Colby Division on parade1

(Photo by Jeff Malet)

(Photo by Jeff Malet)

Kevin Murray, 6, leads the Father William Corby Division Color Guard AOH during the Alexandria, VA, St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

(Photo by Jeff Malet)

(Photo by Jeff Malet)

The Color Guard members, from left, are: Pat McGinty, Pat Murray, Robert Hickey, and Mike Torrey. The division was founded by Jack Devaney in 1990.

Working hard for Hibernian Hunger Project

 

On Saturday, March 28, AOH Father Kelley Division of Manassas, Virginia, conducted a Food Drive for the Hibernian Hunger Project to assist the local food banks in the Manassas area. The Division collected an equivalent of $2,000 worth of non-perishable food items to benefit those in need. This was a huge success due to the hard work of the Division Brothers along with the generosity and support of the community.

 

Working in our motto were, from left, Marshal and Hibernian Hunger Project Chairman Paul Huber and his daughter, Madison, Division President Steve Stasiuk and Past President Jack Southard.

Working in our motto were, from left, Marshal and Hibernian Hunger Project Chairman Paul Huber and his daughter, Madison, Division President Steve Stasiuk and Past President Jack Southard.

Williamsburg AOH supports Ft. Eustis Wounded Warriors

 

Virginia 3

The John Cardinal O’Connor Division recently made a donation to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Eustis. From left, presenting the check are Patrick Golden, AOH division president; Army Captain Catherine T. Pearson, Warrior Transition Unit company commander; and Past Division Presidents Dr. Bill Krantz and Art Conroy. The Warrior Transition Unit treats wounded, injured and ill soldiers with the goal of returning them to duty or easing their return to civilian life.

Second Annual Shamrock Charity Golf Classic

General Thomas F. Meagher Division (44SP01)

Played at Meadows Golf Courses in Orange County, Virginia, the Scond Annual Shamrock Charity Golf Classic was a tremendous success in spite of dire weather forecasts.  Local weather forecasts predicted heavy rain all day and it rained cats and dogs into the wee hours on the morning.  However, St Patrick heard us and at 7:30 the clouds parted, the sun appeared and golfers began arriving to sign-in and purchase raffle tickets, Mulligans and red tees.

Meadows Farms Golf Course management worked magic of their own arranging the best possible 18 holes on the severely water logged 27 hole course.  The result was 20 foursomes played a fun-filled captains’choice tournament.  The winning foursome (photo) carded an amazing 22 under par, a 50! They were presented with beautiful Waterford Crystal Golf Club Heads.

Donated raffle prizes and lunch provided by Outback Steakhouse added to the festivities.  We sincerely thank our numerous hole sponsors, the dedicated golfers, Course Manager Josh Dobson, and the division Golf Commmittee, chaired by Gene McKenna for the outstanding work who that made this a success.  Proceeds from the 50/50,  hole sponsorships and entry fees support Gen.Meagher Division’s multiple charities and scholastic grants.

The tournament is one of the Division’s fund raisers, the other being the annual Trip for Two to Ireland raffle.  Together,  these ventures enable the Division to donate about $10,000 annually to area pro-life organizations, to support Catholic education, and multiple diocesan and parish projects.

 

The winners, from left, Brothers Pete Needham, Donnie Tilch, Charlie Pitts and Dick Hagaman.

The winners, from left, Brothers Pete Needham, Donnie Tilch, Charlie Pitts and Dick Hagaman.

Vitginia News

By Chuck Curran
Virginia State President

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is alive and well in Virginia. In Triangle, a mere stone’s throw from the main gate of the Quantico home of the U.S. Marine Corps, the formation of the newly-chartered Fr. Mychal Judge Division brought in more than 30 new Hibernians to the AOH. In addition to the recent addition of the Frank Herbert/Pat Cady Division in Alexandria, and the very successful Fall membership campaigns held by the Major James Dooley Division of Richmond and the General Francis Meagher Division of Fredericksburg, the number of Hibernians south of the Potomac continues to grow.

On December 8, the General Meagher Division participated in the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg when the monument to the Irish Brigade was rededicated. The Division joined with a color guard from the Irish Defense Force and dignitaries from County Kerry, the Embassy of Ireland and the City of Fredericksburg and laid wreaths at the Irish Brigade monument and the Sunken Road Wall at Marye’s Heights.

As the Order’s membership grows in Virginia, Hibernians have also mourned the loss of well-respected longtime members such as Edwin L. “Ned” Woisard, the founder and inspirational leader of the Colonel Thomas Cunningham Jr Division of Ashburn, Virginia. Ned was truly a proud Catholic and Hibernian who also served as President of the former Cardinal Cushing (now Msgr Bradican) Division. Ned took it upon himself to single handily recruit potential members everywhere he went, led the Division in marches, Irish Heritage events, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and Christian Service Activities, and, In 2010 the Virginia State Board honored Ned for all of his service and dedication with the “Virginia Hibernian of the Year Award.” Men such as Ned have laid a foundation for current members to work for future Hibernian success.

Virginia News

In Fredericksburg , the General Meagher Division marched with the Irish Colors in the City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Virginia Divisions have been extremely active in the last months spreading the message of Hibernianism and celebrating their Irish heritage.

Divisions from Northern Virginia, including Col. Fitzgerald Division ( Arlington ), Fr. Corby Division (Fairfax Station), Msgr. Bradican ( Annandale ), Col. Cunningham (Ashburn), Lt. Col. Dowd ( Woodbridge ), and the newly-formed Pat Cady/Frank Herbert Division ( Alexandria ) proudly participated in Irish festivals and St. Patrick’s Day parades in Alexandria (hosted by Former National Director Pat Troy).  Members of these Divisions also took part in the Washington , D.C. parade with units from Maryland and the District of Columbia .  President Jim McLaughlin and Vice President Bill McCabe of the Msgr. Bradican Division constructed an impressive 15 ft. high Celtic Cross that they placed on the back of a well-decorated truck in both the Alexandria and Manassas parades, barely clearly the overhead wires and tree branches.  The Cross reminded onlookers of the Christian heritage of Ireland .

Virginia News

The Virginia State Boards of the AOH and LAOH held its 2011 Biennial Convention July 22-24, 2011 at the Richmond Holiday Inn, Koger Convention Center.  In the Celtic tradition, all AOH and LAOH Divisions were invited to present performances that described their Divisions in order to win the first place in line for dinner. National Vice President Brendan Moore was the guest of honor and Keynote Speaker at the Convention Banquet. The following State Officers were elected for the 2011- 2013 term: J. Charles “Chuck” Curran of Burke, President; Bruce A. Denault of Stafford, Vice President; Eugene J. “Gene” Bransfield, Sr, of Alexandria, Secretary; and, William R. “Bill” Halpin of Locust Grove, Treasurer.  The State Board congratulates outgoing President Rich Aleksy and looks forward to the chartering of a new AOH Division in Alexandria by former National Director and native of County Offaly, Ireland, Pat Troy.

Virginia News

The AOH/LAOH Virginia State Board State Convention was held on July 22-24, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Select – Koger Convention Center, Richmond, Virginia. Congratulations to Our newly elected State Officers and we look forward to continuing Leadership of our Order.  We thank our National Vice President Brendan and Eileen Moore for joining us and for his inspiring remarks at our Convention Banquet.

As I complete my term as State President of the AOH Virginia State Board I thank everyone for their support and we will continue to assist our new State Officers and Chairman.

 

 

Dooley Division Donates $4,000 to Catholic Schools

 

The Major James H. Dooley Division of the Richmond recently donated $4,000 to Catholic Schools, Parish Christian Formation Programs and Parish Needs for various Parishes in the Richmond, VA area.  Donations were made from the proceeds of their 9th Annual “Trip for Two to Ireland” 2011 Raffle.  The winner of the raffle was Betty Cipoletti.  Betty bought her ticket after a Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and is planning on donating part of the proceeds to St. Mary’s Building Fund.  Betty and her husband had a trip to Ireland already planned, so they’ll use her winnings to fund the trip.  Since 2007, the AOH Dooley Division has donated $15,450 in total to Catholic Schools and Education.  Over the past 9 years of the raffle, the AOH Dooley Division has donated over $30,000 in total to local Charities. For more information, please visit their website at www.aohrichmond.org

Pictured (L - R) Chad Costello (Dooley Raffle Co-Chairman); Sean Cruess (Principal at St. Benedict School, Richmond, VA); Tim McDonnell (Dooley Raffle Co-Chairman); Francine Conway (Superintendent of Catholic Diocese of Richmond Schools); Miram Cotton (Asst. Superintendent of Catholic Diocese of Richmond Schools); William Burris and Robert Burris (Students at St. Benedict School); Daniel Caffrey (President of AOH Dooley Division); Jennifer Taylor (Student at St. Benedict School).

Virginia News

It was an honor to be a part of creating a display in the shape of an Irish flag at St. Michael’s School in Annandale on St. Patrick’s Day. (read more in the Flags article). Working to put these flags out, one for every life that we lose, dramatically illustrates that fact.

On March 17, 2011, members of the AOH Major James H. Dooley, Richmond, VA, visited with the First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell at the Governor’s Mansion. Brother Vince Eikmeier serenaded the First Lady with “Home Again” as she came down the steps. Vince also sang “Danny Boy” to her. As a Group they sang “The Soldier’s Song” (Ireland’s National Anthem), the United States National Anthem and “A Little Bit of Heaven”. They enjoyed Great hospitality with Irish drink and food. Included in the group was Rev. Wayne Ball, AOH Dooley member and Pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Richmond, VA.

On Saturday, March 26, 2011, the Ballyshaners, the Irish Heritage organization in Alexandria, VA, were given a rare honor of being allowed to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. A Shamrock shaped wreath in the three colors of the Irish flag was laid at the Tomb by Ballyshaners President Chris Berry and Chairman Brother Pat Troy, accompanied by the 2011 Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshals, Tom and Nancy VanCoverden. Approximately forty Ballyshaners were in attendance proudly wearing their AOH Irish sashes.

On Sunday, May 1st Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, and many gather together to pray a Global Living Rosary and to adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in honor of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. This Rosary was in preparation for our Diocesian Pilgrimage, which will take place on October 8th. The event was held at the Pope John Paul the Great High School in Dumfries, VA and consisted of an evening of music, prayer and fellowship. Those who attended received many abundant blessings.

Virginia News

William Halpin - St. Columcille Lifetime Achievement Award

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Greetings to everyone from the Commonwealth of Virginia on this St. Patrick’s Day. On this day we set aside our problems and remember the joy in Life that comes from good company and the celebration of a great culture. St. Patrick’s Day is a time for fun and laughter, for showcasing the Best of the Irish and for demonstrating our pride in homeland and heritage. St. Patrick’s our life story is worth remembering during tough times for he himself faced and overcame great personal hardship that tested him to the limits. The family of the Gael gathers in his name all over the world, especially Ireland. We are a very lucky to have a large global Family.

Our Divisions are very busy with all their activities. We have one more New Division ready to be chartered in Alexandria by Past National Director Pat Troy (The Living Legend). We continue to have more and more St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Alexandria, Manassas, Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Sperryville and Fredericksburg. After having a few Parades we have grown and continue to add more Parades in our Communities promoting our Irish Heritage and Culture. On March 14th we had our 32nd Annual Gaelic Mass in Honor of St. Patrick sponsored by Col. John Fitzgerald Division #1 Arlington at St. Charles Catholic Church. The Gaelic Mass Chairman was Past State President Jim Carmody. The Celebrant for the Mass was Reverend Gerald Creedon from County Cork, Ireland.

Pictured (L – R) State President Rich Aleksy, Terry Riley - 2010 Hibernian of the Year, State VP Chuck Curran

On December 12, 2010, a cold, rainy day not unlike December 12, 1862, the Thomas F. Meagher Division participated in the Annual wreath laying ceremony at the Kirkland Memorial on the Sunken Road in Frericksburg, VA. It was here that General Thomas Meagher’s Irish Brigade repeatedly assaulted across the plain below Marye Heights, losing approximately 550 Officers and Men. Ironically, Confederate defenders included Cobb’s Brigade commanded by Antrim-born Colonel Robert McMillan and the Lochrane Guards, an Irish infantry company from Macon, Georgia. As McMillan and his men viewed the 28th Massachusetts’ green flag advancing “Oh, God…here comes Meagher’s fellows” was heard along the confederate line. It was at Fredericksburg that General Robert E. Lee allegedly referred to the “Fighting 69th”, a moniker that has endured into that New York National Guard unit’s deployments to Iraq. Through that cold December night in 1862, Confederate Sgt. Richard Kirkland heard the moans and cries of the Union wounded. This American soldier of sublime compassion climbed over the stone wall and brought water to his wounded foes. Fighting men on both sides of the line called him “The Angel of Marye Heights”. The memorial commemorates this act of compassion during the heat of the Battle. The ceremony was highlighted by an informative talk by keynote speaker Frank O’Reilly the National Park Service Ranger/Historian and author of The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on the Rappahannock. The ceremony concluded with laying wreaths and the playing of Taps.

On February 12th during our Quarterly State Meeting hosted by Father Edwin Kelley Division we honored two of our Outstanding Brother Hibernians. Virginia State Board honored Brother Terry Riley, recipient of the 2010 Hibernian of the Year, from Lt Col. Dowd Division and Brother William Halpin, recipient of the St. Columcille Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations to both. Attached are the pictures of the presentations by our State VP Chuck Curran and myself.

On January 22nd the Major Dooley Division held their Annual wreath laying ceremony of their namesake Major Dooley. Major James Henry Dooley was the son of Irish immigrants John and Sarah Dooley. He was born in Richmond, VA, one of nine children. His Father, John Dooley, Sr. was a successful hat manufacturer. The Dooley Family was prominent in the community and the Parish of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. After the wreath laying ceremony Dr. Lynn Baylis took the group on a walking tour of the Italian Garden. The Dooley’s brought back a Gazebo on a ship from a vacation in Italy.