AOH members of Division 1 and Division 4 of Orange County, New York attended sunrise Memorial Day services at seven Cemetery and Monument locations in Goshen, New York. At each location a prayer was recited for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice followed by piper playing Amazing Grace and then a twenty-one gun salute by members of the American Legion. While visiting the Orange County Veterans Cemetery members paid their respects at the gravesite of 1st. Lt, Louis Allen who died in Iraq and is the namesake of the first AOH Junior Division in Orange County. A decade of the Rosary was said by members along with his parents who were in attendance.
The family of Lt. Louis Allen attended a dedication ceremony in honor of the namesake of the Lt. Louis Allen AOH Junior Division 1 in Monroe, New York. President of the AOH Jr. Division, Declan DeBold received the memorial shadow box containing Lt. Louis Allen medals from AOH Division 1 Life member James Kelly.
The Joseph Duelk, Jr., Division 1 in Monroe, Orange County held an organizational meeting, of the “First Lt. Louis Allen – Junior Division 1 of Orange County” on January 21, 2017. Eighteen boys signed the application to form the Junior Division. Pictured in the photo (in no order) are some of the newly installed members of the Junior Division, Declan DeBold, Anthony Melo, Liam Ronayne, Timothy Curtin, Harry Degan, William Coffey, Shane Cronin, Conor Flynn, Luke Cronin and Edward Degan. Also present are members of Joseph Duelk Jr. Division 1, (seated L/R), Tom Keahon, President Tommy Flynn, Robert Allen, Rob Ronayne and Tom McDonald, AOH Orange County President. Standing in back: Chris DeBold, Tim Curtain and John Coffey. Vice President Neil O’Riordan (not pictured) will advise and guide the new members.
The division was named in memory of 1st Lt. Louis Allen, New York Army National Guard, who was killed on June 7, 2005, at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq. 1st Lieutenant Allen was a member of the United States 42nd Infantry Division when he was mortally wounded by a Claymore mine and died.
In attendance was Vivian and Robert Allen the parents of Lt. Louis Allen. The father of Lt. Louis Allen had the honor of initiating the new members.
Brother James Kelly, Past President of Division 1, Monroe NY, Past President Orange County Board and Past State District 8 Director was presented with the AOH National Life Membership at the Orange County Board Meeting held on December 6, 2015. The honor was bestowed by New York AOH State President, Tim McSweeney surrounded by Brother Kelly’s fellow Orange County Hibernians.
Brother Kelly, who is well known in Irish circles in the Hudson Valley, is an avid historian who prides himself in his knowledge of Irish American Medal of Honor winners. In 1992, Brother Kelly was selected to be the Mid Hudson St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal. He was also the founding coordinator of the Seamus Comiskey Memorial Shamrock Degree Team which serves the Mid Hudson Valley AOH community. Congratulations Brother Kelly on your well deserved honor!
Presenting the award are (left) George Anderson, President of Division 1 Monroe, NY State President Tim McSweeney, Brother James Kelly, Thomas Flynn, Vice President of Division 1, and Orange County AOH Board President Tom McDonald.
October 18, 2015 – Members of the Orange County AOH came together at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Monroe on the occasion or their Annual Memorial Mass and Communion Breakfast. The chapel, which was opened in 1896, is the site of a rare Hibernian stain glass window pictured below.
The celebrant of the Mass was longtime AOH member and Division 1 Chaplain, Rev. Michael F. Keane, who delivered a sermon on this Mission Sunday about the importance of service to the community. Father Keane urged the AOH to continue its good works of service and cited many examples of venerable men and women such as Margaret Haughery of New Orleans who was simply referred to as “Margaret, Mother of Orphans,” Albert Schweitzer, who left a comfortable life of music to become a physician missionary in Africa and indeed our own Patron, Saint Patrick who led a life of service among the Irish.
The Communion Breakfast which followed the Mass took place at nearby Joseph D. Duelk, Jr., Division 1 Hall was attended by State President Tim McSweeney, State Treasurer John Manning, District 8 Director Dermot O’Connor Moore and State Organizer Keith Reynolds and many county and division officers and members. Following the breakfast, guest speaker Ciaran Gereghty, NY State Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Chairman from Div. 5 in Albany, delivered a lively and informative talk on the 1916 Easter Rising Centennial, the importance of the McBride Principles, the Good Friday Agreement and the need to keep the pressure on all sides with the single goal of realizing a just and united Ireland that includes all 32 counties. View the event photo album here.