On a recent Saturday morning, a brightly lighted, cavernous truck bay in the back of Cavan Construction in Aston is a hive of activity. About a half dozen men are clustered around an 18-wheel tractor-trailer, sawing, drilling and hammering, carefully crafting the Cavan Society float for the 2019 Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In this, they are able assisted by a curious boxer named Diesel. That is, if “help” means leaving paw prints all over freshly green-painted wooden planks.
We can tell you the theme. It’s the same as this year’s parade theme: “St. Patrick, Unite Us.” Beyond that, until Sunday, the day of the parade, it’s a big secret. Some of the wooden shapes hinted at the beginnings of a bridge, and there was a small house-shaped structure at the tail end. But that’s all you’re getting from us.
And it’s all you’re likely to get from Sean Smith, company project manager and superintendent, as well as the chief overseer of the float construction project.
Sean McMenamin, who came to the United States from a small town just outside of Westport, County Mayo, in January 1966, describes Irish immigrants of the time as “survivors.” They came here when immigration laws were far more lax than they are now, and they did what they needed to do to make a life for themselves.
He recalled those days Wednesday night at a VIP Party at the Constitution Center—one in which he was honored as this year’s grand marshal of the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade.
And he remembered a steady flow of Irish immigrants in those days. “Every week, there’d be somebody new coming,” he said, addressing a large, enthusiastic crowd that included members of the parade’s Ring of Honor.
Sarah and Dan Keating
On March 1, the Irish American Business Chamber & Network will be hosting the 2019 Ambassador’s Awards Luncheon at Philadelphia’s Union League. Among the honorees are Daniel J. Keating, III, executive vice president, Gilbane Building Co., and Sarah P. Keating, Esq., principal owner and chief executive officer of Keating Environmental Management. They will receive the Taoiseach Award.
We recently spoke with Daniel Keating. Here’s what he had to say.
Irish Philly: Did you and Sarah have any idea you were in the running?
Daniel Keating, III: Actually, we did not have any idea we were in the running, but we’re certainly honored.
Irish Philly: I imagine you’re pretty pleased about that.
DK: Well, you know, it’s a wonderful group of guys and gals, and they all get along and a nice company to be involved with.
On March 1, the Irish American Business Chamber and Network will be hosting the 2019 Ambassador’s Awards Luncheon at Philadelphia’s Union League. Among the honorees is the Travis Manion Foundation, recipient of the Uachtarán Award.
Accepting on behalf of the Travis Manion Foundation will be Col. Tom Manion, USMC, Ret., chairman emeritus, and Ryan Manion, president.
The Travis Manion Foundation is a character-driven leadership organization named after Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, fatally wounded while searching a suspected insurgent house in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
We spoke with Ryan Manion. Here’s what she had to say.
Irish Philly: What does the award from the business chamber mean to you and your foundation? I mean, the foundation’s had some accolades. It’s time.
Ryan Manion: I think this is a really a cool offer or award to receive because most of the recognition that we get is not the military network, but through the military community. So we have a lot of great recognition through different branches of the military and different organizations that support military foundations.
To receive an award for that is a great recognition—to be appreciated for the work that we’re doing just kind of outside of this space. On a personal level, I know my dad and I were both kind of thrilled being from an Irish background and the heritage there. And so, you know, it just kind of brings everything full circle for us. So it’s a really cool honor and we’re super excited for it.
On March 1, Irish Ambassador to the United States Daniel Mulhall will be on hand to present the Irish American Business Chamber & Network‘s 2019 Ambassador’s Awards.
Recently, we interviewed him about the awards, the Business Chamber and the broader significance to Irish-American commerce. We also chatted about a wider range of issues—from the involvement of Irish-Americans in Irish government interests, such as United States immigration policies, to Brexit and the Northern Irish peace process.
Here’s what he had to say.
The ballroom at the Philadelphia Irish Center is often home to social events of one kind or another, including concerts and pageants, or banquets and balls hosted by the city’s many county organizations.
It’s a popular place—but often, mostly among adults.
On Saturday, March 2, the ballroom will play host to a younger crowd. Much younger.
That evening, the Irish Center (also known as the Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center), will host its first-ever Middle School Social for 6th, 7thand 8thgraders. The Center is located in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood.
It’s all part of an effort to make the Center a more welcoming place for the next generation and their families. That, in turn, is an outgrowth of a survey the Center conducted fairly recently when it became incorporated as a nonprofit.
Every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., a group of teenagers, 12 to 18 years old, meet at the Irish Immigration Center of Greater Philadelphia office in Upper Darby. There’s fun, of course—they’re teenagers—but they also have a serious mission: carving out a better future for themselves and for their community.
It’s the Foróige Youth Group, a local chapter of Ireland’s biggest and most successful youth development leadership program.
The Immigration Center chapter of Foróige (pronounced fo-ROY-guh) has about 30 members. It’s the first in the United States.
About 43,000 Coast Guard service members and employees nationwide continue to work during the government shutdown, including about 200 at the Coast Guard station in South Philadelphia on Columbus Boulevard.
Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians/Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians are banding together to provide the local Coast Guard members with the essentials they need to keep providing for themselves and their families until the shutdown ends.