Governor Deval Patrick recently signed into law House Bill 4201, officially designating the street hockey rink on Farragut Road, behind Murphy Rink, as the Donald F. Higgins Memorial Street Hockey Arena.
Several decades ago, the Commonwealth built two full size tennis courts behind the rink on Department of Conservation and Recreation property. Donald “Donny” Higgins, who grew up right across the street and who had worked as a skate guard at Murphy Rink, lobbied to transform one of the tennis courts into a street hockey court so that the children of South Boston could play hockey during summer months while the rink was closed.
Since then the street hockey courts have served generations of South Boston youth. Many players, both men and women, who grew up playing hockey on the court, have built successful careers, earning high school and college scholarships, with some being drafted to play in the National Hockey League. Annually this court is host to some of the most competitive street hockey competitions in the Commonwealth.
“Without the advocacy of Donny Higgins and the support of his family, who lived across the street and bore the brunt of late night games that kept kids off the street, this important community resource would not be there and none of its benefits to our local youth would have been realized,” said Representative Nick Collins, who sponsored the bill. “As someone who grew up playing hockey at these courts and as part of an entire generation of South Boston youth who did as well, it could not be more fitting to name this court after the man who made it all happen.”
“I am proud to have helped my colleague, Representative Nick Collins, pass this legislation in the Senate to honor Donald “Donny” Higgins’ efforts,” said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. “By naming this street hockey rink in memory of Donny, we are recognizing the great contributions that he and his entire family have made to the South Boston community,” concluded Senator Forry.
“On behalf of the Higgins family, I would like to thank the state for approving the naming of the rink and a debt of gratitude to Representative Collins and Senator Forry for their work in getting this done,” said Billy Higgins, Donald’s brother.