Copyright Monsignor Lawrence E. Giblin Division One, Broome County, NY. All rights reserved.
President’s Message August 2022
Mid July saw the gathering of Hibernians at our 101st convention in Pittsburg. We of course were not the first Irish in that city. Pittsburg like many big cities has a rich Irish history. However, the Irish Catholic immigrants of the 1840s were certainly not rich. They were dirt poor and immigrated to Pittsburg due to the Irish potato famine of 1845. Those who made their way to the booming industrial City of Pittsburgh were largely unwelcome. The desperate immigrants settled in shantytowns and took jobs as laborers and domestics. Any job was better than starving. Author Patricia McElligott described the situation this way, “Poverty created innumerable social problems. Alcoholism, deadly diseases, like cholera and smallpox, and mental instability overwhelmed the immigrants and threatened to destroy their American experience. However, the Catholic Churches, Sisters of Mercy, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and other groups emerged to help the Irish survive.” The Irish of Pittsburg would survive and out of the shanty town neighborhoods would arise a middle class and many talented Americans. These Irish include actor Gene Kelly, Steelers founder Art Rooney, Governor David Lawrence, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Charles Kelly and others. So, in July of 2022, hundreds of Irish Americans met at a four-star hotel near the site of one of these old neighborhoods to discuss the topics of the day. We met in a situation that could be described as luxurious, a far cry from the condition of those who preceded us.
Topics covered at the convention were varied and numerous. I became energized with several ideas. However, I would need another two lifetimes to put then in place. We must remember that Hibernianism operates internationally with events in Washington, Dublin, and London. It also operates with events that occur at 148 Main St. in Binghamton. I will provide members with a synopsis of my 20 pages of notes at the next meeting. I would say two things stuck in my mind: 1. we must get more members to earn their advanced degree, and 2. we should have more members attending conventions. Both of these things bring forth the true reasons for our existence.
The LAOH will presenting the Lady of Knock mass on August 21st. See the flyer for details. Oher events in July and early August occurred too late for comment in this message. However, I would like to thank all of you who worked on, donated to, and participated in the golf tournament and the Ross Park Picnic. See you at the hall, and at the September meeting.
In Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity.
– Bill Burke