Amy Prock named Public Servant of the Year

Each year the Joseph J. McGarry Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians on the Grand Strand presents the prestigious Public Servant of the Year award to an individual in the community who has represented the values and spirit of the Hibernians: Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. Officer Amy Prock is known throughout the Myrtle Beach Police Force for her dedication and commitment to the community.

The name of the Division on the Grand Strand was changed to the Joseph J. McGarry Division to honor one of the Division’s members who was a Myrtle Beach Police Officer. Officer McGarry lost his life in the line of duty. The name change was the Hibernian way of honoring his memory.

In South Carolina the Joseph J. McGarry Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians was founded on the Grand Strand in 1996.


Myrtle Beach Police Captain Amy Prock receives The Ancient Order of Hibernians “Public Servant of the Year” award from Hibernian Past President, Marty Flynn

Myrtle Beach Police Captain Amy Prock receives The Ancient Order of Hibernians “Public Servant of the Year” award from Hibernian Past President, Marty Flynn


South Carolina sent 80 percent of their eligible Delegates to the National AOH Convention and co-hosted the Southern Region Hospitality room with North Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Following the Convention the Board hosted a supper with Bishop Robert Guglielmone. He endorsed our Project St Patrick, which raised almost $11,000 this year for South Carolina Seminarians. We also announced new state programs to assist men in the Deaconate program and started a scholarship program. Joseph McGarry Division ($14,000), Bishop Patrick Lynch Division ($8,000) and Harp & Shamrock Division ($18,000) held charity events. State Treasurer Dave Carlson and the Joseph McGarry Division lead a state drive to purchase and place a large statue of St. Joseph at the Our Lady of South Carolina Shrine in Kingstree. PST ND Bob Mott chaired a project that provided room and board for a wounded warrior and his family to spend a week at the beach each week of the summer. Don Buchannan and the Bishop Emmett Walsh Division are starting a Road Bowling event for the state. They also started a scholarship program at Winthrop University and assisted two Irish soccer players. This was the first year for an Irish Village at the 43rd annual Charleston Scottish Games and included three AOH Divisions, One LAOH Division, College of Charleston Irish Studies Program, Rugby and Hurling teams and a history area. Many Divisions held Life Chains and the Bishop Patrick Lynch Division held their annual AOH-LAOH Hibernian of the year banquet.


James P Nettles Jr

SC State President

South Carolina

Matthew Tully awarded McGarry Division Lifetime Membership

At the October meeting of the Joseph McGarry AOH Division in Myrtle Beach, SC, Matthew Tully was awarded a Lifetime Membership. The presentation was made by Marty Flynn, Division President.

Matthew was born in County Roscommon, Ireland and came to the US in 1964.

He joined the AOH in 1968 in New York City and has been a member of 4 AOH Divisions; Div 1 in Los Angeles, Div 5 in Massapequa, LI. NY., Father Tansey Div 1, Albany. NY, and was a founder of the Joseph McGarry Division in Myrtle Beach, SC. When he founded the Myrtle Beach Division in 1996, it was the only division in the entire state.

He has served the McGarry Division as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and founder of the newsletter, and, as Membership Chairman, he has recruited 75% of the division’s members.

Matthew also was a founder of the South Carolina State Board and a State Board Director for 8 years as well as the Deputy State Board Organizer for 9 years. He is currently the District 1 Director.

He was named Hibernian of the year by the SC State Board in both 1999 and again in 2001 by the McGarry division. Matthew has also been recognized by the LAOH in Myrtle Beach as a founder of their division in 1996.

He is also an Honorary member of the Knights of Columbus #5086, a member of St. Andrews Parish in Myrtle Beach, and a charter member of the Little River, SC, Elks Lodge #2840.


South Carolina 2

South Carolina

Brian Boru Division at Immaculate Conception Church, Goose Creek, SC, hosted a half-way to Saint Patrick’s Day dinner with our sisters of the LAOH on Saturday, Sept. 27. During the course of the evening we held an auction of various Irish items, which raised $200. The proceeds went to The Adorno Fathers, (the order which administers Immaculate Conception), to repair their Theological Seminary in the Republic of the Philippines which was damaged in a typhoon in July.

South Carolina

Jim Kelly, SC State VP; Fr. Jason Caganap, CRM, Pastor @ ICC; Martin "Bomer" Cleary, Directror of Church Activities and Tim Kenefick, VP Brian Boru Division.

Jim Kelly, SC State VP; Fr. Jason Caganap, CRM, Pastor @ ICC; Martin “Bomer” Cleary, Directror of Church Activities and Tim Kenefick, VP Brian Boru Division.

Brian Boru Division at Immaculate Conception Church, Goose Creek, SC, hosted a half-way to Saint Patrick’s Day dinner with our sisters of the LAOH on Saturday, Sept. 27. During the course of the evening we held an auction of various Irish items, which raised $200. The proceeds went to The Adorno Fathers, (the order which administers Immaculate Conception), to repair their Theological Seminary in the Republic of the Philippines which was damaged in a typhoon in July.


South Carolina News

The South Carolina State Board as part of their Vocations projects presented seminarians a check for $500 on their Ordination Day. The state board recognizes the shortage of priests and works with the Diocesan Vocations Director to recognize, encourage and assist men during their training in the seminary.

Fr. Jeffery Kirby, left, Director of Vocations, Newly Ordained Fr. Filip Wodecki and South Carolina State President James P Nettles, Jr.

South Carolina News

In July the Officers of the South Carolina State Board attended the Ordination of the three new Priests in the Diocese of Charleston and presented each with a check. AOH members in the state are actively involved in vocations and assisting our seminarians and priests and giving full support to Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone. In April, South Carolina lost its first State Chaplain, Msgr. Joseph Roth. The 9 Divisions raised $2,250 in his memory and a check was presented to the Bishop State Chaplain Fr. Timothy Gahan requested that the collection at the convention Mass be given to Project St. Patrick. The AOH n South Carolina is dedicated to following in the footsteps of the founders in supporting vocations and our clergy.

South Carolina recently held their 7th Biannual AOH Convention in North Charleston jointly with the LAOH. Special Guests were Bishop Robert E Guglielmone, National AOH President Seamus Boyle and National LAOH President Margaret Hennessey. The convention was co-hosted by the Msgr. John L Manning Division 1 Charleston County, President James P Nettles Jr and Our Lady of Knock Division, President Cheryl Daniels. Banquet entertainment was provided by Tom Hughes and Irish Singer and the Glor na Daire Academy of Irish Dance.

This was the largest AOH convention ever held in South Carolina with over 170 attendees. South Carolina now has Major Degree Teams in both the AOH and LAOH. National Ritual Chairman Patrick Shannon certified the new Carraig Phadraig Major Degree Team. The team is names for the Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock, a historic site in Ireland. Past New York State President John Hennessey reviewed the team. Chairman of the team is Past State President Neil Diamond. Major members are AL Stiles, Jim Kelly, Tim Keneflict, James Nettles Jr., and Martin Fosberry. Team members come from Msgr. John L Manning Division, Brian Boru Division, John Mc Garry Division, and the Bishop Patrick Lynch Division. 49 men received their Major Degree at the convention, bringing the state total to 170 out of the 500 AOH members in the state.

New state officers are James P Nettles, Jr, James Kelly, Mason Luther and Dave Carlson. Nettles has served as President of the Msgr. John L Manning Division and Secretary, and Vice President of the South Carolina State Board. He is also a Past State Deputy and Former master of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus.

Richard F. O’Brien of the Harp & Shamrock Division in Greenville was recognized as the state “Hibernian of the Year.” Dick has been very active in his Division and the state. He just completed four years as South Carolina State Treasurer and served as Treasurer of the Southern Hospitality room at the last two National Conventions. The Gold Shamrock award was presented to Dave Carlson (Joseph McGarry Division) for his work at the “Shrine of Our Lady of Hope” or the Shrine of South Carolina and to Carl Swanson (Harp & Shamrock Division) for his outstanding fund raising efforts. Outgoing State President and new National Director Leonard Byrne was inducted into the “Order of the Shillelagh”

Bishop Robert Guglielmone and Division Presidents at check presentation for Msgr Roth Seminarian fund. Charleston President James Nettles, State President Len Byrne, Horry President, Mason Luther, Greenville President Joe Deehan, Richland President President Jim Lawracy, Bishop Robert Guglielmone, Beaufort President Richard Kearns, Berkeley president Neil Diamond, York President Don Buchanan and Spartanburg President Jordan Liflander.

Outgoing President Len Byrne & Incoming President James Nettles

South Carolina "Hibernian of the Year" Richard F O'Brien

New South Carolina State President James P Nettles, Jr.

National Director Len Byrne installing James Nettles as President

South Carolina News

As this is my last letter as President of the South Carolina State Board, I wish to thank all those who have helped make the last two years a success for the state. New Divisions, increased membership, a Major Degree team, working with our Scottish  brothers and, most importantly, an increased sense of brotherhood from all our members around the state are all a plus.

A special thank you to my fellow Board members and I look forward to helping each one of you in the future.

We closing in fast on our Convention. Plans are almost complete and a special thanks to Jim Nettles for his efforts, and thank you to Seamus Boyle, the AOH National President, and Margaret Hennessy, LAOH National President, for their attendance. October 21 and 22 — barring a hurricane — should be beautiful in Charleston.

On September 20, Patrick Shannon will be coming to Charleston to review our Major Degree Team and help them prepare for the Convention. Plans are to offer the degree at Convention. I want to thank Neil Diamond for all the work he has done pulling this together.

Distribution of $1,500 was made to three men just ordained on July 1 to the Priesthood. Our State Board truly believes that one of the cornerstones of our monetary giving should be to support our seminarians and the recently ordained. Our membership is growing in part due to relocations from other parts of the country at the same time the priests do not relocate. This causes a continuing need for additional priests. Anything the AOH can do to support this effort should be encouraged. Don’t forget our roots were based on protecting our Priests.

South Carolina News

Well our wonderful month of March is behind us – we had Ceilis around the State, many parades, our annual drawing for a golf trip to Ireland, and a Return to the Green celebration. My only regret was I could not attend all the events. However it was nice visiting with the Brothers in Fort Mill, Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Greenville.

I did get to Bluffton earlier to install officers. Many thanks to my fellow officers that made trips as well.

A very special day occurred in Myrtle Beach as we were able to go to a special Mass for Msgr. Roth our prior State Chaplain who is battling many health issues in a hospice house in Myrtle Beach. I was allowed to address the parish from the Ambo at Mass and made him a Chaplain Emeritus. Due to his health he could not be there so the honor was bestowed privately.

We were excited to be one of the principal honorees at the recent Scottish Festival in Columbia. Most happy that the Honorable Paul Gleeson attended (and addressed the crowd at the games). We were also very pleased that our National Treasurer Judge McKay joined us well. Many thanks to Jim Nettles and Jim Lawracy for their work in making the event turn out so well.

Msgr. John Manning Division in Charleston had a great quarter initiating 15 new members. The Bishop of Charleston (and SC) Most Reverend Robert Guglielmone celebrated Mass on the 17th and then jumped in a convertible to lead the parade.

Andy Cooney made an appearance and gave a concert near Greenville. The Harp and Shamrock served a corned beef and cabbage dinner prior to the concert. We’ve been advised that Andy plans to be back next year. It was impressive with the 32 flags of Ireland behind him as he performed.

Our State organizer (Jim Nettles V.P.) is working hard on our 10th Division which is expected to be in Sumter SC.

Arrangements have been finalized for our State Convention in Charleston, SC.


Date – October 21&22



4:00 – Midnight Hospitality Suite open


8:00 – Registration Opens

9:00 – General Meeting

1:00 – Shamrock Degree

1:30 – Major Degree

4:30 – Mass & Installation of New Officers.

7:00 – Midnight Banquet.

It’s a pleasure to welcome our National President Seamus Boyle, Our LAOH National President Margaret Hennessy and our Bishop Most Reverend Robert Guglielmone as speakers at the Convention.

Len Byrne Named National Director

Brothers I hope everyone had a good Easter season; let us all pray for our Brothers in Alabama as they recover from the devastating Tornado. We are in contact with some Brothers in the area and they will let us know what they will need to get back on their feet.  All we can do at this point is pray.

I had the opportunity to South Carolina with a group from the Joseph McGuire Division of Myrtle Beach traveled to Kingstree to the Shrine of Our Lady of South Carolina.  At the Shrine they met with the director Father Stanley Smolenski who provided a tour of the area and an overview of what was going on with the shrine.

According to past Director Bob Mott, “When the McGuire Division first came across the shrine, it was in very bad shape and needed a lot of work.  Under the leadership of Division President Mason Luther and Treasure Dave Carlson they have been able to bring the Shrine back to a good and respectable condition.”  Improvements include all new landscaping with a sprinkler system, new lighting, structural reconditioning and new Scripture stones. The visit to the Shrine concluded with a wonderful Mass said by Fr Stan.

The Shrine to Our Lady of South Carolina was started in 2003 under the Bishop of South Carolina, Bishop Robert Baker, S.T.D. For more information about the Shrine of Our Lady of South Carolina please go to the web site



South Carolina News

We held our first joint AOH/LAOH social in the State in January. Some good conflicts e.g., Right to Life March presented even a greater turn out. All being said it was a great evening with a special Mass from our Chaplain Father Gahan.

Brother Neil Diamond is directing our activities in forming a Major Degree Team. They have been practicing and due to geographical considerations major parts will be performed by our Charleston Brothers. This team will be a great addition to our State. Two divisions in the Charleston area are working on the Major Degree – Charleston and Brian Boru.  Also, Greenville has formed an Honor Guard and congratulations to both teams.

For more than 10 years a festival labeled “Return to the Green” has been held in Greenville with about 3000 in attendance annually. The AOH has always participated to some extent but this year we will be a co-sponsor.

Our State Convention will be held in North Charleston on October 21 and 22.  All are invited.

With the 175th anniversary of the AOH in America it brings to mind a little bit of history in South Carolina. Our Myrtle Beach Division celebrated their 15th Anniversary. They are the oldest existing division in South Carolina; the second oldest is our Charleston Division. However, Charleston had a division dating back into the 1800’s and had as many as 3 divisions in 1900 still active in the 1920’s until folding in 1930. Some 15 years ago the State began growing again.

Expansion continues as we hope to add a 10th division this year in Sumter followed up by the Seneca-Walhalla. Expansion is great but we must continue to support the new divisions and make sure they remain active.

Our Brothers in Myrtle Beach have taken on a project of building and maintaining a Shrine to our Lady of South Carolina located in Kingstree SC. A lot of money and sweat equity from the Myrtle Beach brothers has made this happen. We are now raising monies to form an endowment in order that the Shrine will be looked after on a permanent basis.

The First Annual Tartan Day South Celtic festival will be held in Columbia SC on April 1st and 2nd. Honored Societies for the event are the Scottish Society of Armigers and the State Board of the AOH.  In addition to myself and the State Officers and members from across the State of SC, we will have our National President Seamus Boyle and the Honorable Paul Gleeson the Irish Consulate from Atlanta in attendance – a tremendous honor for all members of the State of South Carolina Ancient Order of Hibernians. A large thank you to Jim Nettles for making it happen.