Philip Boncore Named Sun Transcript Man of the Year

Thursday, December 31, 2015
By Cary Shuman

He has been a voice of experience on the Winthrop Town Council for a decade. Before that he was a member of the Charter Commission that spearheaded the town’s conversion to a new form of government.

He has lived in Winthrop his entire life and dedicated a lifetime to public service here, dating back to his days as a Town Meeting member and vice chairman of the Democratic Town Committee in the 1970s.

He has been a leader in community service organizations, rising to the position of national president of the Sons of Italy and the Italian-American Bar Association and the state president of the Mass. Justinian Society.  He is a life member of the Winthrop Lodge of Elks and its current presiding justice. He was a Winthrop Little League coach for 14 years.

He has worked closely with three Town Council Presidents –  Tom Reilly, Jeff Turco, and Peter Gill – and will continue that collaborative effort when Bob Driscoll is inaugurated as the new president Jan. 4.

 He is a prominent and highly regarded attorney known for his attention to detail as the chairman of the town’s rules and ordinance committee. His love of all things Winthrop is unquestioned.

For his many years of exceptional leadership, for his numerous contributions toward a better and more cohesive Winthrop, and for his dedicated service to the town this year and in years to come, Philip Boncore is the 2015 Winthrop Sun Transcript Man of the Year.

Boncore, 68, was humbled when he was notified about his selection as the recipient of the award, following current Council President Peter Gill and Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo on the list of honorees.

“There are a hundred people the newspaper could have given this award to,” said Boncore. “I’m very humbled to receive it. There are many people in Winthrop deserving of this award. I was very proud of my good friend, Bob DeLeo, when he received the award.”

While Boncore has enjoyed numerous accomplishments in town government and in his professional career, when asked what he was most proud of, he replied, “My beautiful family – my nine children (Debbie, Tina, Teri, Robert, Toni, Tami, Joseph, Chrissy, and Corina) and twelve grandchildren – and my wife (Goldie) – that’s my biggest accomplishment.

“My wife is always with me, she’s always behind me and supporting me in every endeavor that I do.”

 What does Philip Boncore love about Winthrop?

“It’s the greatest town there is. Winthrop is getting better and better each year and we have Jim McKenna and the Council to thank for it. We’re committed to making Winthrop better each year than the year before.

“I was born here, I went to school here, I built a family here, I built a business here. The town has been good me and I’m trying to give back to the town working as I do.”

Philip Boncore will be inaugurated as a councillor-at-large Monday night. He was re-elected without opposition, an affirmation that the people of Winthrop approve of and applaud his work on the Town Council.

One quite proud son in the audience at the inauguration will be Joseph Boncore, a member of the Winthrop Housing Authority and charter and ordinance review committee who is planning a run for the State Senate.

 “I’m very proud of all of my children for having been active in Winthrop sports and excelling in academics,” said Philip Boncore. “And I look forward to having a role in my son Joseph’s campaign for State Senate.”

Boncore graduated from Winthrop High School in 1965. His class celebrated its 50th reunion this year and as one would expect, Boncore was the key organizer of the get-together as he has been for previous class reunions.

Boncore graduated from Norwich University in 1969 with a degree in Biology. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army before going on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in 1972.

He passed the Massachusetts bar exam and became an assistant district attorney in Middlesex District Attorney John Droney’s Office. He opened a private law practice in Winthrop in 1978 and currently has offices in East Boston where he works with his sons, attorneys Joseph Boncore and Robert Boncore.

While his law practice has kept him busy, he has always found the time to be active in local organizations. He was president of the Winthrop Jaycees (young professionals) and served as a Jaycee state officer and senator. The Jaycees formed the Massachusetts Air Pollution and Noise Abatement Committee (MAPNAC).

“We formed MAPNAC in the basement apartment of my mother’s house,” recalled Boncore. “We brought on John Vitagliano as the director of the committee. That was before the Winthrop Airport Hazards Committee was formed.”

A decade ago Boncore was at the center of the townspeople’s movement to change the form of government away from the Winthrop Annual Town Meeting.

“It made our town a much more efficient form of government,” said Boncore “We [Town Council] meet every two weeks. You can get things done. With Town Meeting we’d meet once a year and if we needed a Special Meeting, we’d have to call for one. This government is much more representative. People have a much better opportunity to come to the Council with their complaints and their issues than they did to Town Meeting.”

Boncore said he enjoys working with his fellow councilors and Town Manager Jim McKenna on town matters.

“I’m very proud of Jim McKenna and his staff of department heads and employees who all work diligently to make Winthrop a better place because Winthrop is worth it,” said Boncore.

Councilor-At-Large Philip Boncore on the steps of Town Hall.

Councilor-At-Large Philip Boncore on the steps of Town Hall.

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