In Memoriam: Michael McHugh of Division #1 in Yonkers

 

 

Mike McHugh, 59, “Big Mike” to all who knew him, passed away suddenly, at home. He went out laughing with his wife, Valerie, in his final moment.

Mike is survived by his wife, Valerie Lacey, with whom he joyfully shared the last eight years in Warwick, New York. He was beloved by his children, Michael Joseph McHugh and Caitlin McHugh, and stepsons, Paul Jannicelli, Andrew Jannicelli and Adam Jannicelli. He is survived by seven siblings, as well as his adoring nieces and nephews. Also surviving is Michael and Caitlin’s mother, Lisa McHugh.

Born and raised in Yonkers, New York, the son of Frank McHugh and Ann Morrison McHugh, Mike attended Iona Prep High School, going on to graduate from Manhattan College in 1980, with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He immediately began his 38-year career with Moretrench American Corp., culminating with him in the role of Executive Vice President. Mike built a very successful career in which he forged countless friendships and associations, his expertise and work ethic earning him the respect of all those in the construction industry.

Recently retired, he began to strike off items from his bucket list with the gusto he was known for, including a three-week trip with Valerie to Ireland to visit the land of their ancestors. Renting a car and covering nearly that entire country, Mike dubbed the trip, “Driving Ms. Lacey.” He enjoyed fishing and golf; Pink Floyd; and Jack with a cigar. Humor and teasing were his expression of love. The more he loved, the more he busted chops.

There are no memories of Mike that don’t bring a smile to the faces of all who knew him. With a heart bigger than he was, and a spirit of generosity that knew no bounds, he left an imprint in this world and on everyone he touched, including the children he coached in Ardsley Little League, for which he was so very proud to be President, as well as the engineering students he never stopped mentoring. Mike steered more people into their careers than anyone will ever know, some of whom will never know themselves.

His legacy of dedication continued through the years in the many associations he served, including The Moles, where he first met Valerie, and where he never stopped giving of his time to the Education Committee; the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he was Past President and Director of the Lower Hudson Valley Branch; the General Contractors Association, where he served on the Labor Committee; the Civil Engineering Department of Manhattan College, where he served on the Advisory Boards for the Engineering Department and the Mentoring Program; St. Joseph’s Hospital, Yonkers, NY, where he served as a Board Member; the George Fox Conference, where he was a UC of SME member and lecturer; the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, where he was Past President; and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division #1 of Yonkers.

Big Mike will be sorely missed, but he will live on in the treasured memories of those who were fortunate enough to know him. Let his tremendous generosity inspire your own life. That is his legacy.

Visiting hours will be held at the Flynn Memorial Home, Yonkers, on Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm on both days.

A Memorial service will be held at the The Fairways at Dunwoodie Golf Course, 1 Wasylenko Lane,
Yonkers, NY 10701 on Wednesday starting at 10:30 AM.

A Luncheon will immediately follow the Memorial Service at The Fairways at Dunwoodie Golf Course. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made to a scholarship presently being established in Mike’s honor. Checks should be made out to: “The Moles” They can be mailed to The Moles, 50 Chestnut Ridge Road, Suite 102, Montvale, NJ 07645.

Flynn Memorial Home, Inc.
1652 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10710
914-963-5178
www.flynnmemorialhome.com

Historical Happenings for July 2018 – “America’s Irish”

AMERICA’S IRISH

by Mike McCormack, NY State Historian

Signing of the Declaration of Independence – 1776

Independence Day, July 4, is America’s biggest holiday. It’s her birthday; but it doesn’t mark the day she won her independence, it marks the day when it was declared. And the Irish were there! We’ve often heard of the Irish in America’s Patriot Army, but there were also those who were unable to suffer the hardship of a colonial soldier yet contributed in other ways. The military won the war, but who supported the march to the battlefield? It was the settlers, merchants and community leaders who were the real shapers of our destiny, for they dreamed the dream, organized its creation, and financed its success.

In the late 1700s, England’s American colonies suffered increased Crown exploitation driving them to protest; among the loudest were the Irish who had no great love for the Crown to begin with. And there were many Irish in the American colonies; they had been coming since the 1650s. The first major influx came to New England in 1652 with the arrival of 400 Irish children sent by Cromwell to be sold as servants. From then on, the shipment of men, women and children as indentured servants was common practice. Among the first to come of their own volition were those who fought the English theft of their lands and ended up hunted men. They were followed by Catholics and Presbyterians who fled discrimination by the Church of England and lastly, by businessmen escaping the economic oppression fostered on them by the Crown to benefit their British competitors. The destruction of the Irish wool trade ruined countless families all over Ireland, while destruction of the Irish linen trade reduced the population of Ulster by tens of thousands. They came to America with their looms and spinning wheels, before the start of the American Revolution, bringing an industry that would be important to the nation awaiting birth.

In the beginning, they came in such large numbers that one Massachusetts Court, fearing the “malignant spirit that has from time to time been manifest by the Irish against the English,” prohibited the Irish from its jurisdiction and fined anyone who should buy an Irishman and bring him in. But they came anyway. Some altered their names and settled in outlying areas like the ancestor of John Hancock who came from Co Down. They also settled in New Hampshire, where they founded the town of Concord and where Capt. Maginnis commanded the militia; in Vermont, where their sons would lend strength to the Green Mountain Boys led by Irish-American John Stark and Wicklow-born Matthew Lyon; in Maine, home of the O’Briens, who would capture the first British ship in the war that was yet to come; and in Pennsylvania, founded by Wm Penn who grew up in Co. Cork and where Thompson’s Rifle Battalion became the First Regiment of the new Continental Army as Wexford-born William Thompson was appointed its first Brigadier-General on 1 March 1776.

They became the majority in many communities in Pennsylvania where a 1729 table of immigrants shows: 267 English, 43 Scots, 243 Germans, and 5,655 Irish. In 1728, it was reported that most of the 4,500 who landed at New Castle, Delaware were Irish. Philadelphia likewise reported that 3,500 people from Ireland had arrived in the first two weeks of August, 1772. The city had a Hibernian Club as early as 1729; it later became the Friendly Sons of St Patrick, whose first President was Stephen Moylan of Co Cork ─ soon to be one of Washington’s top Generals. In 1772 and 1773, Irish immigration to the American colonies was more than 18,500 and most were anxious to be rid of British colonialism.

There was no shortage of leaders either and men like Patrick Henry, Thomas McKean and other Irish-American orators used their eloquence to urge separation from England. When confrontations became frequent, it seemed that the Irish were always in the middle of it. Among those killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770 was Irish-born Patrick Carr; Boston Tea Party participants met at an inn owned by man named Duggan; and the tea was dumped at Griffin’s Wharf by a group dressed as Indians, some of whom had a notably Irish accents. While young Irishmen rushed to arms in support of Washington, Irish civilians, businessmen, and merchants participated in the deliberations of Councils and in Congress, raised money to feed and clothe the army and advance the credit of the new government. Tyrone-born Oliver Pollack personally donated more than $300,000. (close to 4.5 million today), only France and Holland gave more.

On July 1, 1776 after a year of hostilities, the leaders met to discuss their options. Some wanted to settle grievances and resume amicable relations with the Crown; others opposed them, including four Irish-born members of the Constitutional Convention and six members of Irish descent. A resolution was presented which read, “Be it resolved, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.” After much heated debate, the vote was indecisive. They met again on July 2 to continue the debate and finally the ayes carried the question. On July 3, John Adams wrote to his wife that: July second was the most memorable day in the history of America and would be celebrated forever. However, approval of the final draft of the document did not occur until two days later. On 4 July, the Philadelphia State House was packed, despite a sweltering heat, as Secretary Charles Thomson of Co, Derry read the formal document that Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Livingston had composed, and that he (Thomson) had drafted. It was a declaration explaining why their action was justified. After a full day of debate, modifying copy and amendments, Secretary Thomson recorded the changes, and America’s Declaration of Independence was complete.

The formal copy would not be ready for signature until August, but the public first heard that document read on 8 July 1776 by Col. John Nixon, son of a Co. Wexford immigrant. Philadelphia printer Charles Dunlap of Co. Tyrone rolled out copies that were snatched up before the ink was dry. And that is the event marked by the 4th of July ─ not the winning, but the declaring of our independence on a document. There would be many more years of struggle and sacrifice before the last battle was fought on 10 March 1783, but America had made her stand. That last battle, by the way, saw Wexford-born Commodore John Barry defeat the British ship Sybil. He had been carrying a cargo of gold with which Congress would establish the new Bank of North America with the help of Wicklow-born Thomas Fitzsimmons.

Yes the Irish were there, and the fact that that they made loyal Americans was evidenced by François Jean de Beauvoir, Marquis de Chastellux, a Major General in the French expeditionary force led by general Comte de Rochambeau. After the Revolution, Marquis de Chastellux wrote: An Irishman, the instant he sets foot on American soil, becomes an American. During the whole of the war, English and Scots were treated with distrust even with the best of attachment for the cause, but the native of Ireland stood in need of no other certificate than his accent. While the Irish emigrant was fighting for America on land and sea, Irish merchant’s purses were always open and their persons devoted to the country’s cause, and on more than one imminent occasion Congress itself, and the very existence of America, owed its preservation to the fidelity and firmness of the Irish.

It was perhaps best said by George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of the beloved first President and Martha Washington at a St Patrick’s Day dinner in 1828. He said: Ireland’s generous sons, alike in the day of our gloom, and of our glory, shared in our misfortunes and joined in our successes; With undaunted courage (they) breasted the storm which once threatened to overwhelm us; and with aspirations deep and fervent for our cause, whether in the shock of liberty’s battles, or in the feeble expiring accents of famine and misery, cried from their hearts ‘God Save America’. Then honored be the good old service of the sons of Erin in the war of Independence. Let the shamrock be entwined with the laurels of the Revolution, and truth and justice, guiding the pen of history, inscribe on the tablets of American remembrance ‘Eternal Gratitude to Irishmen.’ GWP Custis also asked the favor that when St Patrick’s Day is annually celebrated, that some generous Irishman would place a shamrock on his grave and say, God Bless Him. Up to a few years ago, a sprig of shamrock was planted on his grave by the Washington DC AOH as they said in chorus, God Bless Him!

In Memoriam: Jerry Collins of Division #5 Bronx County

 

 

 

Gerald J. “Jerry” Collins passed away on June 14, 2018. Proud Veteran of the US Navy, he served as Chaplain of the American Legion, Charles N. Bajart, Jr. Post 1122. Jerry worked as a Verizon employee for 50 years and he was very dedicated to his neighborhood of McLean Heights. He was a proud member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Division #5 of The Bronx and also served on the Executive Board of the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

The beloved husband of Barbara and father of Keith (Jamie). Cherished Pa Booey of Dominic, Christopher and Juliana. He is also survived by his brother Kevin, his many friends, co-workers and a grateful neighborhood.

Visiting hours will be held Monday, June 18th from 2:00 – 9:00 PM at Hodder Farenga Funeral Home 899 McLean Ave., Yonkers. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, June 19th at 12:00 PM at St. Barnabas Church, Bronx. Interment to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations in Gerry’s name to StJude.org.

Obituary Link

Division #3 Bronx County Supports Local Parish Food Pantry

Bronx County Hibernian President Bob Nolan, (r) and Bronx Division #3 President Joseph McManus (l) present Deacon Tom Tortorella a check for $250 in support of the food pantry at St. Lucy’s Parish in The Bronx.

 

In the past 3 years, the Bronx County Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the largest Irish-Catholic fraternal organization in the United States, has presented the St. Lucy’s Food Pantry with $1,000 in support of the needy residents of the parish. Nolan said, “As Hibernians we have a moral responsibility to support he Roman Catholic Church and the many outreach programs in the community.” Division #3 President Joseph McManus, a member of St. Lucy’s Parish, added, “There is no higher priority than feeding the needy.” The presentation was made in front of the Grotto at St. Lucy’s Parish.

 

 

 

Albany Division Participates in St. Pius X Annual Day of Service

Division 5 Financial Secretary Dan Berry and his wife Lori, Mark Kleege, PJ Blanchfield, Brian Early, John McCarthy, Albany County President Tim Weklar, Jim Lawlor and Jeremy Hughes

Members of Albany Division 5 participated in Saint Pius X’s annual Day of Service (4/21) cleaning and repairing furniture at the Capital Region Furniture Bank that provides furniture to needy and formally homeless families in the city of Albany.

Staten Island Hibernians Mass for Deceased Members

Members of the AOH and LAOH of Staten Island attend a Memorial Mass at the Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne

On Sunday, April 8, 2018, Staten Island’s AOH St. Columcille Division 4 and LAOH St. Brigid Division 4, joined by their family and friends, held their annual memorial Mass for deceased Brother and Sister Hibernians at the Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne on the grounds of the historic Mount Loretto. About 70 Brother and Sister Hibernians attended the Mass, celebrated by Rev. Jeffrey Mickler, SSP, assisted by Pauline Bro. Peter F. Lyne, SSP. The Mass was organized the past two years thanks to the dedicated efforts of Brother Thomas Gray, Sr., St. Columcille Division 4’s President.

Mount Loretto was the site of the orphanage established by Rev. Father John Christopher Drumgoole. Father Drumgoole, born in Granard, County Longford on August 15, 1816, was ordained a priest in 1869, and established the orphanage Mission of the Immaculate Conception at Mount Loretto by purchasing three farms on Staten Island in 1882. The orphanage was a model institution and ensured that its children received both an education and safe and sanitary housing for its thousands of orphaned children. As well as providing for their spiritual guidance and teaching them a trade, the orphanage had the largest dairy farm in lower New York State, producing thousands of gallons of fresh milk daily for their children, as well as making their own butter and cream.

The AOH and LAOH think it fitting that we have our annual memorial Mass on this sacred ground established by a loyal son of Ireland who served his Church and his community with great devotion, until his death on March 28, 1888 from contracting pneumonia from the Blizzard of 1888 while out ministering to the faithful.

AOH New York State Distric 5 Director Marty Crimmins reading scripture at the Memorial Mass in Staten Island

Brother Martin Crimmins, AOH District 5 Director and Past President of St. Columcille Division 4, served as the first reader of the Scriptures during the Mass, Pauline Bro. Augustine Condon, SSP, read the responsorial, psalm, and Sister Margaret F. Walsh-Delbagno, LAOH Richmond County Board President and President of St. Brigid Division 4, read the second reading of the Scriptures.

Sister Walsh-Del Bagno, and Brother Denis P. McGowan, Richmond County Board Recording Secretary, read the names of all deceased Sister and Brother Hibernians who have passed on to the eternal rest since the establishment of these Divisions on Staten Island in 1970. Sister Cathy Postler, Catholic Action Officer of St. Brigid Division 4, presented the gifts during the Preparation of the Gifts during Mass.

Father Mickler gave a very uplifting and inspiring homily about the importance of the Irish saving Western civilization during the Dark Ages, their spreading the Christian faith throughout the world, and their tremendous role of the Irish in the establishment of the Catholic Church in America, with the construction of thousands of churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages throughout the United States of America. Father Mickler also highlighted the reason for the establishment of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to protect the Catholic clergy in Ireland from persecution during the Penal Law era, and for the defense of the church against the anti-Catholic Nativist Know-Nothings in the 1830s and 1840s in America.

Father Jeffrey Mickler was the celebrant of the Mass.

Brother Kevin F. Mannion, Recording Secretary of St. Columcille Division 4, provided the musical selection for the Mass. The entrance hymn was “On Eagle’s Wings,” the Communion hymn was “Here I Am, Lord,”, the Communion meditation were the hymns “Lady of Knock” and “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate,” and the recessional hymn was “May the Road Rise to Meet You.”

After the Mass, all of the Brother and Sister Hibernians and their loved ones adjourned to Mount Loretto sports complex, where they enjoyed a communion breakfast. We were honored to have Brother Gerald Mulvaney, Richmond County Board President, in attendance at the Mass and breakfast, as well as an AOH National Life Member, Brother Timothy O’Sullivan of St. Oliver Plunkett Division 16, Freehold, NJ, to join us for Mass and breakfast. Brother O’Sullivan is the proud father of Brother Neil O’Sullivan of Staten Island’s John F. Kennedy Division No. 1, and the father-in-law of Sister Cathy O’Sullivan of St. Brigid Division No. 4.

Photos by Brother Denis P. McGowan

Staten Island Division Welcomes New Members

 

Three new Brother Hibernians were initiated into the Order at the March 12th meeting of St. Columcille Division #4 Richmond County.  The candidates were sworn into the Order by President Thomas F. Gray, and the ceremony was witnessed by Brother Martin Crimmins, District 5 Director.

The candidates included Brother Patrick McGrath, Brother Denis Geraghty, and Brother Frank Dukes, a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Brother McGrath (center in photograph), aged 22, is a New York City law enforcement officer, and advised that he was proud to join the AOH. Brother McGrath also stated that he was looking forward to inviting his father, a New York State court clerk, into joining the Order.

The newly-initiated Brothers were presented with copies of a short history of the AOH, and the meaning of the AOH Emblem by Brother Denis P. McGowan, Richmond County Board Recording Secretary (I have provided copies of these for you as well).

The Division meeting was attended by almost 50 Brothers, and meets every second Monday at the Staten Island Elks Lodge No. 841 at 8:00 pm. The Division was established on April 3, 1970 by Brother Philip McCusker and Brother William J. Bartnett, and currently has over 190 members. The Division is very involved with the Staten Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, the Staten Ireland Irish Fair, the Columcille Irish Cultural Center and the AOH CuChulainn Celtic Warrior Major Degree Team.

Deadline Approaching for State Scholarship Application

Each year, the New York State Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians awards a scholarship for college study. The amount of the award depends on the number of qualified candidates, as well as the availability of the funds. The typical scholarship award is $750 per year for four years—a total of $ 3,000. This scholarship is intended for 2018 high school graduates who will be matriculating freshman in college in September 2018.

THE NEW YORK STATE AOH SCHOLARSHIP IS COMPETITIVE AND THE AWARD IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

1. The parent or guardian of the recipient must be a Major Degree member in good standing of any AOH or LAOH Division in New York State.
2. The parent or guardian must maintain membership in their respective division of the AOH or LAOH for the term of the scholarship.
3. Each year, the recipient must provide evidence of satisfactory academic performance during the term of the scholarship by submitting to the Scholarship Chairman a transcript of grades received from the previous academic year.

THE SELECTION OF THE WINNING APPLICATION WILL BE BASED UPON THE FOLLOWING:

1. A positive recommendation by your parish priest.
2. Results of the SAT Math and SAT Verbal test scores.
3. AOH Scholarship Test Results. This is a test of the applicant’s knowledge of Irish History. This test will consist of multiple choice questions and an essay whose emphasis will be on Irish History. The test will be supervised by the Division President or a member chosen by the Division President.
4. No member can supervise the giving of the exam if they have a child that is applying for the scholarship.

THE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY APRIL 2, 2018.

Scholarship Announcement and Criteria Form

Scholarship Application Form

AOH State President and PEC Chairman Meet with Legislators in Albany

Liam McNabb, Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D- Richmond County), Vic Vogel. Assemblyman Cusick is a Hibernian and President of the Irish American Legislator’s Society

 

AOH New York State President Vic Vogel and National Director/New York State P.E.C. Chairman Liam McNabb were recently in Albany to meet with members of the New York State Legislature to promote the Order and the many issues for which we support.  Meetings included several members of the Assembly and Senate which included many proud Hibernians.

 

AOH New York State President Vic Vogel and Senator Phil Boyle (R- Suffolk County).

 

The visits included the following Hibernians:

Assembly Meetings: Michael Cusick (D-Richmond County), Gary Finch (R-Cayuga), Michael Fitzpatick (R-Suffolk) and Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster County). 

 

Senate Meetings: Terry Murphy (R-Putnam County), Tom O’Mara (R-Chemung County), Phil Boyle (R-Suffolk County), Tim Kennedy (D-Erie County) and Marty Golden (R-Kings County).

Senator Terry Murphy (R- Putnam) and Vic Vogel