By this time you should be enjoying the beginning of summer, as well as planning or debriefing on your state conventions. You will recall that in the last issue of the Digest a schedule of all state conventions was printed so that members in neighboring states would be aware of convention activities taking place in their vicinity. Don’t forget, if members have not yet achieved their Major Degrees, state conventions are a perfect time to solve this problem. Our National Board member, J.J. Kelly of Virginia, is our Ritual Chairman and if you e-mail him he can let you know which Major Degree Team would be available for your state convention. Brother Kelly’s e-mail is; IrishKnight1@verizon.net .
As you are aware, our National President has appointed me as National Chairman of the 1916 Uprising Centenary Committee. We are well along in planning for some of the activities scheduled for the United States. Last month your State Presidents were advised of the plans for New York City on April 23, 2016. These plans call for a Mass at 1:00pm at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on April 23, 2016. Immediately after the Mass a procession, with many of the Pipe Bands in that area, will proceed from 5th Avenue to 345 Park Avenue, where the Consulate General is located. The procession will end in the plaza of that building and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from 1916 will be read by a member of the Irish military. A reception on the plaza is still in the planning and we will inform you when plans are finalized.
Your State Presidents were also advised that it was the National Committee’s suggestion that each Division plan a special on April 23, 2016 to commemorate the Centenary. We thought it would give Hibernians an opportunity to educate our own on the historical events of the Rising and its legacy. Each Division is asked to plan something special for that day starting with a Mass, a reading of the Proclamation and then some type of respectful celebration. Divisions are not limited to the April 23rd remembrance and may desire to have other commemorations at that time or during the year. The National Committee thought that this would be a unique way to commemorate this event countywide and to display AOH solidarity. Both the Irish Government and Irish Ambassador fully support these projects.
The Irish Government is also planning a Centenary celebration Easter of 2016,(the third week in March). A schedule of those events will be put on our web site so our members will be aware of those particular activities being conducted in Dublin for the Centenary Remembrance.
The National Board continues to work diligently on the upcoming National Conventions in both Atlantic City in 2016 and Louisville in 2018. Please be advised that our National President’s Dinner will be held on October 3, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza in Suffern, NY, at which time our very prestigious Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award will be presented. This year’s recipient is none other than Brian O’Dwyer, Esquire, of the great State of New York. Brother O’Dwyer has been very active in Irish affairs as were his father and uncle before him. As you may know, the President’s Dinner is an opportunity for one of the few face-to-face Board meetings outside of our National Conventions. This is the time when the National AOH conducts most of its business for the year. I hope you have a relaxing and productive summer and look forward to seeing some of you at our President’s Dinner as well as our Centenary celebration on April 23,2016 in New York City.
James F. McKay III
National Vice President