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Howie Nyman Memorial Scholarship, Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2009

bington - "It was a sea of green,” Rockland selectman Deborah O’Brien said of the nearly 500 guests on hand for State Rep. Robert Nyman’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party on Tuesday night, March 17.

The party, held at the Abington VFW, benefits the Howie Nyman Memorial Scholarship Fund, which Nyman established to remember his father.

“The scholarship is in memory of my father (Howie), and this is the (eighteenth) year we’ve done it,” Nyman said on Wednesday. “It was geared towards students that show an interest in the field of computer science. That was (Howie’s) livelihood.”

Howie Nyman worked at the Boston office of Unisys Corp., a national computer science corporation.

During the party, the Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, passed out scholarships to seven graduating seniors from Rockland, Norwell and Hanover.

“Eighteen years ago I started a St. Patrick’s Day party and [my father] passed away that year so I turned it into a scholarship fundraiser,” Nyman said. “When he passed away we thought this would be a nice thing to do for him and it’s just taken a life of its own.”

This year’s party drew people of all ages, from children to seniors.

“We had a good crowd, well over 400 people,” he said. “I always do it the night of St. Patrick’s night, so to get nearly 500 people together on a Tuesday night, it’s phenomenal. People were there seeing people they haven’t seen in a while. I think it was a really enjoyable night out. I’m honored that so many people showed up.”

An a cappella chorus from Hanover High School and as well as Irish step dancers from Braintree provided the evening’s entertainment.

“They were unbelievable,” O’Brien said.

There was also guitar music, raffle prizes including tickets to opening day at Fenway Park, a 50/50 raffle, and a corn beef dinner that consisted of more than 200 lbs of corned beef.

Nyman said there was hardly any corned beef remaining when the evening was through.

“Maybe enough for a few sandwiches,’ he said, “but that’s about it.”

“The place was packed and it was a Bob Nyman fundraiser at it’s best,” O’Brien added.

“We had some of the food, we sat, socialized and talked to other towns,” she said. “There was a lot of residents, it was a good time and the dancers were unbelievable.”

Credit/Source: Mickaela Slaney, Hanover Mariner, 3/18/09
Photos: Stephen T. Ryerson / Pam Furguson