2015 Irish Way & Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

by William J. Sullivan
National Chairman & AOH National Board Liaison for New England

 

It is that time of year when school bells ring and students and teachers at all levels return to the classroom. The beginning of the new school year, just like New Years Day, opens up doors and new opportunities. And, believe it or not, it is not too early to begin thinking of scholarship opportunities offered by the AOH National Board for next year. Here is some information to consider.

The Irish Way Program is a three week unique cultural and educational program for American High School Students that takes place during the summer in Ireland. The program, which is multifaceted, encompasses three components: Education, the Irish Experience and Irish Touring. For more information on this program please visit the Irish Way website at: www.irishway.org or contact Carol Buck, the Irish Way Coordinator at: cbuck@IACI-usa.org or by phone @ 973 605 1991.

The AOH and LAOH National Boards are proud to offer two $500 Scholarships for the Irish Way Program for the son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter of a member of the AOH and LAOH. For more information please contact me @ williamjsullivan@verizon.net

The National Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has established two (2) annual $1000 Junior Year Abroad Scholarships for the son or daughter or grandchild of an AOH member, who is attending an accredited college or university in the United States, and who has been accepted at an accredited college/university in Ireland. Should not enough applications for the Junior Year Abroad Scholarship be realized, then $500 Scholarships for Semester Abroad Programs will be considered and granted when appropriate. The deadline for the next round of applications for this scholarship is May 1, 2015. For more information and an application please contact me @ williamjsullivan@verizon.net

 

In addition to serving as the Chairman of our Scholarship Programs, President Moore has appointed me as the AOH National Board Liaison to New England. I look forward to this opportunity to work with my Brother Hibernians here in the New England over the next two years, and I look forward to meeting many of you. Have a great fall season!

News from the Hibernian Charity Board

By Jim Green, Director, Hibernian Charity Board

 

Brothers, as planned, all of the Officers and Directors of the Hibernian Charity Board were present at the National Convention recently in St. Louis. We were all very busy with the regular business of the Convention, and carried out additional assignments from the National Board. In addition, we held a Hibernian Charity meeting, which was open to all of the brothers at the Convention that were interested in discussing the activities and future strategies of the Charity. Two brothers from North Carolina attended and exchanged ideas about many of the charitable activities that they are engaged in in their area. In addition, the Board members shared with them information about the current charities that are supported by the Charity, as the AOH’s 501c3 corporation. It was a good exchange of information and it was great to get to know these brothers and learn of their activities. The second half of the meeting involved a discussion amongst the Board members regarding fundraising strategies to allow for the future funding of existing projects, such as “Irish Way & Study Abroad,” and to be able to support emergency or urgent projects that are yet unknown.

One of the strategies which we would like to encourage our members to participate in is the “matching donation” programs that are frequently offered by employers. The idea is that if you, as an employee, donate money to a 501c3 charity, such as ours, many employers will match your donation and, in effect, double the amount that is donated. You can just imagine how much could be raised if we all took advantage of that option. Also, there’s no reason why you couldn’t “earmark” the donation to a specific AOH charity, such as “Irish Way & Study Abroad” or the Hibernian Hunger project, so that your donation would go to the specific charity of your choice. The “Hibernian Charity” would still have to be named, though, as the recipient of the donations.

The AOH National Board approved the Charity Board’s recommendation to expand the number of Charity Board Directors from 7 to a total of 9, and there were brothers that previously made their interest in the Director positions known to the National Board. Also, 4 of our incumbent Directors’ terms of office had concluded, and were running for reelection. The National Board, per our Constitution, held an election amongst themselves and reelected the 4 incumbent Directors, and also elected 2 new Directors to fill the additional 2 open positions. The newly elected Directors are Tim Harvey from Maryland and Tom Beirne of New York. Congratulations, and welcome, to all of the newly elected, or reelected, Hibernian Charity Directors!

Finally, a reminder. If you and/or your Division or Board would like to contribute to any of the very worthy charitable causes of the Order, please make your checks out to “Hibernian Charity”. If you would like to earmark a particular fund, please note that in the memo section of the check, such as “Irish Way & Study Abroad”. Remember that individual, Corporate, and Foundation donations are also 100% tax deductible.

 

Donations should be forwarded to: Hibernian Charity, Inc., c/o Joe Casler, 333 Julia Street, Unit #330, New Orleans, LA 70130

 

Thank you, as always, for your consideration, kindness, and generosity.

Hibernian Charity

Let’s Meet at the Barry Gate

 

For decades the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America has petitioned United States Navy historians and many others in the United States government to honor a true Irish American naval hero of the American Revolution. Commodore John Barry is part of the Constitution of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America as we ask our Divisions and Boards to honor him on or about the 13th of September each year (the anniversary of Barry’s death).

Brothers, two of our outstanding members from Washington, DC have accomplished something that many people from the AOH and graduates of the United States Naval Academy had never thought possible. Jack O’Brien and John McInerney have persuaded, through persistence and hard work, the United States Naval Academy Oversight Committee to approve a John Barry Memorial at the Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to recognize a Revolutionary War hero and the man who supervised the building of the first U.S. Navy ship in 1797: the frigate United States. As Jack and John stated one of their aims would be that students and visitors alike would be able to say “Let’s Meet at the Barry Gate”.

Members of the AOH have accomplished what was once considered impossible by Irish Catholics in the United States. We, the AOH, have perpetuated the memory of Commodore John Barry for Irish America.

  • First Mike Kearney of Brooklyn, NY, had the United States Congress recognize John Barry of Philadelphia, PA and Wexford, Ireland as the “First Flag Officer” of the United State Navy.
  • Then National Vice President Seamus Boyle has had the letters and papers of Barry catalogued and digitalized at the Philadelphia Seaport Museum under the care of their historians.
  • National Historian Mike McCormack has written constantly on Commodore John Barry and recently made a substantial personal donation to the Commodore John Barry Gate and Memorial
  • John Barry is buried in the graveyard at the rear of Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church near the Penn’s Landing piers in Philadelphia from which he once sailed to attack the British Fleet during the American Revolution.  An AOH/LAOH group from NYC has traveled here every September to honor Barry and have a luncheon in Philadelphia.

When the American Revolution ended the Naval heroes of that conflict were John Paul Jones who was Scottish by birth and a Catholic Irishman John Barry now of Philadelphia. The fledgling American Navy, consisting mostly of merchant ships converted to warships, was decommissioned and the ships returned to civilian service as merchant ships. Jones set out to continue as a naval officer under other flags and died of natural causes while serving as an Admiral in the Russian Fleet.

The Irishman John Barry returned to Philadelphia and his position as a successful merchant sea captain at the end of the Revolutionary War but soon Congress came calling in 1794 and he was commissioned as First Captain in 1797 and he was asked to serve his country by supervising the building of the Six Frigates, which would be the new Navy, as well as training of a U.S. Naval Officer Corp to command them. He thus became Commodore John Barry, First Flag Officer of the United States Navy. There were no Admirals in the U.S. Navy at that time.

 

Fundraising for the Barry Gate

If we are to honor Commodore John Barry at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis we will need to raise funds in two distinct stages for this to progress and honor this Irish American Revolutionary War hero to take his rightful place at the United States Naval Academy.

Stage #1: We must have $15,000 in donations to raise the Wrought Iron arch over “The Barry Gate” and make an eternal historical representation of a man who remained in the shadows of the history of the United States and the American Revolution. We will be contacting State Boards to achieve this goal.

Stage #2: Will be the much larger project for the statue and the garden, the largest we have undertaken since the project for the AOH/LAOH Victims of Katrina in New Orleans. We do not have the final numbers but it will be somewhat in the neighborhood of $150,000 that we will need to have raised.

Those figures may seem to be quite daunting for our Order and your Hibernian Charity but we cannot fail when there is an opportunity to fulfill a promise to a man, Commodore John Barry, whose efforts for our shared adopted country, putting his skill and daring as a seaman in service of the Continental Congress, when few had those skills so needed for the war, in its time of greatest need during the American Revolution. In fact the British, recognizing what his skills meant to the colonists, attempted with money to have him become a Benedict Arnold and switch sides. At times during the most perilous moments of the American Revolution that would not have seemed a poor choice to many but I’m sure not to Barry who as an Irish Catholic realized that he never would have been a Sea Captain in an Ireland under British rule.

Let this year’s “Holiday” for Commodore John Barry be a fundraiser to immortalize a very symbolic Irish American who has been honored by the AOH/LAOH these many years. We would ask every Division and Board in the United States to make a contribution of at least $100 (of larger groups of we are suggesting more than $100) to this long sought cause.

 

Contributions can be mailed to:

Frank Kearney, National Secretary Hibernian Charity

P.O. Box 391 – 315 Chamberlain Highway – Meridan, CT 06451

 

 

Hibernian Charity