Patrick John Moran continued...


Patrick John Moran worked his way up in the meat company to be head of the lamb department. As he rose in the meat department the family was able to move to better houses in South Boston. Patrick and Bridget Moran moved from the house on East Third to a house at 28 Boston Street where my father, John Moran, their second child, was born September 28, 1910. The next home was a triple decker at 66 Gates Street, South Boston. There a son, William, and a daughter, Mary were born.

In about 1917 the family moved to home at 35 Harbor View Street in Dorchester. There on January 20, 1918, Rita Agnes Moran was born. There were complications, Rita was born with Cerebral Palsy and thereafter, Bea's doctor, Doctor McDonald insisted that any remaining children be born in a hospital.

Pat Moran worked for Cudahy for 15 years starting at $14.00 a week. The family began to grow again, they moved to a larger, three-decker, home in Dorchester at 58/60 Harbor View Street in Dorchester. Rita was the only child born at the house at 35 Harbor View Street. They kept the house at 35 Harborview and sold the house in South Boston.

Patrick's brother John, who had married Agnes Dowd, lived on Mercer Street near the South Boston home. When Patrick moved his family to Dorchester, John and his family were not far behind, moving into 11 Harborview Street very near to the avenue. They became known as the Moran's "up the street" and Patrick John's family was called the Moran's "down the street" as they were much further into the neighborhood.

One of Patrick Moran's few luxuries was a car. He needed one for Rita. Rita spent most of her young life in hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics and such.

In 1918, Pat Moran was drafted for World War I. He was 43 years old with five children. Fortunately the war ended two weeks later and he was soon back home with his family. In the early 1920's, Patrick Moran bought another house. It bordered his backyard. It was a three decker and fronted on Newport Street beside the house at 58 Harborview. He rented out the two homes, 35 Harbor View and the house on Newport Street. Patrick Moran did all the maintenance himself and actually totally renovated some of the houses. Sister Joseph Bernadette remembers her father on his knees scraping the hardwood floors, he had laid, with glass.

Fred Leighton, who lived with the Sullivan's across the street, was an older brother-in-law of Jimmy Sullivan. Jimmy Sullivan later married Pat Moran's daughter Catherine. Fred Leighton had free access to the many carpentry, plumbing and mechanical tools Pat Moran kept in his basement. Pat Moran had these tools to help him maintain the homes. Fred had this privilege because Pat Moran could always trust him to return them where they belonged. Fred told Jimmy Sullivan he remembers seeing prized Stanley Moleing planes among the many tools used by Mr. Moran. He used the planes to make trim for the three houses. Unfortunately, Fred observed within two years of Mr. Moran's passing all these valuable tools, which he spent years and years collecting - disappeared from the Moran basement.

By 1928, Patrick John Moran had ten children. Margaret Helen born April 7,, 1920, Joseph Anthony born june 12, 1921, Catherine Bernadette born January 3, 1925 and Thomas Bernard born March 22, 1928, were all born, as per Dr. McDonald's instructions, in a hospital. The family used St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton which was run by the Franciscan order of Sisters to which Bea's sister, Margaret Patrice, now called Sister Patrice belonged .

Patrick Moran, now called Pa Moran, left the market district and set up his own meat market. The Moran Meat Market was located on Eggleston Square. This was successful. That is until the supermarket chains forced him out. He moved and opened another store on Neponset Circle.

He helped his sister Anne's husband, Anthony Donegan open his meat market. Things went well for Pa Moran and his meat market until an A&P supermarket opened close by and put him out of business again.

Pa Moran could have saved the business if he had sold liquor, but he said he did not want it on his conscience that any family went hungry because someone spent a paycheck, or too much of one, on liquor bought from him.

Patrick John Moran was a very serious and conscientious person most of the time. No doubt this was a result of his having to assume the role of the family leader when his father had to go into hiding. He did have a good sense of humor, but rarely displayed it. He enjoyed playing cards and having company in his home. Bridget Agnes always held him in high esteem, while he always urged the children to "help your mother." His siblings looked to him as the family leader as thus he was involved with them more than he otherwise might have been.

Pat Moran was able to live off the income from his rental properties as well as occasional work for Cudahy, Klien's Meat market and whatever else he could find to do such as working as an elevator operator for an hotel and as a guard

.Patrick Moran in his guard uniform

During the Depression, he was much admired for not collecting rent until families could again pay. This was not forgotten by the many families effected. These families repaid in one way or another Patrick, Bridget many years later. Jim Brett, who is now a Legislator for the State of Massachusetts attests to Pa Moran's generosity. His family was in the Newport house during those difficult days.

The last child of Patrick John and Bridget Moran, Bernard Gerard Moran, was born in St. Elizabeth's on July 17, 1930. Francis was 21 when Bernie was born, John was 20. They were expected to help in the household. The older girls took care of the younger children, the older boys pitched in on the maintenance work on the houses and ran errands. When they found work on their own, they were expected to still help out where they could and share some of their money with the family.

Life at 58 Harbor View Street was pretty static for the next ten years with everyone's role well established or planned within the family except for one shock. Mary, the first daughter, together with her cousin Helen from the "down the street" Morans, and with two other girls from Harbor View Street entered the convent on August 15, 1933.

Mary had been the rock solid help for Bea with the children. She was all of eighteen and a striking young woman. The older children and Ma were not surprised by the announcement, they had noticed her more than usual devotion to religion; but it hit Pa Moran hard. Despite all the difficulties of the previous years it was the first and only time the family ever saw him cry.

Mary Moran became Sister Joseph Bernadette and her first assignment was right there in Dorchester at Saint Peter's School. Sister Joseph Bernadette was at Saint Peter's for seventeen years. She was not far from the family and they visited her often.

Kae (Moran) Sullivan describes how it was for the four young kids as she, Eileen, Tom and Bernie were called:

The Moran kids, second group:

Eileen with Bernie in front of her and Kae with Tommy in front of her.

Mom used to call us her second family because there was a difference of four years between Joe and me.

We were fortunate to have St. Margaret's School and Church within a short walking distance as well as Carson Beach, the and the Strand Theater. On Saturdays, the Strand cost just a dime. For that you got to see an exciting serial, which always ended at a crucial point where you had to come back the next week to find out what happened, a cartoon, the news and the main feature.

A dime could also get you a ride on a bus, a streetcar or the subway and take you anywhere in Boston. You could go to the Franklin Park Zoo, Nantasket Beach, Wollaston Beach and Houghton's Pond. There were lots of kids on our street, so we didn't have to leave the neighborhood to find a friend to play or a ball game. There was a playground up the street at the corner school where we played squash ball, had doll carriage parades, freckle contests and many more events.

On Sunday, we were lucky to go for rides in our father's car, after we picked up our sister Rita at the Massachusetts Hospital School. In those days of depression, a car was truly a luxury, a rarity in our neighborhood. Our father managed to always have one so we could get to see Rita on Sundays and bring her home for holidays and summers. Sometimes we'd go on a picnic with our cousins, the Donegans who also had a car. We would have auto races with them. We'd urge our father to speed up and beat them, much to our mother's dismay.

The "Down the Street" Morans in 1937

Peg, Rita, Aunt Katie, Frank, with Bernie on his back and Eileen in front, Kae and Ma and Pa Moran

A big part of life at the Moran's was their religion. Each child made all the early sacraments with great fanfare and with all the family; including Aunts, Uncles and cousins in attendance. There was always a Catholic radio program and a rosary every night. During Lent there were extra events such as retreats, Novenas and daily Mass.

All the children became aware, as they got older, that the Faith was a very important gift. It had help sustain the Irish through all their travails. Ma and Pa Moran made it a very real and strong faith in the home which saw the family through many difficult times. For individual family members, like Rita who had special problems and the boys in the war - the faith helped them weather some very difficult personal storms.

You know that Patrick John and Bridget Moran would like no other gift better from those who have come after them - than to have them pass on this wonderful, true and living Faith to the next generation and the next, so that future generations will defend it and reap its benefits and pass it along to yet future generations. God knows! the later generations need all the help they can get to maintain ethical, civil and religious values in their lives.

Pa Moran in 1938
Life went on. Pa spent most of his time working on the houses with help from his boys who weren't otherwise occupied with work, school or sports. One of the tenants in the Newport house was a nurse and she noticed that Patrick Moran would have chest pains while working on the house and suspected it might be heart trouble. No one else in the family was aware Pat Moran was having any problems. Patrick John "Pa" Moran knew he had health problems. On Sunday, August 2, 1940, Pa Moran went to James Murphy of Murphy's Funeral Home up on Dorchester Avenue, not too far from his home and made all the necessary arrangements should he die, so the family and especially Ma would be spared the problems and pain attendant to an unexpected death.

Suddenly, the next day, on Monday, August 3, 1940 Patrick John Moran suffered a massive heart attack (Angina Pectoris). He died five days later, August 8, 1940. He was 64, Ma was 54. Frank was 32, John 30, Bernie, the youngest was eight years old. I never met him but felt the respect and love his family held for him.




Go to Maternal Side: Traynors, Gallaghers, Flynns and Cosgroves

For the children of Patrick John And Bridget Agnes Moran

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