Southern New England
Fall River, MA, The Daily Globe, Monday evening, 17 Feb 1890
After the reading of the minutes the chairman begged the indulgence of the convention for a few minutes. He said: "You have met here today for the purpose of electing a grand marshal of the parade to be held St. Patrick's Day. It is a great honor and one which the choice of this convention may well feel proud to bear. In the contest that is about to take place I hope that everything will be done harmoniously and that no discord will be allowed to enter. Let us so conduct the business as to be able to look bck to the convention of 1890 with the feeling of pleasure that it was harmonious in every particular."
The chairman of each delegation was appointed as a committee to collect and count ballots.
When the result of the ballot had been declared Patrick Delehanty announced that he would withdraw his name in favor of Michael F. Sullivan.
Thomas Pargen stated that notwithstanding the published reports to the contrary, Co. A Hibernian Rifles, had received permission from the adjutant general to bear arms on St. Patrick's day.
Ballots were them prepared again for marshal with the following result:
Mr. Lahey said he wished to make a statement to the convention: "The question of grand marshal is now settled," said he, "and an ecplanation may be in order. A report was circulated that I am a member of several organizations. I wish to say for the benefit of the delegates of this convention, that I am a member of only one society and that one is the Robert Emmett Temperance society."
Chairman - "I don't think that has anything to do with the convention."
"It had great weight with some of the delegates," retorted Mr. Lahey.
A word of explanation may be necessary to show the cause for the above statement. A report was circulated that Mr. Lahey was a member of a division of one faction of the A.O.H. and the delegates from a division of the rival faction voted against him on that account.
John T. Neeson moved that two members from each delegation represented in the convention be appointed a committee of arrangements.
Michael O'Hearn amended that the chairman of each delegation, the grand marshal and the chairman of the convention act as the committee of arrangements.
Mr. Neeson explained that his object in having two from each delegation was to obviate some of the difficulties of former years and to expedite the business of the committee. "I have been a member of the committee of arrangements in former years, when one delegate represented each society, and I know the difficulty with which we had to contend. It often happens that a meeting at which every society would be represented was hard to get and the committee was then loath to transact any business lest the society not represented might not approve of it. To prevent a recurrence of this kind, I think that if two from each delegation were on the committee the chances for each society to be represented at every meeting would be better, and the business could be speedily transacted."
The chairman remarked that he was of the opinion that two from each delegation would be better.
The amendment, however, prevailed, by a vote of 29 to 20.
Thomas Pargen remarked that he failed to see any of the Portuguese or Canadian societies represented at the convention. "The action of the Irish societies in the parade of last June on St. John's day entitled them to some consideration from the Canadian societies," continued Mr. Pargen, "and if they were invited to take part I am convinced that they will do so. The parade on St. John's day created a better feeling between the nationalities and if invited they would parade with us on St. Patrick's day. On the 25th of June the mills were stopped on account of that parade and if the Canadian and Portuguese societies would turn out with us on St. Patrick's day the mills would stop for us also, and then many would have an opportunity to parade without intimidation or fear."
Chairman Duddy - "It has been the custom to leave the matter of inviting societies in the hands of the committee of arrangements."
Jeremiah Riley moved that the matter be referred to the committee of arrangements.
John J. Murphy - "The notice issued in the papers called for representatives of all Irish and Catholic societies." The Canadian and Portuguese certainly come under the head of the latter and I do not see any reason why they should be specially invited."
James Powers - "The call has always been the same, but the question of inviting these societies comes up in the convention each year. If Irish societies were not invited in the call it is well understood that it is their duty to be here. I think the Canadian and Portuguese societies should be specially invited."
The committee of arrangements will be: chairman, John Duddy; Marshal, Michael F. Sullivan; George O'Brien of Division 2, A.O.H.; Timothy Crowley of the Robert Emmett Society; James Powers, St. John's Temperance Society; James H. Hoar, Division 1, A.O.H.; John C. Sullivan, Young Men's Irish American Society; William Byard, Division 6, A.O.H.; Thomas Madden, Division 3, A.O.H.
George O'Brien - "The first time the question came up in our conventions was one year ago. My feelings have always been oppose to inviting other people. I contend that the day is thoroughly Irish and it is for the Irish to celebrate it without assistance. We are under no compliment to any organization. Let us prepare to celebrate our own day, and if any of these societies offer their assistance, we can find a place in the line for them."
Thomas Pargen - "St. Patrick's day is a religious as well as a national day. If the Canadian and Portuguese societies have regard for their faith they will rejoice with us in honoring the day of Ireland a patron saint. The French above all others should honor St. Patrick as he was a Frenchman."
"If these societies are invited," continued Mr. Pargen, :I think they will come. The more societies we have in line the better will be the chance of having the mills stop on that day. We have been endeavoring for years to gain recognition from the mill men and if we commit an act that will curtail the parade we will be as far away from our object as ever."
Thomas Lahey's name was offered to be treasurer of the convention. Mr. Lahey declined as did also James H. Hoar, when William Moran was elected.
On motion of Jeremiah G. Riley, the convention was adjourned for two weeks.