Our friends from Crossmaglen spoke about the tourism opportunities in South Armagh recently in front of a standing room only crowd in Pittsburgh, PA. Large portions of the group were Hibernians from both Pennsylvania and Ohio. Many in attendance stayed in the Cross Square Hotel during the recent FFAI Christmas Appeal tour. This is the third such trip for Project Crossmaglen, which has been largely ignored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. With the help of Sean Pender, FFAI Chairman and Dan Dennehy, Immigration Chairman, they were able to schedule a joint presentation for New York and New Jersey Hibernians as well. When planning your next trip please keep in mind Crossmaglen, which has its first new hotel in over 100 years.
Quartoseptcentennial is a mighty big word! Taken from the Latin, it literally means one-quarter (quarto-) times seven (sept-) times 100 years (centennial); it is also a mighty big accomplishment. A Quartoseptcentennial celebration is, in essence, a 175th anniversary and the Ancient Order of Hibernians will celebrate that in the year 2011. We will be celebrating 175 years of service to our heritage which includes our Catholic faith, our ancestral homeland and the United States of America.
Our National Board is considering a special 175th anniversary commemoration weekend in New York City, where it all started, so many years ago. The celebration may be combined with the National President’s Dinner, will take place October 7 – 9, 2011. Special events are being considered such as celebratory Mass at old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was key to early Hibernian activities and will, by that time, be designated a Basilica. A gala Banquet and Ball is also being investigated. Details of all the events will be revealed in subsequent issues of the Digest.
In conjunction with the celebration, a special commemorative souvenir publication is in preparation. It will be a colorfully illustrated keepsake that will contain the roots of the AOH and notable accomplishments in the 25 years since the last major anniversary. It is presently being prepared by the National Historian’s office with the assistance of other past AOH Historians. The history will be printed on the upper 80% of each page with the lower 20% of the page allocated to the sponsor of that page for future generations to note. A tag line across the bottom of the page will note: This page is sponsored by: and beneath that will be the name of the sponsoring individual, Division, County or State Board with officer’s names or any other message limited to four lines. Your sponsorship will allow future researchers into the history of the AOH to determine the names of your officers and their commitment to its history. Sponsoring a page of our history will only cost $100. However, if you or your organization would like to include a history of your Division or Board with such data as a list of past presidents and/or notable accomplishments for future researchers, you can do so on 25 lines for only $150. or 50 lines at $200. Copy for larger ads should be in digital form in WORD or WordPerfect and sent to AOHBard@Optonline.Net. Since the number of history page sponsorships at $100. is limited to the number of pages containing the history and those pages are still being created sponsorship will be honored on a first come, first served basis. Ads with checks made payable to AOH National Board (with journal on the memo line) must be submitted to Tom O’Donnell, 9512 Northeast Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115 before May 1, 2011. More details will be given in future editions of the Digest.
Also in honor of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, the National Board has authorized the minting of a limited edition of numbered commemorative medallions to be sold among the membership of the Order. The medallion was struck by the Highland Mint in 3D and is one and one-half inch, ten gauge, antiqued bronze and comes in a protective case with a certificate of authenticity describing the historic icons on the medallion.
Born in Liberty is the theme of the anniversary, and of the medallion, since the Order was born in the search for religious and cultural liberty in America as well as liberty for a united 32-county Ireland. Further, the Order was founded simultaneously in New York and Pennsylvania and the symbols associated with those two sites are the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell. These two icons are engraved on the face of the medallion while the theme, in both American and Irish, and the dates 1836 – 2011 encircle the images. Also engraved is the notation 175 YEARS and the legend HERITAGE AND HOMELAND – the two strongest motivations of the Irish people.
The reverse side of the medallion contains one of the earliest known representations of our organizational logo dating from before the turn of the 19th century. It was the design originally adopted by the Ohio State Board. In addition to the early logo, there is engraved a Celtic Cross, as was uppermost on the Sesquicentennial (150th) Commemorative Medallion, to illustrate the Order’s commitment to the faith of our fathers. The motto of the Order, Friendship, Unity and Christian charity, and the founding date of 4 May, 1836 complete the inscription. The medallion was proposed by Mike Byrne, designed by Mike McCormack and approved by National Chairman, PNP Ed Wallace, National President Seamus Boyle and New York State President Chip McLean. A pre-sale of the medallions has been authorized in order to make them available for Christmas giving. They are available for only $30 each (includes postage and handling) to members for gifts, as awards and as collectors items, only by using the order form in this Digest.