On behalf of our great Queens County parade committee, I bid you a hearty “Cead Mile Failte” and welcome to our 38th annual salute to the patron saint of Ireland and New York, St. Patrick. As is our tradition every year we start off our day with our Mass for Peace and Justice in Ireland, and proudly fly our 32 county flags, carried by members of L.A.O.H , Div. 25 and volunteers from our community, thanks to the efforts of Vice President John Brennan and Mary Rooney. Resilience; a word that means recovery. Hurricane Sandy made perfectly clear to one and all – the old adage- take each moment given to us, live it, use it, enjoy it – people had never seen such havoc and destruction that Sandy rained down on us so swiftly. As the Irish say, down but not out, slowly but surely, Rockaway is in the process of rising from the proverbial ashes, that is why we are having our parade. Even though our homes have been ravaged, our hearts and our spirits are strong. We helped each other, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, had Mass under candle- light, made do with it all. Resilience - Rockaway is truly a resilent community.
Congratulations to our Grand Marshal: John T. Ahern Business Manager, IUOE Local 30, our Honorary Grand Marshals: Timothy Fox and Sheila Lynott Hourican and our Gael of the Year, Hilary Beirne from the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Aspecial thanks to our Deputy Grand Marshal’s for all they have done in their respective fields in the community, Assembly Member Philip Goldfeder, Supervisor Matt Ryan with the Department of Sanitation, Nelson Toebbe with St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Mrs. Mary Pat Buckley, the traditional Irish music, Anne Marie Acosta with Irish dancing, Keith Purce with the CWA, Robert Gates, FDNY, Rosemary
Gurry community activist/educator, John Gillespie, Knights and the courts, Mickey McCreesh, bar owner, volunteer “extroardionare” and Martin Ingram, retired aviator.
I would like to thank all the hardworking members of our parade committee for their dedication to our 38th annual parade which was started by another man with a dream, 38 years ago, James Conway Sullivan, especially my wife, Christina, John Brennan and Eileen and JJ Fagan, Pat Nee and Ed Rice, John and Rosemary Murphy each and every member of the parade committee, 50 in total: and wish everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Beannachtai, la fheile padraig, shona duit, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.
Michael a. Benn, Parade president