President’s Message – September 2012

WOW, what a great National Convention! Congratulations to Liam McNabb and his entire Committee. Congratulations also go out to our new National President, Brendan Moore, Reelected National Secretary, Tom McNabb and our new National Director Charles “Chip” McLean. Also congratulations to the new LAOH National Vice President, Mary Hogan. I thank the New York State Delegates who helped to elect me as National Director. On behalf of the NYS Board I extend a congratulation to all those who were elected at the National Convention both AOH and LAOH. I would like to thank AOH/NYS Vice President, Jim Burke, for Chairing the Hospitality Room at Turning Stone. In my humble opinion it was the BEST Hospitality Room.

National President Moore has also appointed me as National Charities and Missions Chairman. I ask all County Boards and Divisions to PLEASE make a list of ALL the donations you make. This information is important for many reasons. The amount of
money donated by the AOH seems to be a large amount, but we need the true figures to prove what we claim. A form will be available in the near future for you to send me this information.

The next State Board Meeting will be held in Auburn on November 3, 2012. In conjunction with this will be a joint State Presidents Testimonial Dinner. More information on this event will be out soon.

In closing on behalf of the NYS Board and all the Members of NYS I send our deepest sympathy to Della and Kevin Shannon on the loss of Pat.

Pat’s work for the Order will be greatly missed. His lessons and guidance to me personally were invaluable. May his legacy continue. Rest in Peace my friend.

President’s Message

It is my pleasure to report that the Spring Board meeting weekend in East Durham was a tremendous success and was perhaps one of the best attended in a long while. As I announced at the Board Meeting; the entire weekend was dedicated to N.Y. State’s celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the A.O.H. The Jim Hayes Memorial golf outing was a great success raising funds for our Austin V. Carew Scholarship Fund. It was necessary for a change from one golf course to another nearby course at the last minute as a result of a very rainy week in the Catskills. Our meeting was held on Saturday morning at the Shamrock House where much business of our Order was conducted in fine form with the pleasure of having a number of National Board officers present. Of course our own Brendan Moore, National Vice President and Tom McNabb National Secretary were present and gave very informative and inspiring reports. Also present was the National Director responsible for N.Y. State, Jere Cole who gave us both an update on Catholic Action activities as well as an update on the 175th Anniversary Commemorative Coin.

At the beginning of the meeting we also conducted a memorial service in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike. Led by our State Historian Mike McCormack we stood in quiet remembrance of the ten brave Irish Nationalist who painfully gave there lives 30 years ago while on hunger strike for truth, justice and to see all Ireland free. We then shared in prayers and heard each of the names of the ten souls. The State Board also produced a memorial prayer card commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike that has been distributed to all jurisdictions. The card was created by F.F.A.I Chairman Tim Miles and Mike McCormack. These cards were widely distributed throughout the State and are still available by contacting Tim Miles.

In light of both of these significant historical events I called on all jurisdictions to sponsor local 175th Anniversary celebrations of some form as well as conducting a memorial service for the 30th Anniversary of the Hunger Strike. As a result I have been receiving many reports of these events and I encourage all jurisdictions that have not yet done so, please schedule and conduct both of these events soon.

Of course the National Boards celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Order was held in New York City on the weekend of May 2022. There were a number of events held and I would like to congratulate two of our own who were tapped to organize the weekend. Ed Wallace who was the general chairman and was responsible for the entire event and Tom Beirne who was Ed’s right hand man in tightening down all the loose nuts and bolts. Hibernian leaders and Hibernians from throughout the country came here to mark the Anniversary. I recognize and thank all of our New York Hibernians who traveled from far and near to be part of the event.

Now all that’s left is for you to get your 175th Anniversary Commemorative Coin which can be ordered with the form that can be downloaded from our N.Y. State website at www.nyaoh.com or can it be purchased on line through the website. The coin will also be offered for sale at our Convention in Pearl River, Rockland County this July.

Speaking of our N.Y. State Convention, which will be held from Wednesday, July 13th to Sunday, July 17th, planning is very advanced as it should be and the reservations are coming in for all of the events. We have worked hard to put together an outstanding package which ranges from a Wednesday night ‘Icebreaker’ with a full BBQ Dinner menu to two great dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings. I assure you that you will not be disappointed with this Convention’s events. The Journal deadline has been extended to June 24th; I remind and ask all the jurisdictions to take a page in the journal to be part of the historical chronicle of the event as well as supporting the Convention. If you have any questions regarding the Convention kindly contact the Convention Chairman Warren Scullin (917-751-1661).

We are in the midst of the County Convention season and I encourage all Counties to consider carefully when electing your County leaders who will be in office for the next two years. They will have much work to do. I have been very fortunate to have traveled to many Counties to date to participate in there Conventions and to conduct the installation of the newly elected officers. I congratulate those officers and I look forward to being with you for your County Convention. Please make sure that you notify me of the date and time and I will make every effort to be with you.

As always, all the best to you and your families with prayers and best wishes from my family. Stay cool and I look forward to seeing you in Pearl River, Rockland County, July 13th – 17th to conduct the work of the Order in Convention and to share great Hibernian fraternalism with all of you.

New Candidates Announcing National Office Intent

As we enter the home stretch towards the biannual Nation Convention and election of officers for the Order we are receiving official announcements of members seeking higher office.

New Jersey State President Jere Cole has announced that he will run for AOH National Office this July in Cincinnati Ohio at the National Convention.  Jere’s Irish heritage has always been an important aspect of his life.  It is this pride that has led him to become involved in a number of Irish American organizations.  Among these organizations is the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division #9, Essex County New Jersey for the past 20 years.  Jere has chaired a number of committees & is currently a past president, and also serves on the State Board of the AOH executive committee where he was elected to the Hibernian Charity Board and is currently the New Jersey State Board President.  Jere is also an active member of the following organizations: The Cryan Association, Giblin Association, Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, Heritage Festival Ball past chairman, Vailsburg Irish American Association, Essex County Emerald Society, Irish American Cultural Institute, Ironbound Irish American Association, The Irish American Assn. of Northwest Jersey, Frank McGovern Association, Belleville Irish American Association and the Joseph Nugent Sr. Association. Jere is an active member of the Newark Saint Patrick’s Day Parade committee. He has held numerous positions including General Chairman 2003-04 and is also a member of the West Orange Saint Patrick’s Parade committee.  Jere was the General Chairman of the 30th Annual New Jersey Irish Festival in June of 2000.

Joe Dougherty of North Carolina announced that he will run for National Secretary.  Joe’s resume includes serving as Past National Director, Past South Carolina State President, Past South Carolina State Organizer, Past South Carolina Division President.  He is currently a Division President in North Carolina, Mecklenburg County Board Vice President and serves as North Carolina State Organizer.  As he looks forward towards his campaign for National Secretary at the 2010 National Convention in Cincinnati, Joe stated, “My platform will be very simple, it is time to move the office of National Secretary into the 21 Century.”

National Pro-Life Chair and Immediate Past New York State President Matt Nelligan recently announced his candidacy for the office of National Director. Elected as State President at age 34, he was the youngest person to be elected to the presidency. During his time in office, he made significant progress toward modernizing the recruitment and public relations efforts of the AOH. In addition, he helped to raise more than $20,000 for AOH related charities and expanded our Order into two counties that had never before had an AOH Presence. In February of 2008 he was selected by the Irish Echo newspaper was one of the top 40 Irish-American leaders under the age of 40 in the United States.

A member of the AOH since 1992, Mr. Nelligan served on the NYS AOH board since 1999 in every elected office including the offices of President, vice president, treasurer and secretary. He was selected to be general chairperson for the 2007 New York State AOH convention and in 2008 was appointed as the National Chairman of Pro-Life.  As National Pro-Life chairman Matt has worked hard to engage our membership on important public policy issues and to expand our presence at the annual March for Life in Washington DC.  Professionally, Mr. Nelligan serves as the Committee Director for the New York State Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee as well as Legislative Director for its Chairman Senator George Maziarz. Matt is also President of the Irish 2000 Music and Arts Festival– one of the largest celebrations of Irish culture in the United States – marking its 14th anniversary in 2010. Since its inception, the not-for-profit festival has raised more than $350,000 to assist local and Irish charities.

Mr. Nelligan is a past Hibernian of the Year for his Division in Albany NY and has also been recognized as the recipient of the prestigious Father John Murphy award in 2008. In 2009, he was also recognized by his brothers from Division 9 in New York City as their “Guest of Honor”.  Matt is a past committee member and one-time committee chairman of the Doors of Hope benefit concert that raised more than $50,000 for Father Des Wilson’s Community Centers in Belfast and Derry and is a past Vice-Chairman of the Irish American Heritage Museum.  A graduate of Siena College in Loudonville NY, he received his master’s degree from The College of St. Rose in Albany NY. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Guilderland NY with their two daughters, Molly and Emily.

Montana’s O’Connor Announces Bid for National Director With the full support of his Brother Hibernians, Montana’s Mike O’Connor has announced his intent to seek the office of National Director at the 2010 National Convention in Cincinnati. A member of the Thomas Francis Meagher Division of the AOH for nearly 25 years, he has held his Major Degree since 1991 when the Tara Court Major Degree Team came to Montana.  Following his service as Division and State Presidents, he became active nationally by arousing the interest in the West for the AOH.  Mike was elected to the position of National Director in 2000 and re-elected in 2002.  Brother Mike continues to be very active in AOH activities in Montana.  Just this past year Mike was part of the committee responsible for erecting a monument to Thomas Francis Meagher in Fort Benton, the location of his demise.  It was a difficult year to take on such a project considering the country’s economic downturn, but it was a huge success and a great Irish celebration.  Mike says, I would like to bring back to the National Board that “can do” attitude we have here in Montana. Mike has always considered it an honor to be a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a great privilege to serve as an officer. He asks Brother Hibernians across the country to support his effort in seeking the position as National Director.

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