was a close friend of my older brother Gary since they were in High School and quickly became a close friend of the family, especially my mom, who loved him dearly. This is a well-deserved and long overdue recognition, and may I add, as talented as Phil is, he is an even better person. Congratulations Phil! And my open invitation to come on 02148 anytime you would like still stands!” Those were great words, Mike. Thank you!
  • In case you didn’t know…Phil has performed with the following artists: Jeff “Skunk” Baxter from the Doobie Brothers, Dale & Terry Bozzio from Missing Persons and the Frank Zappa Band, Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme, Brad Delp from Boston, Charlie Farren, Johnny Gill from New Edition, Steve Gorman from the Black Crowes, Buddy Miles from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Steve Perry from Journey, Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Michael Sweet from Stryper, Tony Thompson from Chic, Vinnie Vincent from Kiss, David Williams from Michael Jackson’s band, amongst others.
  • Phil Bynoe’s good friend Claudia Hardy-Marshall Gabriel had this to say about Phil: “Congratulations to Philip Bynoe! He is not only very talented, but he also has a humble spirit and has always been a class act! My congratulations go out to him on this long overdue (my own opinion) honor! His resume, as impressive and long as it is, still does not completely showcase his many accomplishments nor does it show the complete list of those in the arts who have sought him out for his talent to be a part of their projects. Way to go Philip! I love you and I am so happy and proud of all that you have done! I look forward to congratulating you in person and hopefully meeting your beautiful wife and sidekick that I am sure has been your support through many of your accomplishments (along with the other 2 little traveling buddies he he he)!”
  • Fellow HOFer Gary Cherone speaks: “Phillip, my classmate was the first in the flesh musician I looked up to in high school, long before my dreams of being in a band materialized, Phil was already a pro playing in nightclubs around town. I was in awe of his talent then and still am! He has gone on to tour the world over with many elite artists and Phil has played second fiddle to none! He cannot help but shine on any stage! And may I add a personal note: throughout his whole amazing career Phil has remained a true gentleman, I am honored to call him my friend.”

Go to the banquet on May 3 and support a good cause! Contact Lenny (Iovino) or Fran (Mauriello) or Camille for ticket information. You’ll have fun and it is important to note that all proceeds will go directly to the MHS Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. So, you’ll have a wicked good time amongst old friends, maybe make new ones, and help support a very worthy cause.

As Peter Falk’s iconic TV character Columbo would say, “Just one more thing, sir” – Malden mourns once again. Lisa Hammersley on the passing of her beloved mother-in-law (Paul’s mom), Margaret “Midge” Hammersley:

“Life is such a crazy whirlwind. Yesterday started out with us all excited to be celebrating Paul’s birthday, but the day then took a heartbreaking turn, as we received word that Paul’s mom had passed away.

“Midge passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 92.

“Sure, that’s probably what we all want for ourselves. She lived into her 90’s, still able to get around, dressing fashionably and mentally sharp as a tack. Seriously, that’s how to do it…but the only problem is…we weren’t ready.

“It may sound strange to say a passing at 92 was unexpected, but she totally seemed nowhere near the end of her Earthly story.

“There is so much wisdom and so much love that comes with being 92.

“Midge was still our go to for advice.

“The great listener. The levelheaded thinker. The reassurer.

“The proud, proud mom and the even prouder Nanu.

“She was the matriarch of the family for sure and it is so hard to even imagine being a family with her.

“And passing on the birthday of her beloved baby boy. Heartbreaking, and yet somehow fitting for the bond they had.

“Yes, she gave birth to him, but it was also her love, devotion, and failure to give up on him that kept him here on Earth.

“Here to pick up the pieces. Here to carry on. Here to share her love.

“Her passing on his birthday feels like her way to always remind him that she may be gone, but she brought him into this world and wants him to stay here.

“I know this also feels especially hard for Paul because he feels like he no longer has the one person in this world who has always had his back.

“I know your mom stood by you through so much Paul, but I don’t want you, or her, to worry. We’ve got you from here on out.

“Life can be so wonderful, and life can be so hard. And life, as the Hammersley’s have known it, is forever changed.

“Our hearts will miss you forever, Midge. Kudos on a life well lived.

“Be sure to tell Arnie we said hi. I’m sure he’ll be asking all about how Bella is doing!”

Postscript: Although no women made the Alumni HOF this time around, I’d like to take a moment to recognize the women that have been enshrined in the past: Heather Kahn, Judge Emma Fall Schofield, Marie Colantuoni Coyle, Paula Sneed, Diane Portnoy, Virginia Yardumian, Diana Cataldo, Teresa Ciccolo Prince, Ann Carol Grossman, Joanne Assetta Iovino, Nancy Finkelstein, Noreen Grice and Sandra Velleman.

—Peter is a longtime Malden resident and a regular contributor to the Malden Advocate and can be reached at PeteL39@aol.com for comments, compliments or criticisms.

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