Last week, the herd which is normally associated with the color red was seen wearing a good deal of green in honor of St. Patrick.
Saturday evening, the Friendly Sons of St Patrick held their annual gala at the Union League. FATHER WILLIAM BYRON, the former President of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and former President of a number of universities including the Catholic University of American gave the invocation. The guest speaker was LT. GOV. JIM CAWLEY. The event was sold out, in large part owing to the efforts of Friendly Son’s Vice President (and Republican) BERNARD BUCKLEY. Other Republicans in attendance included former City COUNCILMAN JACK KELLY and Republican candidate for City Controller TERRY TRACY. The Friendly Sons of St Patrick was founded in 1771 and is believed to be the oldest surviving Irish American association in the US. Unlike the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which was founded in 1836, the Friendly Sons is non-denominational. One needs to be a Roman Catholic to join the AOH.
Sunday morning, Common Pleas Court JUDGE JIMMY LYNN hosted his annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at the Plough and the Stars restaurant. Despite the early hour, Guinness was flowing. Judge Lynn entertained the crowd with his wonderful singing voice. He also introduced an array of Irish dancers and singers who performed for the standing-room-only crowd. The net proceeds from the event went to Judge Lynn’s elementary-school alma mater, the Parish School of St. Francis de Sales in University City. De Sales Principal SISTER MARY and Vice Principal SISTER JANE entertained the crowd with Irish lore.
While Lynn and most of the attendees were Democrats, there were a number of Republicans in the room including former Republican mayoral candidate and President of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange JOHN EGAN, former Republican STATE SEN. JOE ROCKS, Republican activist JIM DiVERGILIS, 27TH WARD LEADER MATT WOLFE and City COMMISSIONER AL SCHMIDT. Notable Democrats in attendance included COUNCILMAN MARK SQUILLA, whose district includes the Plough and the Stars; Supreme Court JUSTICE SEAMUS MCCAFFERY; Electricians’ Union Local 98 BUSINESS MGR. JOHN DOUGHERTY and Municipal Court JUDGE PATRICK DUGAN.
At 11:00, a group of the attendees at Judge Lynn’s breakfast, including most of the Republicans, walked over to Penn’s Landing for its annual commemoration of the Irish Memorial. CONGRESSMAN MIKE FITZPATRICK (R-Bucks) joined the crowd. Meteorologist and newscaster KATHY ORR was the master of ceremonies. FATHER JOSEPH BRANT from St Anne’s Parish in Kensington gave the invocation. St. Anne’s, founded in 1845, was a predominantly Irish parish for many years. Delaware Co. attorney THERESA FLANAGAN sang the Irish national anthem, the “Soldiers’ Song”. TIMMY KELLY sang the “Star-Spangled Banner”. The Irish and US flags are changed quarterly. On Sunday, the Brehon Society lowered the flags they had furnished and were replaced by new ones supplied by the AOH.
Last Thursday, the Commonwealth Club held a luncheon at the Marriott Courtyard. The keynote speaker was STATE SEN. JAKE CORMAN. Master of Ceremonies was Pennsylvania Republican Party CHAIRMAN ROB GLEASON. Local Republican activist DENISE FUREY was asked to give the invocation. The crowded room included Pennsylvania Manufacturers CHAIRMAN FRED ANTON and former STATE SEN. EARL BAKER. The Commonwealth Club is a fundraising arm of the PAGOP.
Last Wednesday, the Republican Party’s monthly happy hour at Paddy Whacks doubled as a St Patrick’s Party. The 60-plus crowd heard from a number of judicial candidates including JUDGE KENNETH POWELL, who has filed to run for both Common Pleas and Municipal Court; ANNE MARIE COYLE, who is running for Common Pleas; and ELLA BUTCHER, who has thrown her hat in for Traffic Court. Terry Tracy also addressed the crowd. On a more festive note, PAGOP staffer ANNIE HAVEY entertained the group with an Irish poem.