Author Archives: Jim Feeney

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organisation

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Ancient Order of Hibernians
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organisation. Members must be Catholic and either born in Ireland or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States, where it was founded in New York City in 1836. Wikipedia
MottoFriendship, Unity and Christian Charity
FoundedMay 4, 1836
PresidentJudge James F. McKay III
Formation4 May 1836; 181 years ago

Ancient Order of Hibernians – Wikipedia

Major Degree Ceremony Saturday April 22, 2017

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Brian Boru Division 14, Old Bridge, Middlesex County, NJ with the approval of the New Jersey State Board in association with the Saint Columbkill Knights Major Degree Team invite you to the upcoming

Major Degree Ceremony
Saturday April 22, 2007
Knights of Columbus Hall
St. Thomas the Apostle #4815
16 Pine St
Old Bridge, NJ 08857

11:00AM (Sign In) Registration
Bagels, Coffee and Light Refreshments

Noon Shamrock Degree Ceremony
1:00PM Major Degree Ceremony

Cost: $35.00 Candidates – $30.00 Observers
Observing with no admittance to the reception is free

Following the degree ceremonies, there will be a reception.
Variety of Sandwiches and a Cash bar

We ask that you stress not only the importance of the Order’s long standing ceremony but the obligation each member must live by its great motto. As we continue to strive to strengthen the foundation, the sponsors of the event hope to increase the number of degreed brothers and bring together divisions from around the state and celebrate our Catholic – Irish heritage. Our goal is that each of us join and unify trough a special unity as Hibernian’s and end the day as a stronger more unified Brotherhood. At the time when you were initially sworn into your division and took the oath, you promised “To take the test of the Order. Now is the time to fulfill that promise.”

To get an accurate headcount for food, refreshments and hall rental, we also ask that all Division Presidents reach out to all division members and gather a list of each member attending the Degree and contact Larry Prelle with your list of attendees no later than April 10th. Seating is limited.

Larry Prelle, Vice President
New Jersey State Board
Mailing Address: PO Box 41, National Park, NJ 08063
Cell Phone: 856-745-7974

Please observe the following:
1) Travel cards are required by all for admittance. Newly sworn in brothers who have not yet received their travel cards may be vouched for by their division.
2) The exemplification of the Major Degree Ceremony is open to all formally sworn in members of the Order, who are in good standing in their division.
3) All officers are required to be degreed members of the Order. Officers from newly established divisions are required to obtain their degree at the next available Major Degree ceremony to hold office.
4) All degreed AOH members are welcome and urged to join in and help us in welcoming our newly degreed members to the Order.
5) Dress code is business casual. This means absolutely NO tee shirts, shorts and or sneakers. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
6) Please bring a non-perishable food item with you. There will be a collection box for local distribution.
7) Consumption of alcoholic beverages is NOT permitted in the hall during the ceremony.

The Sullivan Brothers

Irish American Heritage Month: The Fighting Sullivan Brothers

SullivanbrothersDID YOU KNOW that in the annals of America’s heroes, there is scarcely a brighter entry than that of the fighting Sullivan brothers?  Born in Waterloo, Iowa to Railroad conductor Tom Sullivan and his wife Alleta, George, Francis, Albert, Joseph, and Madison grew up the best of friends in the closeness of an Irish family and matured into patriotic Americans. It was no surprise therefore, that when Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Sullivan brothers headed straight for the nearest U.S. Navy recruiting office.

Navy policy discouraged family members from serving together, but the Sullivans were determined that nobody would split them up. If the Navy wouldn’t take them, they would try somewhere else. With the demand for recruitment high, and five healthy young Irish-Americans offering to serve, the request was granted and on Jan 3, 1942, they enlisted. Later, George tried to explain their decision to their mother. His words were tragically prophetic; he said, If worse comes to worst, at least we’ll go down together. In less than a year the worst came to pass.

On the morning of Nov 13, 1942, during the battle of Guadalcanal, east of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, the Sullivans were aboard the USS Juneau when she was hit by a torpedo in her forward engine room. Minutes later another shot hit her weapons magazine. In a violent blinding flash, the ship erupted. In 42 seconds she sank in shark-infested waters; only 10 of her 711 crew members were rescued; the Sullivans were not among them! The sinking of the Juneau was one of the most tragic losses of the war, but the loss of the five brothers shocked the nation.

It was the greatest military loss by any one American family during World War II. The Waterloo Courier reported that, In the history of the Navy, no mother has received a blow as severe as that which has come to this mother. Mrs. Alleta Sullivan endured her sorrow by helping other families overcome their own personal tragedies. Helping others in sorrow kills your own sorrow, she told a reporter. Condolences poured in from every level of society, Presidential letters and visits and even Congressional resolutions could not ease the pain that the nation felt. Hollywood even immortalized the boys in a full-length feature film: The Fighting Sullivans that left those who saw it teary-eyed.

The ultimate tribute however, came in April, 1943 when the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company invited Mrs. Sullivan to christen the U.S. Navy’s new Fletcher-class destroyer, the USS Sullivans (DD537).  It would be a fighting memorial to her sons. The USS Sullivans was the first ship ever commissioned to honor more than one person. The Sullivans were on the sea once more. The USS Sullivans received nine battle stars for service in World War II and two more for service in the Korean action.

Then on 7 January 1965, USS Sullivans was decommissioned, but remained in reserve into the 1970s. In 1977, she was donated to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park in Buffalo, NY as a public memorial. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and today, the decommissioned USS Sullivans sits proudly at Buffalo’s Naval Park with her shamrock flag still waving from her mainmast and a brass plaque on her quarterdeck recalling the vow of the five Sullivan brothers – We stick together!  However, that’s not the end of the story.

USS_The_Sullivans_crestThe USS The Sullivans (DDG-68), Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyer was launched on 12 August 1995. She was christened by Kelly Ann Sullivan Loughren, the granddaughter of Albert Sullivan – one of the brothers. This newest ship to carry the Sullivans’ name was officially commissioned on 19 April 1997 and still carries the name of the five Sullivan brothers across the seas with her official motto: We Stick Together commemorating just a few of the Irish-Americans who made America Great!

Mike McCormack, National Historian




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St Patricks Day March 17th NYC -69th Regiment Armory Update

From: John Hallanan <>
To: ‘Jim Feeney’ <>
Sent: Wed, Feb 15, 2017 2:19 pm
Subject: NYC Parade



Due to lead found in the rifle range and boiler room of the 69th Regiment armory on 26th and Lexington in NYC, no civilians will be allowed to enter the armory when the unit returns from parade duty on March 17. Wives and family members of the soldiers are included in the ban. Only a DOD ID card showing active status will be accepted. The soldiers will be allowed to have a quick meal and then be asked to leave or board the bus that took them there ASAP. All shows scheduled in the armory have been cancelled  until the lead is removed. Contracts are being prepared to clean the 36 armories in the State. I do not know if the Jersey City armory or any other armory in New Jersey has or had a rifle range and therefore is being or has been evaluated.


The 69th armory was always open after the parade for veterans to come back to visit as  well  as for other people celebrating the day. It should be OK for 2018.


Please let the membership know. It was a popular stop and this year it is a Friday. The Veterans are scrambling for a replacement venue but nothing suitable or available yet.