Organizer

Brothers, this is my final report for this term as your National Director/Organizer.  It has been my pleasure to serve you in this office.  I hope I have done my job to your satisfaction and have helped to grow our Order.  I will have my final report at the National Convention in Cincinnati.  There will be totals on the State boards, County Boards, Divisions along with membership totals in that report.  I hope to see you all there in July.

I would like to thank our National President, Seamus Boyle, for appointing me the post of Organizer.   My thanks also go out to the National Board, in general, for all their help, along with my Deputy National Organizers, State Presidents and State Organizers all deserve a hearty thanks for a job well done.   Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all members of the rank and file that have helped in the organizing of new divisions and bringing in new members.

At this convention, I will have a power point presentation on organizing.  At this program we will discuss ideas and ways of organizing new divisions in your state and/or area.  All State Presidents and State Organizers along with any interested members should plan on attending.

During these past two years, numerous e-mails and phone calls have poured into the Organizer’s office.  This was one of the busiest offices on the National Board.  All inquiries were answered in a timely fashion, usually within 2 to 3 days.  We had calls/e-mails from all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska, and other countries such as Ireland, Australia, Canada, Germany, England, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  As the calls and emails came in, I would either handle them myself or forward them to the appropriate State, County or Division Presidents for their direction to the new candidates.  I would also utilize National Directors and State Presidents in their jurisdictions, to install new Divisions.  Believe it or not, we also had an Episcopalian Priest in Cleveland call and ask if he could join.  Of course, he

could not, but it is nice to know that our name is out there and a lot of people have heard of us.

Over the past two years, my articles in this paper have been trying to give you effective ways of drawing more Irish-Americans into our fold.  The most important way is to show our good works in the communities that we live in.  Articles in your local newspaper are often good avenues to take.  Another way is to use your Church bulletins.  We are looking for good Catholic men of Irish descent and where better to find them than in the pews.  Our parades, parties and music fests can be attractive to future members.  Set up stands or work tables and provide information and applications, and always have it manned by 3 or 4 Hibernians so there is a no wait policy.  As always, for AOH materials contact me by email or phone.

At this National Convention in July, a lot of good men are running for offices.  Delegates, get there and have your vote heard.  This is a great opportunity to meet your brothers from around the country, your National Officers and men from your own state.  Get involved, ask questions, offer opinions, and most importantly be part of the projects, committees and delegations that will guide our great Order into the future.

Again, thank you for your confidence in me for the past two years.  I am running for re-election for this National Director post and I would appreciate your vote.  I am always available to you for any questions you have, or information that you need.  If you need organizational materials, email me at norrisaoh@aol.com or call me at 570-323-7789.

Have a happy and safe summer and Beannacht De an obair.

Vice President’s Report

The great news is that an effort is now being made to found a new Major Degree Team in South Carolina. Past State President Neil Diamond has already assembled a core group to explore all facets of this huge undertaking. On behalf of all the existing Major Degree Teams, I pledge our support and wish them success.

The following are some thoughts and considerations with reference to the conferral of the AOH Major Degree.

  1. For every Major Degree every effort should be made to maximize the number of candidates taking the degree. This only makes sense in terms of cost effectiveness, as well as the time required in planning and organizing for a Major Degree. In most cases a proactive and organized approach should be taken to contact those members who have not yet taken the Major Degree. This effort should start with the Financial Secretary whose records will indicate those who have already taken the degree. The next step is the crucial step. CONTACT. The painless approach is to simply place a notice in a newsletter. This normally does not result in a large number of candidates.  So what works? Individual letters, emails, phone calls (or any combination thereof!!) from a team of volunteers who begin this effort a month in advance of the scheduled degree.
  1. The Chairmen of our Major Degree Teams are agreed that we are also anxious to encourage as many observers as possible to attend the conferral of the Major Degree. This is desirable not only to show support for the candidates, but also as a means of reinforcing the valuable lessons of our Order, even among those who observe. Therefore, observers should only be charged a fee if they plan to partake of post-degree refreshments.
  1. So once someone has joined the AOH, what really is the purpose or value of the Major Degree? The Major Degree of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is an important component of who and what we are as an organization. The degree ceremony itself must be seen and experienced as a journey towards greater and deeper awareness. It is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on and absorb the very purpose of being a Hibernian.  As such, it is, indeed, a significant opportunity for all in attendance (candidates, Degreed observers, and even Major Degree Team members) to focus on why we call each other Brother. And it should directly challenge each of us to pause and re-commit ourselves to the AOH’s ideal that our Hibernian Brothers stand at our side and on our side, truly caring for and about us.
  1. With all of the above in mind, I am providing below the details for upcoming Major Degrees.
 DATE        DEGREE TEAM      DEGREE LOCATION    CONTACT          PHONE             EMAIL

03-28-10     Isle of Erin     Swedesburg, PA     Pete Hand        610-277-0676      hjerrylewis@comcast.net

04-10-10     CuCulainn        Forked River, NJ   Jack King        718-948-2555

04-11-10     Tara Court       Hicksville,  NY    Jack Ryan        516-795-3813       jmryan3058@aol.com

04-17-10     Sons of Milesius Ohio State Board   Bill Leddy       614-444-4459       wal6121@aol.com

04-24-10     Brian Boru       Richmond, VA       Dan Caffrey      804-741-6587       kkccaffrey@hotmail.com

05-15-10     Sons of Milesius Columbus Tara Hall John Coy         614-306-7944       usnosu46@hotmail.com 

07-09-10     Sons of Milesius Cincinnati Nat’l   John O'Connor    614-253-0470       ollamh1@hotmail.com