Morgan Munson is working with the Celtics basketball team in Boston. She is the Group Sales Account Executive. Morgan is also an Aussie, a Rockhampton girl, a basketballer, tennis player and track and fielder before finishing school in the USA and playing for Southern New Hampshire University. She is a marketing major, and an organiser at the Celtics. She organised 140 Brazilians at last night’s Celtics game, as well as 20 ex-pat’s in the area. She knows Sandy who organises some events for Aussies over here under the auspice “Aussies of New England”. Andre has been to these events. And the connections keep going.
We all met at “The Greatest Bar” in Boston just across the road from the Gardens, home of the Bruins and Celtics. Andre, Elizabeth and I arrived early, parked under the Gardens in a good getaway position, and were the first at the sectioned off area of the bar on the third floor. We had some drinks and a little to eat, as the others began arriving.
Morgan arrived and soon others did as well. We met Scott and Steven, Scott originally being a Brisbane boy, but his son Steven (now in his 20’s) is a home grown Yankee and Scott has lived in the USA 24 years. He married an American and this was the story of the night. Steven wants to live in Australia. He likes the lifestyle.
David was also married to an American. He began working life as a dentist and now does well in IT. He said lots of science is involved in both. A very happy man, who wants to retire to Australia in a place like Warrnambool. Houses are affordable in Warrnambool. We got to know each other over the evening. He having never been to basketball before and wanted to know the rules, and me being an “expert” after three games. Between all of us, the rules were followed. David has met Andre and Elizabeth over the last few years in the New England Aussie group, which has a Facebook page thanks to Sandy, who was here with her American husband Earl. Sandy and Earl met each other online, and here they are, happy together here in the States.
Andre, David, Sandy and Earl joked together all night – good solid ribbing. Sandy called Andre -Grandpa, and this stirring made me feel at home. (It ended up he was the Grandfather, both in reality of having grandkids but also being the oldest there. It seems I was the Grandma too). Elizabeth came in third in the grandparent parade, but she looks better than both of us.
Steffen from Adelaide brought two friends along with him; Eric from the USA and Jeremy from Ireland. Jeremy’s wife joined later. Steffen started a group called “Meetup” (see www.meetup.com/BostonAussies ) and their first paragraph reads:
“Welcome to a little piece of Australia right here in Boston, Massachusetts. Our group aims to provide regular social events in the Boston area for Australian expats, their families and anyone interested in meeting and socializing with us Aussies. We are open to all nationalities that are interested in learning about our Country. Our events encompass regular social gatherings and celebrations of important events on the Australian social calendar such as Australia Day, ANZAC Day and Aussie sporting events.”
The last Aussies I met at the bar were Nicole, an Oakleigh (Victoria) girl, who works high up in the Travel Flight Centre here in Boston. She met John over here, and will probably settle over here in the States. Her parents are happy to fly back and forward.
On top of the great Aussie chatter, was even better food, from Sam of KO Pies. Sam provided two boxes of hot pies and pasties, for zip, just cos he likes these occasions and is a brilliant participant. He has two locations.
(And one website: http://kocateringandpies.com/menus/ )
One location is in South Boston, 87A A Street South Boston, and the other, in Boston Harbor Shipyard, 256 Marginal Street, Building 16, East Boston. The menu at the restaurants is to die for: Pies – Classic Beef, Classic Beef with Cheese, Irish Beef Stew, Curried Pies, Veggie Pie, and Braised Lamb Shank. He also makes great sausage rolls, unlike any I have ever tasted. There are salads and other meals. It looks absolutely delicious. At the wharf restaurant, they have their main kitchen and cater to events needing a delicious Australian flavour, all the way over here. It was a generous donation of food to an appreciative crowd. Scott even managed to smuggle one into the game, and was eating it at half time. His pocket must have kept it warm.
According to Morgan, Sam worked as a Chef on international cruise ships, and was so fabulous the American owners brought him over to work in their restaurants here. He then wanted to get their help with KO, but they thought it was a bad business decision and he did it all on his own. An American/Aussie dream. And I hope all visiting Aussie and everyone else make his dreams and hard work pay off.
Morgan does what she did last night, all the time, bringing groups, small groups, business groups, companies, schools and work places into planet Celtic. She’s only been in this position for a week. Before that she worked from June 2013 as part of the inside sales program that ran for 9 months. She must have impressed the people that mattered, because this is a permanent job.
These were great, friendly people to meet and it was a pleasure to talk with all. Then we dressed ourselves and headed out into the bitter cold and found our seats. Morgan had organised good seats, the best I have had yet, in a corner position 30 rows back. We could all see well, and huddled together. We were mostly “rooting” for the Celtics, but were really yelling out for our Aussie, Patty Mills from the San Antonio Spurs. He came on late in the first quarter and was consistently good. We constantly waved our Australian flag, but the cameras didn’t pick us up – we weren’t Celtic enough even with my brother’s Celtic t-shirt.
I met one more Aussie friend, Gianina, who married an American after meeting him by ringing him at a radio station. They kept in contact and now have two kids and live over here.
The game was ho-hum, some good moments but it seemed teams were playing for draft picks (sounds familiar) and wanted better selections in their lottery system. With David’s better cell reception, I was able to Google Patty Mills. I have heard him talking with Andre Gaze on SEN in Melbourne in the past, but never followed his story enough to know he was an indigenous player from Canberra and has done well over here. It was good to see him last night, even if it meant the Celtics lost the game.
We left before the end of the game, 8 minutes before, to beat the traffic and head home. It was a good night, a good view of a below average game, with a fun crowd that reminded me of Almanac functions back home.
Roving Almanac Reporter
Wednesday 13th February 2014