New York News

Leitch Wins 2010 New York State AOH Scholarship

Pictured at the check presentation ceremony (L-R) St. Patrick's Division 2 President James Dawes, Alex, and his father Brian Leitch.

The Scholarship Committee of The NYS Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians recently announced Alexander J. Leitch of St. Patrick’s Division #2, located in Babylon, in Suffolk Co., NY as the individual winner of the 2010 scholarship contest. This competition is conducted throughout the entire state annaully with a cash prize of $2000 , based on maintained merit over a four year period. Alex graduated in the top ten from Babylon Jr/Sr High School in their AP Honors program, and was a member of the AOH Jr. Boys at Division 2, he is the son of Bro. Brian H. Leitch and his mother Gwynn.  Leitch started his climb to the State Award by also winning the Division 2, Maurice R. Quinlan Memorial Scholarship for 2010. This Scholarship carries with it a $3000 award, over four years. Alex is currently attending Hofstra University, where he was given the Presidential Award and is participating in their Honors College For Music Education, a field he plans to pursue.

Stafford Named Glen Cove Grand Marshal

Andrew Stafford at the 2009 Parade

The Glen Cove St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee – the only Hibernian run St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Nassau County – named Andrew Stafford the Grand Marshal in its 23rd annual march to take place March 20, 2011. Stafford, 48, immigrated to the United States with his wife Pauline back in 1988 and settled into the North Shore of Long Island. As someone dedicated to Irish culture, he joined the AOH in 1996, receiving his Major Degree the following year. During his tenure in the Order, Andrew served as Division 8’s Marshal, Vice President – a position he held three times – and President.  And ever since he joined the Order, he served on the Parade Committee, acting as Treasurer early on and then holding a 10 year tenure as Chairman from 2001-2010. Due to his dedication to the AOH and also the Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Committee unanimously named his Grand Marshal of the 2011 Parade. He lives with his wife Pauline and daughters Aisling and Caoimhe in Locust Valley, NY.  Stafford will be aided by AOH New York State Secretary Jim Burke and LAOH New York State Secretary Carol McTigue.

Division 16 Makes Annual Donation

: Pictured (L – R) Veronica Yates – President Ladies AOH, William McCormack – President AOH, Grace Murphy – past President LAOH, Michelle Quirello – President Hospice Care, Ed Reilly – Treasurer AOH, Dan Hickey – Financial Secretary AOH, James McHugh Fund Drive Co Chair AOH, Kevin Galvin – Recording Secretary AOH, Margaret McHugh – LAOH, Ann Cullinane – LAOH

On November 30, 2010 the AOH Division 16 and Ladies AOH Division 16 donated $5,239.00 to Hospice Care of Westchester/ Putnam Counties. The presentation was made at the annual “Tree of Life “ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Mount Kisco, NY. Hospice Care, (Visiting Nurse Association) a non-profit home health care agency provides home health services to patients with advanced illnesses.

On December 18, 2010 the AOH donated $5,239.00 to Rosary Hill Cancer Center located in Hawthorne, NY. Rosary Hill Home is run by the Dominican Sisters and provides hospice care for incurable cancer patients who are unable to afford care for themselves.

Since 1992 the AOH has donated $179,453.00 to Hospice Care of Westchester/Putnam and Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, NY and other organizations.  The fund raising drive was administered by Chairwoman Grace Murphy and Co-Chairman James McHugh. The Division is grateful to the following parishes for their help- St. Patrick’s-Armonk, St. Elizabeth Seton-Shrub Oak, St. Mary’s-Katonah, St. John’s-Chappaqua, St. Mathias-Bedford, St. Patrick’s-Yorktown, St. Patrick’s-Bedford, St. Francis of Assisi-Mount Kisco, and St. Lawrence O’Toole-Brewster

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 16 was formed on September 13, 1891 consisting of men of Irish descent and practicing Roman Catholics living in the northern Westchester County area. The Division has a long and distinguished history of supporting different community groups in the area as well as hosting northern Westchester’s annual Mount Kisco St. Patrick’s Day parade since 1991.  The Division is pleased to announce that our St. Patrick’s Day parade will be held on Saturday March 12, 2010 in Mount Kisco. For further information or an application please write to the above address, email President William McCormack at, or visit our website at

John King Named Nassau County’s Aide to the Grand Marshal of 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

John and Geraldine King with Grand Marshal Mary Higgins Clark

Nassau County AOH and LAOH are proud to present John King as their 2011 Aide to the Grand Marshal for the 250th St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

John joined AOH Division 7 in 1990.  He has served as President of that division and is currently Financial Secretary.  John also serves on the Nassau County Board as Political Education Chair and sends emails daily to all the divisions.  John attends all meetings, parades, marches, and pro-life rallies in the NY area, Albany, and Washington DC.  John is a active member of the Nassau County AOH Feis Committee raising funds for the commemorative journal.

John and his wife Geraldine for 34 years have three married sons, John, Jack, and Joseph.  They have one granddaughter, Keira.  He considers it a great honor to be selected as an Aide to the Grand Marshal, Mary Higgins Clark.

Niagara County Division 1 past Division president Bill Paterson and Scholarship chairman Jim Andrews presenting a check to Samantha Martineau of Niagara Catholic High school for her first year scholarship. Division 1 sponsors four students each year, one in each High school grade.

Niagara County Division 1 President Michael McNerney presenting a check to Sisters Beth and Barbara of the local Heart and Soul. The food pantry serves meals daily for those in need. Division One supports the Heart and Soul both financially and by serving.

Members of Division 15 in Massapequa, NY enjoyed their annual Christmas Dinner Dance and Annual Installation on December 12th. Pictured (L – R) Thomas Rooney, Mike Greene, Ken Ferguson, Division 15 President Padraic Nugent, Frank Ryan, Jim Wall, John Hennessey, Mike Byrne, Joe Campbell, Jim Burke, Tom Kinnally

The men and Ladies of the East Durham, NY, Mass Rock Divisions 2 and 32 respectively, installed their new officers on December 5. Tim O’Sullivan was re-elected AOH President and Patricia Steinhauer took the reins for the LAOH. The Divisions were installed by Kevin Cummings and Maryann O’Sullivan. The divisions host the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock in East Durham.

Watervliet AOH Supports Senior Center

Pictured (L – R) Jeff Collett (Division President), Barbara Collett, Bruce Hidley, John McAvoy, John McAvoy Jr., Theresa Ashline (Exec. Director of Senior Center), Scott Gardner and Sister Jane.

Receiving word that the Watervliet Senior Citizen Center’s annual Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t going to happen this year due to lack of funds, the Watervliet AOH Division responded.  The William F. Fennelly AOH Division in Watervliet, New York, presented a $1500 check to the Watervliet Senior Center to fund the annual event.

Jeff Collett, Division President, and the Division officers recognized how important the event is to the men and women of the Senior Citizen Center, especially since many of the members do not have families or somewhere else to go to have Thanksgiving dinner.

“We felt it was very important that the residents of the Senior Center, members of our community, including some Brother and Sister Hibernians, continue to have this very special tradition of celebrating dinner with each other,” said President Collett.

Many Division officers and members proudly represented the Division when the check was presented to the Senior Center.  Representatives from the Senior Center reported the seniors are extremely grateful to have the support of the Hibernians in keeping the Center’s wonderful tradition and event going.

AOH Old Newsboys

Rich Walsh and AOH Syracuse Division President Dave Lynch kicking off the "AOH Old Newsboys Christmas Toy Fundraiser"

Over 40 volunteers from the Syracuse Commodore John Barry Division’s “AOH Old Newsboys” team hawked special editions of the Syracuse Post Standard on December 10th & 11th raising $15,400 for the Syracuse Christmas Toy Fund. The “Old Newsboys” Newspaper sale is a 78 year old Syracuse tradition sponsored by the Syracuse Post-Standard that originated in the Depression to buy coal to help heat the homes of the poor. All of the proceeds raised now go to the Syracuse Christmas Bureau (a joint venture of the United Way & Salvation Army) to buy food, toys and clothing for needy families at Christmas. This year on December 22, 2010 saw 2,700 families and kids pick up food, clothing and toys at the downtown OnCenter to make their Christmas a bit brighter.

Eight AOH father & son pairings were noted as well as one grandfather –grandson team selling the newspapers in 30 degree weather.  The Syracuse AOH team led by “Captain” Rich Walsh set a record for the 8th year in a row as the top money raiser of the 25 teams participating. 2010 was the Syracuse AOH’s 41st year participating in the Syracuse communities Old Newsboys Newspaper Sale Fundraiser.


New York News

Seafood Raffle

New York’s Nassau County AOH Div 8 is proud to announce that the drawing for its Annual Seafood Raffle for 2010 was held on June 27, 2010. Winners received fresh seafood for their 4th of July barbeques.  Congratulations to Grand Prize winners Barbara Donohue and Barney Lough who won lobster dinners for 6 people which included lobsters, corn, salad and two bottles of wine.  Other prize winners were Lynn Giordano, Katherine Rezza, Larry Rush, Shaun Byrne, Joseph McDonald and Laura Lyman. Congratulations to all and we hope you enjoyed the seafood.  Division 8 would like to thank Jim and Sophie McCabe, Michael Harrington, Lisa Forgione and the Ladies AOH, The Glen Cove Printery and all those who participated in the raffle.

Pictured is (L to R) Barbara Donohue and her daughter Barbara, Division 8 President John J. Hanley and Victoria Hanley

Richmond County AOH Members and their wives receive the Four Chaplains award for community service. Pictured at the Merchant Marine Academy are (L to R) Norm Nilsen, Walter Osborn, James Haynes and John Woods. Seated are William Reilley, Pat Nilsen, Mary Noon and Michael Ducey.

Richmond County AOH Div 4 held their fourth annual wounded warriors project dinner which collected $15,000.00 for the project. Pictured (L to R) Tony Fanelli CWV, Walter Osborn AOH Div 4 member dinner chairmen, awardees Colonel Dawson, Sergeant Herbst and Lieutenant Raznazk with AOH Richmond County President & dinner co-chair James Haynes III.

Members of Westchester County NY AOH/LAOH Division 16 gathered at St. Francis of Assisi Chapel for a mass for deceased members- Monsignor Edward Donovan, Martin Barry, Jr., Thomas Finn, Thomas Foley, Marie Healy, Angelina Hurton and Mary McGovern. The mass was conducted by Division chaplain Father Steven Clarke. Afterwards as the AOH and LAOH gathered downstairs, they were joined by County President Brian Kelly.  President Kelly and Division President William McCormack presented an AOH Life Membership to Division member Peter McKenna. Peter has been a member since 1957, having served as County President twice and as Division President three times. Peter was Grand Marshal of the 1995 Mount Kisco St. Patricks Day parade. At the Division meeting that night a new member Christopher Hurley was inducted. His deceased grandfather was an AOH member and his father is a current member of Division 16.   On June 13, 2010 the AOH and LAOH gathered for Irish stories for young and old by renowned storyteller Jonathan Kruk.

New Member and Life Member recognized. Pictured (L to R) Christopher J. Hurley, new member Christopher J. Hurley, new Life member Peter McKenna and NYS Division 16 President William McCormack

John Cardinal D’Alton Division 3, Pearl River Awards $10,000 in Scholarships

This year, the John Cardinal D’Alton division gave out $10,000 in scholarships in support of our Irish American values that stress the importance of education and our duty as Hibernians to pass on our history and culture to the next generation.  In addition to being reviewed on their Academic, Cultural and Community Service activities, the applicants also had to take an examination on Irish and Irish American History drawn from material provided in the monthly history articles featured in the division newsletter and website. The awards were made as part of Division 3’s annual Communion Breakfast.  Guest of honor and Speaker was Mrs. Mary Holt Moore a well respected scholar of Gaelic and Irish History, not to mention a direct descendant of General Joseph Holt, Commander of the Wicklow Rebels in 1798 and a second cousin to Seán Mac Diarmada, one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation and martyr in the cause of the Irish Republic. It is the Division’s hope that applicants will not only come away with a scholarship, but also an appreciation of the important role the Irish have played in shaping our world and nation.

Flanked by Scholarship Committee members Martin Davin (left) and Larry Kane (right) are this year’s Division 3 Pearl River, NY Scholarship winners.

Division 1 Yonkers Announces Winners of the “Commodore John Barry Memorial Medal”

The officers and members of the Myles Scully Division 1 of Yonkers are pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Commodore John Barry Memorial Medal. The award was made available to all Catholic Elementary Schools in the city of Yonkers for the first time this year.  The award is given to a graduating student who excels in U.S. History and/or Social Studies.  A total of 9 schools chose to participate in this year’s award program.  The schools and winners are as follows:  St. Ann’s School – Drita Nikac, St. Paul the Apostle School – Michael Donnelly, Christ the King School – Kevin Dronzek, St. Anthony’s School – Tyler Chen, St. Eugene’s School – Erin Thomas, St. John the Baptist School – Chelsea Dua, Sacred Heart School- Sean Crosby, St. Peter’s School – Jerry Thompson III, The Annunciation School – Julia McGarvey. The award is dedicated to the memory of Commodore John Barry, an Irish Catholic immigrant who is recognized as the father of the United States Navy.  He was awarded Navy Commission #1 by President George Washington in 1798, making him the first flag officer of the U.S. Navy.  Commodore John Barry’s accomplishments embody the immigrant struggle for success and serves as an example for all young students today.


The Digest Goes Digital

Online Editor Joe McDonald

After months of preparation, the Hibernian Digest has entered the digital age.  The new Digital Digest will be linked through our national website and will include an ever expanding archive of articles from past print editions.  In addition to the print articles, the site has been designed to offer expanded space for more content not currently able to make it into the printed edition mailed to all members.  The Digital Digest will also include a large expansion of pictures associated with articles submitted by members.  Keith Carney, editor of the Digest commented, We have numerous pictures submitted by members that only make it to the cutting room floor because of limited space.  But pictures tell great stories of the life and times of our Order and it the Digital edition now provides us with the perfect mechanism to bring them to the membership through the Internet.

Carney named New York brother Joe McDonald as the new online editor.  Joe joined the AOH back in 2007 and has vast experience in website creation and management.  He is currently the Vice President of the Mike Moran Division 8 in Glen Cove, NY and the Webmaster of Nassau County. Joe also serves on the Nassau County Hibernian Feis committee, designing and running the festival’s website.  Joe, 40, comes to the Hibernian Digest with seven years of experience in the sports media. He currently serves as Assistant Editor of Mets Inside Pitch Magazine, Assistant Online Editor of Baseball Digest, and publishes his own sports website, covering the New York Mets, New York Rangers, and the US Tennis Open himself. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and also the United States Tennis Writers Association.  In 2006, Joe opened up his own web design firm Damocles Designs, where he specializes in site design and search engine optimization. With all the changes to the media over the past seven years, I am very happy to help bring the Hibernian Digest online, McDonald said. I hope this website will help spread the motto of ‘Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity’ to a greater audience. Joe currently lives in West Hempstead, NY with his wife Liz and 20 month-old daughter Jamie Ann. He also has a six year-old son Joseph Patrick.

The digital Digest will include electronic advertising controlled by the national board and it is hoped that it will be able to begin generating revenue in the next few months once the site gains some popularity.  The site will also include a comprehensive archive of previously printed Digests in the popular Adobe Acrobat .pdf format.