Even though Irish-Americans in Bayonne are smaller in number than they once were, their presence today is as strong as their pride. St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17, but as anyone who’s been to a pub this month knows, the entire month of March might as well be “Irish Appreciation Month.” At the Irish Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall on Friday, March 10, Mayor James Davis, an Irish-American, called March “the best month of the year.” It not only represents the coming of warm weather and spring but a much-needed reprieve after a late-season blizzard. Everyone, not just the Irish, can look forward to corn beef, stouts, green anything, and a rich Irish history sewn into the fabric of American life.
In honor of Irish heritage
City officials honored the Grand Marshal of Bayonne’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and aides to the Grand Marshal before raising the Irish flag outside City Hall.The parade will be on Sunday, March 19. The Grand Marshal, an honorary title awardedto Margaret Calverley, marches in front of the parade along with the four aides, which were selected from four local Irish-American organizations.
The aides are Mary Ann O’Sullivan of County Cork Association, Gabrielle Figueroa of County Donegal Association, Diana Ashe Liming of the Irish American League, and Jennifer Linus Mulcahy of the Shamrock Society.
“No, we don’t get our float,” said Liming, noting happilythat she does, however, get to stand on the grand stage. “Typically, when you march you only get to see those that march behind you. Now when we stand on the stage we get to see everybody. So I’ll get to really enjoy the parade.”
“Typically, when you march you only get to see those that march behind you. Now when we stand on the stage we get to see everybody. So I’ll get to really enjoy the parade.” – Diane Ashe Liming
City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski shared Liming’s excitement. “I was an aide once, and it’s the best seat in the house,” she said. “It’s great when you’re watching the parade, getting to see everyone come by in front of the grandstand.”
Calverly honored her ancestors and Irish heritage with a poem. “This flag has special meaning for men here today/But meant even more for those who have passed away/Johnny McGlynn, my grandfather, our Grand Marshal 30 years ago, very dear to my heart/
A man who instilled my Irish heritage from the start.”
Dozens came out for Friday’s flag-raising ceremony, including city council members, Board of Education trustees, the mayor, and Bayonne’s assemblyman.
“I want to congratulate the Irish community,” said Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti. “This is a proud tradition in Bayonne. Whether you continue to live in Bayonne or you moved out of town. Whether you’re Irish, Italian, Polish, your family still gets together on this Sunday and celebrates the Irish heritage and the impact it has had on our city.”
Mayor Davis, a lifelong Bayonne resident, said that St. Patrick’s Day has always been a special day (and month) for him.“The best part of the St. Patrick’s Day parade is that it’s the one day a year that everyone comes back to Bayonne,” he said.“It’s always been that tradition, that if you moved away from Bayonne like a lot of people have, but for some reason, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is a day that we all walk down the path together.”
Rory Pasquariello may be reached at email@example.com.