Editor John O’Connell

I’d like to use this space to answer some frequently asked questions that Hibernians have emailed, called and written letters to me about. Maybe you have had similar questions.


I want to submit something for the Digest. What are deadlines?

The Digest publishes six times a year. There is an issue for January-February, March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October and November-December. I aim to get the Digest out by the start of the second month of the issue. To do that, I need all the copy and photos by the first of the month of each issue, because it takes four weeks to edit, proof, correct, re-proof, print and mail the Digest.

So to start the process of each issue I need all submissions by January 1 for the Jan-Feb issue, March 1 for the March-April issue, May 1 for the May-June issue, July 1 for the July-Aug issue, Sept. 1 for the Sept-Oct issue, and Nov. 1 for the Nov-Dec issue.

So the deadlines are Jan 1, March 1, May 1, July 1, Sept. 1 and Nov. 1. Anything that comes to be after that probably will not get in the Digest, at least not in the issue I’m working on. You need to resubmit it for the next issue by the next deadline.

I am lenient on the March 1 deadline for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Otherwise, we’d have parades and such in the issue we get in June; too late! So for the March-April issue, get me your St. Patrick’s events immediately after they conclude. You will find that issue gets to you late because of that delay, but it makes more sense than March parades in the June issue.

I also will wait as long as I can in July for convention news. But get it to me as soon as you can or it will go in the following issue.


I sent you a photo and you did not use it. Why not?

There are only two reasons I wouldn’t use your photo. One is space. Our page count is limited, like almost everything else in life. Sometimes I have to cut photos to make room for articles from other states. If I used every photograph, then some states may be underrepresented in an issue, and I’d rather not do that.

But that is typically not the reason I omit a photo you send. The usual reason is that you have submitted a terrible, small, dark, unfocused, low-resolution picture. Unless you have a smartphone with high resolution and know how to use it to produce a good quality image, do not send cell-phone-shot pictures. They don’t reproduce well in print, will not illustrate you article well and will degrade the look of the Digest. And I won’t use them anyway.

Use a camera to take pictures. Set your camera on L for Large image. Shoot with the sun behind you. Fill the frame with your subject(s). Don’t stand 20 feet away from two people and take a photo. If you do that, we have to crop and enlarge, reducing the quality of your picture. Stand right in front of your subjects, use flash, even in sunlight (it’s called fill flash), focus, compose, and press the button.

Also, instead of 12 people in a lineup like one is suspected of a crime, how about taking a picture of Hibernians doing something, not just standing there and smiling. For example, if your Division is packing items to send to troops abroad, photograph them packing the boxes, not standing in a lineup after the work is done. Posed pictures are boring. Action shots tell stories.

Every Division ought to have a publicity chairman. Choose someone who has a camera and likes taking photos. And send your good photos to the local newspaper for good press, too.


We moved and we don’t get the Digest anymore. How come?

If you are moving, if a brother or sister Hibernian has passed away and the souse no longer wants the Digest, tell your Division financial secretary to inform the county, state and, importantly, the national secretary.

The Digest does not have a separate mailing list. It gets mailed to all the names and addresses on the National Membership List. Until an address gets changed on that list, or a name is removed, the Digest continues to be mailed. This results in people getting the Digest who don’t want it, getting it delivered to the wrong address, and a big waste of members’ dues because that’s where the money comes from to mail the Digest.

If you are a Division financial secretary and you learn that someone has died or is moving, make sure you notify the National Secretary so an action can be taken on the Membership List. This will save money and the aggravation of someone getting a Digest, not getting a Digest or getting two Digests.


How can I help with the Digest?

Honestly, this is not a frequently asked question. But if you are a sales person, we could use your help in selling ads for the Digest. Any paid ads we get helps to defray the costs of producing the Digest, which is the single biggest expense of the Order. If you want to help sell ads for the Digest, email me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com. And the Order thanks you.



Editor John O’Connell

I drove through Long Beach, Long Island, in mid-January and it was clear that residents and businesses are still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. I’m sure it’s the same in the other Long Island communities like East Rockaway, Point Lookout, Oceanside, Island Park, also the Rockaways, Staten Island, and the hard-hit areas of New Jersey and Connecticut.

It makes me so proud to be a Hibernian when I see division members and officers, county officers and state officers drive sometimes hundreds of miles to help fellow Hibernians in such need. Thanks to your donations, our national board’s relief fund is a Godsend to many families who are still struggling just to have decent shelter and the basic necessities. It is also so wonderful that brothers came to those areas with strong backs and helpful hearts. This was hard labor to help homeowners rip out sheetrock and clean homes, but Hibernians demonstrated all three dimensions of our motto by giving up their own time to travel in some cases long distances to help their brother and sister members of the Order.

God bless the Hibernians who have contributed in whatever way they are able to help their fellow members of the Order.



For all those national officers, state presidents and others who want to submit articles to the Digest, here are the general deadlines for getting your copy and high-quality photos to me: I need your submissions no later than the first of the first month of each issue. For example, Jan. 1 for the Jan-Feb issue, May 1 for the May-June issue, Nov. 1 for the Nov-Dec issue. There are two exceptions: The deadline for the March-April issue will be immediately after St. Patrick’s Day; and the deadline for the July-Aug issue is right after your conventions. Otherwise, St. Patrick’s Day events would be seen in June (too late!) and convention news wouldn’t be read until October! So the March-April deadline is March 22 and the July-Aug deadline is 19. Any questions, just email me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com.


Digest volunteers

My fellow Nassau County Division 8 brother, Robert Lynch, is the new assistant editor with responsibility for the online version of the Hibernian Digest. His email address is anpiobaire@aol.com. The former online Digest assistant editor, Joe McDonald, was appointed by President Brendan Moore to be the National Webmaster, so I’ve asked Bob Lynch to replace Joe on the “Digital Digest.” Don’t send any online Digest inquiries to Joe anymore; he has enough to do with the national and New York state websites — and doing a fabulous job at it! All questions and submissions for our digital Digest should still go through me and I’ll pass them ob to Bob Lynch. Congratulations to Robert and to Joe.

Another vacancy exists, however, on the Digest’s staff of volunteers. We need a sales manager to sell advertisements for the Hibernian Digest. Printing the Digest every two months is a major expense for the Order. Our annual dues pay for that expense. The only offset is revenue from advertising. As you can see, not many ads are being sold. This would be the perfect part-time activity for one of our brothers who is a retired salesman. Even a currently employed salesman may have the time to manage our sales effort and sell some ads. Please contact me at editorhiberniandigest@yahoo.com so we can talk.



From the Editor’s Desk

Just a few, brief notes this issue.

For those who submit articles and photos to the Digest, please send photos that have a resolution of more than 200 dpi. Bigger would be better. Smaller-sized images look fuzzy and don’t do justice to your article. When taking photos, use a camera, not a phone, and make sure your camera is set to LARGE and FINE. The file sizes will be anywhere from 2 to 5 megapixels, which is great.

I’m looking forward to the National Convention in July. I hope many of you can attend. You will find on the back page all the deadlines and registration forms you’ll need. My hope is especially meant for the newer members of our Order. Attending national conventions is a great way to learn of the ongoing work of the Order, to get to know brothers from all around the country, to participate by your vote (if you are a delegate) in the decision on who the national officers will be who’ll lead our Order for the next two years, to realize the wide scope of the matters Hibernians are involved in, to discover Irish and Irish-American history and, best of all, to grow in your sense of what the Ancient Order of Hibernians has been, is today and plans to be tomorrow. Oh, and it’s also a lot of fun!

Read this Digest at meetings. No, there’s nothing in the Blue Book about doing this; it’s just my suggestion. Not every Hibernian can attend conventions, and even though every Hibernian gets a copy of the Digest, I know not every Hibernian reads every column, article and caption. And yet in every issue there’s history, there’s news about what other divisions are doing that we could all emulate, there’s features on aspects of the Order like Project St. Patrick, Freedom For All Ireland, Immigration, Catholic Action, Irish-American Heritage, Ireland and Hibernian history, Irish language, Veterans Affairs, and special features unique to each issue. This issue we have a special sports-history feature, and last issue we had an inspirational poem and a report from the Industrial Development CEO in Ireland. And we have dozens of reports from around the country on what Hibernians are up to. So I think 10 minutes spent at a meeting reading aloud one of the items in the Digest about any of the above topics would help all brothers to learn more about their Irish-American culture and history, their Faith, the work of their Order, and also gain ideas for how we can live and act ever more fully in our Motto.


In my view, the Shamrock and Major Degree Rituals, Hibernian conventions (national, state and county), and reading the Digest are the three ways we grow from individual Hibernians into fully fledged members of the Order.


Regarding changes of address: If you move, please tell your Division Financial Secretary. He must then inform the National Secretary. Why? Because we get notices from the Post Office right after every Digest gets mailed a brother has moved. This costs the Order money. Please don’t tell me you have moved. Tell your Division officer, and Division officers must tell the National Secretary. He is in charge of the Membership List and that’s the same list we use to mail the Digest. If a brother passes away, moves, leaves the Order, this information must be communicated to the National Secretary so we don’t waste money for postage.


The deadline for the next issue is June 27. There is no penalty for getting submissions in before that!

From The Editor’s Desk

I hope you enjoy this end-of-year issue of the Digest.

I think it’s important to note that more then 90 AOH and LAOH members contributed the contents of this edition. And who knows how many other brother and sister Hibernians helped them produce that copy and take and caption the photos on these pages.

It’s understandable, but wrong, to think that the newspapers and books we read, the shows we watch, the websites we visit, are things, somehow automatically produced, disembodied from the minds and hearts that informed their creation. Don’t we often refer to a newspaper article by saying “The New York Times wrote…”? We forget that some person actually wrote the story, is responsible for the research and reporting, took the time to craft the article, choose the right words, go over it and over it until it’s just right.

It’s the same with all the projects Hibernians take on and accomplish. Whether it’s the Barry Gate, Project St. Patrick, the 175th Anniversary Celebration, the 175th Commemorative Coin, the actions taken on immigration, freedom for political prisoners, and the hundreds of state, county and division charities and missions activities the Order engages in, the achievements aren’t automatic. Whatever gets done is accomplished by at least one and more typically a group of Hibernians acting in friendship and unity to perform acts of Christian Charity and other works the Order.

And why? Because those who take on the tasks believe in the Order and its good and welfare and want to build the Order up, strengthen it, expand it, and help it achieve its missions.

With this in mind, officers should remember that there may be many members at our meetings and events who are ready, willing and able to work. One of our goals as leaders should be to identify those members and figure out what we can ask them to do for the Order. Then we guide them and follow up on how they’re doing. This is how new leaders are developed. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who isn’t doing anything now to do something. No one joined the Order to sit in a meeting room once a month, right? Many are waiting to be pressed into service.


On a different matter: I’d appreciate your suggestions for how the Digest can be improved. What’s not here that you think ought to be? What’s here that you don’t like so much? What could make this better? Let me know at EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com.

Also, if you know of an Irish store in your community that does business online as well as locally, that you think may want to advertise in the Digest, where they could promote their products to so many Irish-American men and women, please ask them to write to me at EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com or send me their name and address and I’ll contact them. We need more ads in the Digest!

And while I’m on the subject of advertising, if you have sales experience and would like to help me get ads, I could use some help. Write to me and let me know if you can assist the Order in that way.

There are great articles and reports in this issue. I hope you enjoy them all.

The deadline for the next issue is December 17.

A very Merry and Holy Christmas to all!


National Editor

I’d like to use this, my first column in the Hibernian Digest, to introduce myself.

I joined the Mike Moran Division 8 in Glen Cove, Nassau County, in 1997 and made my Major Degree the same year. In 2004, I was elected Division 8 President and served three consecutive terms. I served as Nassau County Recording Secretary from 2005 to 2007 under the leadership of then County President Ray McCann. I was elected County President in 2007, serving until 2009.

I have helped with the journal of the Nassau County Feis, and perform one of the roles on our county Shamrock Degree Team.

In 2009, I was designated by the county board to be the Aide to Grand Marshal Michael Gibbons in the 248th marching of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. What a glorious day that was! I’ll remember it as one of the best of all my days.

Appointed by State President Chip McLean as State Publicity Chairman in 2009, I was thrilled to be on the state board! Imagine that, I thought.

That brings us to the 2011 New York State Convention, one I will never forget!

I headed to Pearl River that weekend enthusiastic and a little nervous about my candidacy for New York State Director, District Six. Even though no one had announced a run against me, I still had my campaign cards and lapel flag pins to give out. (I still have some, by the way.) I was elected director, and I have been reappointed to the state publicity chairman office by our new worthy State President Mike McNabb.

As though being elected director in New York and renamed publicity chairman were not humbling enough, National Vice President Brendan Moore told me on Friday night that the National President wanted to see me. What the heck could I have done so wrong that the National President wanted to see me?

Seamus Boyle asked me if I would become the Editor of the National Hibernian Digest. What a shock! I accepted. Until Brendan announced the appointment at the convention, I wasn’t sure it was really true.

Brothers, when I joined our Order 14 years ago — at the suggestion of Glen Cove, NY, Hibernian Paul Long — and especially when I participated in my Major Degree ceremony, I had then and there become what I was perfectly proud of becoming, a brother of my fellow Hibernians. I had become what my father before me had become in Flushing, Queens County: a member in good standing of the AOH. My loved ones were proud of me. I knew my Limerick-born father and Leitrim-born mother were smiling down from Heaven.

I thank all my fellow Hibernians in Division 8, on the Nassau County Board, and now the Suffolk Board for their encouragement.

And I thank Seamus, Brendan and the National Board for the confidence they have placed in me.

And I ask all of you for your prayers that I may be worthy.

Forgive me if in this, my first issue as editor, you see a few errors here and there, or if something you sent didn’t make it this time. There were more submissions than could fit in one issue, so to all those who got left out, I’m sorry. Be patient with me.

I look forward to making the Digest the best we can, useful, informative and easy to read.

I ask you to send me suggestions on how to make it better without necessarily making it bigger. Write to EditorHibernianDigest@yahoo.com.

I am proud to be the Hibernian Digest editor. It is the one and only place for Hibernians to “gather,” to see what their fellow Hibernians are doing all around the country. On a state scale, we do that when we attend conventions; we meet our brother and sister Hibernians and learn what their divisions and county boards and individuals are working on for the Order.

Well, that’s exactly what the Digest is for. It’s a gathering of Hibernians where we can hear from each other no matter how far apart, gain inspiration, mourn the loss of our AOH and LAOH members, reflect, get ideas, see what events are happening, and learn to better live our motto of friendship, unity and Christian charity.