Merry Byrne is a joy to be around. Her warm smile and bright energy is contagious. If you were having a bad day, one greeting from Merry and that moment would be a sweet relief and mood booster. Which is perfect because Merry Byrne is the receptionist at the South Boston Health Center Dental Clinic.
Merry is not an original Southie girl but one at heart. She moved here from Dorchester 30 years ago after marrying her husband Jim. She has a daughter Erin and a gorgeous granddaughter Makayla who is 10 years old. Currently, Merry resides on E Street and has an easy commute to West Broadway to the Dental clinic where she has worked for the past 11 years.
“I love working here. I enjoy helping people and the people are great. I’ve met some really sweet people,” says Merry. Lots of patients stop by to see Merry and say hello often brining her a cup of coffee or a muffin. “If they’re walking by, they always stop in,” says Merry with a smile. Basic mutual human respect is a how she directs her work style. “If you treat people with respect and kindness, they most always treat you the same way back.”
Volunteering for St. Vincent’s is also one of Merry’s passions. She has been helping out at their parish for over 20 years. Collecting donations, organizing food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas and helping with the annual Christmas Shop were less fortunate members of the community can come purchase Christmas gifts such as pajamas, socks, boots, books and toys for a nominal fee. And every Thursday
Thursday and Saturday, you can hear Merry calling out letters and numbers at the St. Vinny’s Bingo Night. Merry has been the bingo caller at St. Vincent’s for over 20 years. “It’s my step into heaven,” says Merry. She enjoys this job immensely and gets great satisfaction from it. “It’s part of my life and how I spend my Thursday and Saturday nights.”
When Merry, isn’t working hard at the Health Center or volunteering at St. Vincent’s, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and granddaughter. And once a year, Merry takes a much needed vacation with friends to Aruba where she soaks up the sun, reads lots of books – she reads on average 4 books in a week- and indulges in some gambling. “I really look forward to my vacation. We’ve been going for the past 3 years and it’s a week I really enjoy.”
It’s Merry’s spirit and selfless dedication to the people of Southie that makes her a very special part of our community. So if you call the dental office at the South Boston Health Center, or you are playing bingo at St. Vincents, Merry just might be the friendly voice that you are hearing, so make sure to thank her for her service to our hometown of Southie. It’s people like Merry that make South Boston the kind and generous place that it is. And that is why Merry Byrne is our August Character of the Month.