North Carolina

Guilford County

The 2015 Patrick J. Rooney Hibernian Fund Charity Raffle for a Trip for Four to Ireland concluded with the drawing at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro. A wonderful brunch was prepared by Janet and Richard Morrison, and we had a good crowd in attendance. We also recognized the Na Cara Division Hibernian of the Year, John Pierce, for his enthusiasm and tireless efforts in recruiting new members to the organization.

The winners of this year’s raffle are Petra & Willard Barrett of Somerville, Tennessee, who purchased their ticket from AOH brother Kevin Proehl. The Barretts have been long-standing supporters of our raffle.

 

Mecklenburg County

The St. Brendan division made a substantial donation to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This order is one the fastest growing and youngest average age of Sisters in the U.S.

The division also held its first Irish Movie Night at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. The division does not charge admission to the movie. The first movie shown was a family oriented film, “Darby O’Gill and the Little People.”

Learning our Irish history

On Oct. 15, members of the Mecklenburg # 2 Division in Huntersville attended an Irish History Lecture at Belmont Abbey. The lecturer was a distant relative of the last pastor (late 1800s) at St. Joseph’s Church where Meck 1 and Meck 2 Divisions celebrate their annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass. Many of the members met for dinner beforehand. In October, members from the Mecklenburg # 2 Division also attended a fundraising banquet for a pro life organization, MiraVia, in Charlotte.  In addition to individual members donating, the Division made a generous contribution to show the division’s support for Pro-Life issues.

 

— Submitted by Joseph Dougherty, North Carolina State Board Vice President and Past President, Mecklenburg County Board

From left, Frank Fay, John Bunbury, Dave Foley, Tom Dowd, Mr. O'Connell, a distant relative of Father J.J. O'Connell, who gave the lecture, Ron Haley, Joe Dougherty, Ray FitzGerald and Dr. Patrick Wadden, a professor of history at Belmont Abbey College.

From left, Frank Fay, John Bunbury, Dave Foley, Tom Dowd, Mr. O’Connell, a distant relative of Father J.J. O’Connell, who gave the lecture, Ron Haley, Joe Dougherty, Ray FitzGerald and Dr. Patrick Wadden, a professor of history at Belmont Abbey College.

North Carolina News

In keeping with our motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity, the St. Brendan Division of the AOH in Huntersville, NC, presented checks in the amount of $500 each to St. Mark’s Home School, St. Mark’s Catholic Elementary School and Christ the King High School.

The funds were raised from our Hibernian Dinner and Show, which is held each year in the month of March to honor the patron Saint of Ireland. Catholic education is one of the core charities that the Division supports, the others being “Room at the Inn,” Laura Lynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice and also supporting seminarians from the Diocese of Charlotte.

Members of the Division also traveled to St Dorothy’s Church in Lincolnton to attend mass at which the Divisions former chaplain and fellow Hibernian was installed as the pastor.

Greensboro, NaCara Division held its annual brats and baseball tailgate cookout on June 27. After eating and socializing, all who attended went to Newbridge Park to watch the Grasshoppers play the visiting team. A good time was had by all.  The Division also held a Shamrock degree for four new members.

The Michael Collins Division, the driving force behind Greenville’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, is giving back to the community with donations of $500.00 each to the Wounded Warrior Project and to the Greenville Ulster Project. These funds were raised from parade revenues.

North Carolina News

“On Thursday, December 13th, the St Brendan division in Huntersville, NC held its election of officers for the upcoming year. Elected were, President Ray FitzGerald, Vice President Dave Foley, Secretary Tom Vaccaro, Treasurer Chris O’Keefe, Financial Secretary Ron Haley, Standing Committee Chair Patrick Phelan, Marshall Brian Bourque and Sentinel Frank Fay. Following the election, Joe Dougherty, the State Director for the Central district conducted the installation of the new officers”

 

Members of the St. Brendan the Navigator and Sons of Erin Divisions attended the annual Room at the Inn Banquet in Charlotte, bringing along personal and Division donations.

 

Members of St. Brendan the Navigator in Huntersville performed their semi-annual clean-up of Torrence Creek Stream.

 

NaCara Div in Greensboro held its annual Christmas Party on December 19. A good time was had by all who attended.

The division also launched the sale of tickets for its trip to Ireland Raffle.

 

Bob Driscoll

NC State VP

North Carolina News

NaCara division in Greensboro held its annual Rothar Turas bike ride to raise funds for the Down Syndrome Network. The ride was co-sponsored by Cycles D’Oro, Compass Elite and Walmart. There were 180 riders traveling either 20, 41 or 62 miles. Over $3,000 dollars was raised.

On Sunday March 25, NaCara held the drawing for the Patrick J Rooney trip to Ireland raffle. It was won by a member in the division. In true Christian charity proceeds were donated to the Society of St Vincent DePaul.

On Sunday, April 22, NaCara division held its annual Easter Uprising luncheon. Brother Patrick Tracy, a member of NaCara, shared his families involvement in the Uprising. Members of the Sons Of Erin Division in Charlotte, and members of LAOH divisions in Greensboro and Huntersville also attended.

After a hiatus of 20 years Mooresville, NC revived its St. Patrick’s Day parade. It was held on March 10 and members of St Brendan the Navigator Division with its newly formed color guard marched along with family members. They were joined by bothers from other divisions and members of the LAOH Lock division.

On March 17, prior to the St Patricks Day Parade members of the two Mecklinberg county divisions attended mass at Old St Joseph’s Church, the oldest catholic church in North Carolina.

North Carolina News

Wake County: The Governor Thomas Burke Division in Raleigh held its 10th annual Irish Music and Heritage Festival on September 10. Over 350 attendees were treated to an all-American cookout while listening to12 local Irish bands during the day. As a result of the fundraisers during the year, the division was able to present $500 each to Victory Junction Camp, a camp for disabled children, Saint Thomas Moore Academy, a Raleigh Catholic high school, and Carolina Patriot Rovers that provides guide dogs for solders who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

North Carolina held its state convention on October 7-9 and installed new state board officers. Back row, from left, John Ryan: Dist Dir. West, Pat Tracy: Rec.Sec., Tim Whelen: Tres., Bob Driscoll: VP, Bill Kelly: Pres, John Ryan: Dist. Dir. East, Joe Dougherty: Dist Dir. Central. Front row, from left, Ellen Kelly: Cath. Act., Bernadette Brady: Miss. and Charity, Mary Driscoll: VP, Janice Donahue: Pres., Pat Johnson: Rec Sec, Lynn Purcell: Trea., Hope Cusick: Historian.

North Carolina News

State Board

The NC State Convention will be held on October 7 and 8 in Willington, North Carolina. Current State President John Ryan will be leaving the board after 10 years of service. John has held the Treasurer and Vice President positions since 2001.

 

West:

 

The St. Brendan the Navigator, Mecklenburg County Division #1 was honored with an official sign for its work on the Adopt a Stream program. The division cleans a local stream in Huntersville, NC, twice as year as a community service project. The division has also contributed to the Commodore Barry fund.

 

East:

The Governor Thomas Burke, Wake County Division #1 hosted several youths from Northern Ireland on July 6.  The youths were part of the Ulster Project of Eastern NC in Greenville, NC. The Ulster Project brings 12-15 Northern Ireland Protestant and Catholic youth to the States for a month. The division has hosted a cook out for The Ulster project for several years.

North Carolina News

On Friday, June 17th, Joe Dougherty, President of Mecklenburg County Div 2 AOH and past National Director, along with Linda Dyer Hart, past President of Mecklenburg County Div 1, LAOH, met with Congressman Mick Mulvaney, representing the Fifth District of South Carolina, regarding the inequities in the issuance of green cards to Irish citizens. One of the reports we showed Mr. Mulvaney was just how many green cards were issued in the year 2010, (1,047,000) and how few went to the Irish, (1,637). Congressman Mulvaney was quite surprised by the low number. The Congressman stated that discussion on immigration issues will be addressed in the very near future and he will make sure that the low Irish quota will be prominent in his remarks to Congress. Congressman Mulvaney was a member of the AOH when he attended Georgetown University and after hearing that, Joe Dougherty handed him an application for reinstatement to the AOH in the Rock Hill, SC Division.

Linda Dyer Hart, Congressman Mick Mulvaney (center) and Joe Dougherty.

North Carolina News

Pro Life

Barbara Holt, President North Carolina Right to Life, presented Brother Bill Eastwood a ten-year member of Na Cara Div 1, Guilford County and the NC State Pro Life director with the Volunteer of the Year award for 2010. Bill has attended the national march for life in Washington, DC for the last thirty years.

Pictured are Barbara Holt, President NC Right-to-life and Brother Bill Eastwood.

West Region:

Asheville – The division held a Saint Patrick’s dinner dance on March 12, serving over 125 guests The Asheville division was the first division established in North Carolina.

Charlotte – Sons of Erin Division, Mecklenburg County Div 1 marched in the Charlotte area Saint Patrick’s parade on March 19, along with members from Mecklenburg County Div 2. The division also assisted with Habitat for Humanity and spruced up Saint Josephs Church in Mount Holly.

Huntersville – Saint Brendan the Navigator, Mecklenburg County Div 2 held an Irish Night on March 12, serving over 150 members and guests who were in attendance. A special mass was held at Saint Joseph’s church in Mount Holly before the dinner.

Greensboro – Na Cara Div 1, Guildford County sponsored a charity Bike ride on March 19, with more than 192 riders participating in the event and raised over $3,000 for the Down Syndrome Network of Greater Greensboro. Brother Richard Morrison was presented with the Hibernian of the Year at a ceremony on January 29, 2011.

East Region

Raleigh – Governor Thomas Burke, Wake County Div 1 held its tenth annual Saint Patrick’s dance on March 5, serving over 130 attendees. Brother Bill Keely was presented with the Hibernian of the Year during the event. The division along with members of the Greensboro division marched proudly with Irish county flags on March 12, in the Raleigh saint Patrick parade.  On April 19, the division presented $1,750 to two organizations honoring fallen police and firefighters in Raleigh and North Carolina.

Pictured (L – R) Captain Kim Swinson, RDP, John Ryan, Financial Secretary, Stephen Sullivan, Vice President and Major Dennis Lane, RPD

North Carolina News

The Sons of Erin Division in Charlotte, NC recently participated in a Habitat for Humanity home construction project. Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness. They partner with low income families to help them achieve the dream of homeownership by building houses for these families. On a hot muggy day in North Carolina, 16 volunteers from the Division donated sweat equity to help build a house for refugees from Vietnam. The Division was very proud to donate their time and energy to building a house in finding other ways to promote their community.  Members of the Division commented that to help those in need which we believe is our duty as Hibernians.

The Sons of Erin Division work crew came together this past June in support of Habitat for Humanity. Happy to report that all work on the house was successfully completed and with no "major" injuries to the work crew!