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Walsh reveals part of the note from Menino

A note and set of keys awaited Martin J. Walsh on his desk at City Hall on Jan. 6.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff

A note and set of keys awaited Martin J. Walsh on his desk at City Hall on Jan. 6.

When longtime Mayor Thomas M. Menino left office two weeks ago, he left behind the keys to his office and a letter for the new mayor on his desk.

Monday morning, the new mayor, Martin J. Walsh, finally disclosed part of the contents of Menino’s note at a breakfast commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Everyone is wondering what’s in the note,” Walsh told the crowd of about 800 people at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. “And what the note said is: Be true to yourself. Be true to the city. Follow your heart. Follow the city’s heart and you will be a great mayor.”

During a break in the speeches, Walsh made his way over to Menino, who was seated at a table nearby. It took Walsh roughly 20 minutes because he was swarmed with well-wishers hoping to greet the new mayor.

A teary-eyed and soft-spoken Menino, who served as mayor for 20 years, was also honored at the event. He received the “True Compass Award,” which is intended to honor those who contribute to the promotion of social justice, racial equality, and civil discourse.

Joshua Miller and Dina Rudick of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Todd Wallack can be reached at twallack@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @twallack.

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