Director James Wahl

Dear Members:

Once again, I would like to welcome all Hibernian members to attend the 2014 AOH and LAOH National Convention in Saint Louis from July 30th through August 2nd. It happens to be the 250th anniversary of the founding of the City of Saint Louis (sester centennial).

 

I have a great team of volunteers to accompany me to the Milwaukee Irish Festival—August 16th through 18th. We will invite Hibernians to attend our 2014 National Convention. Where else can we contact hundreds of potential Hibernians around the Midwest. My wife Kathy, my daughter Kelly, Zach Chew, Zach Lange, and John Kilker—all Hibernians from Saint Louis.—will be accompanying me. Four of our volunteers are in their early twenties. It’s so nice to see young Hibernians getting involved. The Milwaukee Irish Festival is a very special event with a Hibernian entertainment area.

 

Kansas City, Missouri will have their Irish Festival over Labor Day weekend—August 30th through September 1st. It’s a great place to hear the finest Irish music in the Midwest.

 

The Illinois State Convention will be held September 20th and 21st. A fabulous dinner and installation of officers will be held at The Lady of Snow Shrine in Belleville, Illinois on September 21st.

 

In Saint Louis there is a special one-day event—an Irish County Fair—which will be held on September 6th at The Saint James the Greater Church on Tamm Avenue in Dogtown. You can count on fine Irish music and dancing.

 

Finally, the Hibernian President’s Dinner will be in New York City on October 4th and 5th.

 

Please plan to attend the 2014 AOH and LAOH National Convention in Saint Louis from July 30th through August 2nd.

 

Very truly,

 

James Dailey Wahl

 

Kansas News

The Fr. Bernard Donnelly Division, Johnson County No. 1, again manned the gates for Kansas City’s ninth annual Irish Festival. The Fest is always held on Labor Day weekend and, again this year, was located in the area of Kansas City’s Crown Center, just south of downtown.

Kansas City’s Irish Festival claims to be the third largest Irish festival in the U.S., and includes many of the best Celtic and folk bands available in the U.S. or Europe. Combined with great food and Boulevard Beer, a KC home brewery, the music makes for the best festival in the city every year.

After a great Friday night session with record attendance, the skies opened up on Saturday and repeatedly drenched the KC Irish. Sunday proved to be beautiful, and attendance records were smashed as Kansas City’s very own “The Elders” closed out the festival that evening.

The Donnelly Division provided member manpower for the KC Irish Fest’s only “Hibernian Gate.” Our Brothers from the Patrick Pearse Division in Kansas City, Missouri, and the AOH Division in St. Joseph, Missouri, also assisted at the Fest gates. While manning the “Hibernian Gate,” the Donnelly Division enjoyed many encounters with Brothers from several other AOH Divisions in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois and Wisconsin, including Joe Casey, State Board President for Ohio. This was a real treat for members of the only active Division in Kansas as we rarely have the opportunity to interact with other Hibernians from outside the KC metropolitan area.

We found our Brothers to be a great reflection of the motto and hope to see them every year on the frontier in KC. The Donnelly and Pearse Divisions participated in the Fest’s Irish Mass on Sunday morning with the Donnelly men bringing in the U.S., Irish and Vatican flags while the Pearse men brought in banners for the four provinces. The AOH was well represented and many Mass attendees remarked, as with every year, that the AOH’s mix of kilts, flags and banners make for a very special and uniquely Irish celebration of the Mass.

Half Way to St Patrick’s Day in Western Missouri

The ninth annual Kansas City Irish Fest took place over Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, at the Crown Center Square in Downtown Kansas City. The Kansas City Irish Fest celebrates the city’s deep Irish roots with seven music stages featuring traditional music and Celtic rock from international, national and locally-known bands such as Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Kila, The Killdares and hometown Celtic rockers and the city’s favorite band, The Elders. The Irish Fest also features a comedy stage, heritage displays and workshops, shopping, ethnic food, a massive area just for kids and the city’s largest outdoor Catholic Mass on Sunday morning.

Kansas City Irish Fest has been named the “Best Festival” in Kansas City and the “Best Ethnic Festival” many times over in the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association’s Visitor’s Choice Awards. The Kansas City Irish Fest is also the third-largest Irish festival in the nation, with more than 100,000 people attending in 2010 and with reports that 2011 surpasses all previous attendance records. This is a great place to meet Hibernian brothers from throughout the Mid-West who were working the festival and enjoying all the great entertainment.

Weston, Missouri, founded in 1837, is just 30 minutes north of Kansas City, and 30 minutes south of St. Joseph. The town of Weston was the boyhood home of Buffalo Bill Cody and is the home to the Weston Irish Festival at O’Malley’s Pub, founded in 1842, where the Festival was celebrated October 14th through the 16th in 2011.

The Weston Irish Festival began in 2000 and has grown to a three-day event of all things Irish. The Irish Fest brings over 10,000 festival goers to this town of a little over 1,000 on the three-acre property that encompasses O’Malley’s Irish Pub, American Boman Restaurant and the Weston Brewing Company.

The fest served delicious Irish fare, had 15 acts on four stages, including many of the premiere acts in Irish music. Headlining this year’s event were the Screaming Orphans, The Elders, Enter the Haggis, Barleyjuice and The Mickey Finns. In addition, many local Irish entertainers, Irish dancers, and marching bands, the St Joseph, Missouri, Hibernians have been helping work the festival since its inception in 2000.

No trip to Kansas City, Mo., would be complete without stopping at Browne’s Irish Market established in 1887 noted as North America’s oldest Irish business and proclaimed this by the Irish Trade Board. It is considered to be Kansas City’s oldest retail business. When they first opened, proprietors Ed and Mary Flavin, both immigrants from County Kerry, conversed with locals and traded pennies for cured hams and embroidered pieces of lace. Flavins Market, at 27th and Jefferson in the front of the family home, was a place for neighbors to meet. It was Ed and Mary’s aim to provide quality food, wares and Irish hospitality to their many customers and friends. Accommodating their growing needs, in 1901 the Flavins built a new store on the outskirts of town — at the corner of 33rd and Pennsylvania. Their daughter, Margaret, and her husband, James R. (Jim) Browne, also from Kerry, continued the family business after their marriage in 1915, keeping the same friendly atmosphere. Now, the fifth generation can be seen bringing Irish smiles to customers and carrying on the tradition at the store. Kerry Browne and her husband, John McClain, have owned Browne’s Irish Market & Deli since July 1, 1981, when they bought it from her mother, Margie Blake Browne. The store is split between the deli and a section in the building that sells Irish imports, Irish foods, clothing and house wares. St Patrick’s Day brings long lines of customers and also to their street festival held every June.

Browne’s Market is located at 3300 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO. 64111     phone. 816.561.0030.

Kansas News

The Father Bernard Donnelly Division of Kansas, located in the greater Kansas City Metro area and the only formal Hibernian group in the state, recently held a special meeting to induct three new members into our group. We want to welcome David West, Matt Fitzmorris, and Rusty Murray into our group. We know that they will be great additions for us. This brings our membership to over 70 now.

We also recently completed our second annual AOH Garage Sale. We did this in cooperation with and on the grounds of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. Our members cleaned out their basements, garages, and closets. We split the proceeds with Catholic Charities and what we didn’t sell we donated to them. It was a win-win for both organizations.

Like many parts of the country, we have endured some brutally hot days this summer. One of our longtime members, Charlie Lamonte, came up with the wonderful idea to take up a collection and donate money to the Bishop Sullivan Elder Cool program. Through this program they donate air conditioners and fans for the poor and elderly. Thanks to Charlie’s efforts we raised $325. The people at The Bishop Sullivan Center were extremely grateful and touched.

 

We have two important events in September for which we are preparing. The first is our second annual Irish Classic Golf Tournament. We do this in conjunction with our brothers on the Missouri side, The Padraig Pearse Division, and the Kansas City Irish Center. Proceeds from the tournament benefit all parties.

The second event is our participation in the annual Kansas City Irish Fest. This festival of Irish song, dance, and culture has grown to be a major attraction in the Kansas City area. It is held on the grounds of the beautiful Crown Center Pavilion. It attracts crowds estimated at 50,000 people over the Labor Day weekend. The festival has counted on us to man one of the gates and beverage token booths for so long now that last year they designated our gate “The Hibernian Gate”. We have also humbly accepted the honor over the last several years to be both the ushers and the honor guard for the Mass that is held on Sunday on the grounds of the festival. We look forward to another wonderful KC Irish Fest.