The New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians Convention hosted by Pearl River drew positive comments from attendees and the community at large.
The event was based at the Pearl River Hilton and ran for five days, ending on Sunday.
Pearl River Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Hardy termed the AOH gathering “a great success that did well for the town.”
He pointed to the Lark in the Park on Thursday evening which was held at the Central Avenue Field and featured a free concert.
“The Chamber was involved and the stores stayed open late," Hardy said. "There were a lot of people in town and the restaurants and shops did well."
The potential benefits for Pearl River went beyond one good night for the local businesses.
“From the Chamber’s perspective it showed that Pearl River is a great town to have functions in," Hardy said. "We had an opportunity to show our diversity and let people from out of the area know what a great place we are to live. I look forward to the next one and I want to give credit to the AOH in the county and the people of Pearl River who did such a tremendous job.”
Joan Moore, President of the Rockland County Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, also expressed a positive view of the event.
“Overall things went very well," Moore said. "People from out of town spoke of how well the staff at the Hilton responded and how welcoming and friendly the people in town were. Even though we hit a few bumps in the road, we were able to correct them and people were happy with how smoothly the convention ran.
“Both the ladies and men from the AOH that volunteered their services did a terrific job. There were also key people who outshone themselves at the registration desk, working with the hotel staff and organizing the dinner dance. I was very pleased to be able to show off our Irish culture, music and history that Pearl River is so famous for.”
Vince Tyer, President of the Rockland County AOH, spent over three years coordinating many of the elements that drew over 800 convention attendees to the Hilton.
"From everything we heard from all the delegates and the volunteers, the convention was a huge success," Tyer said. "Many people said that they would be returning for the St Patrick’s Day Parade in March.
“Early this year we found out that Division 3 (Pearl River) is the largest in the country. The convention gave us the opportunity to show off not only the AOH presence in Rockland Country but the larger Irish American community as a whole. We highlighted our heritage through the dance schools, musicians, GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association and the (Rockland County) Feis (festival) on Sunday. I also want to thank everyone for the warm welcome that all the delegates received in Pearl River.”
On Saturday evening a slate of new officers was announced for New York State. They include:
- President Mike McNabb
- Vice President Jim Burke
- Secretary Tim McSweeney
- Treasurer Vic Vogel
- District 8 Director Vince Tyer
- President Denis Sobus
- Vice President Carol Mc Tigue
- Secretary Karen Keane
- Treasurer Jackie Clute
Editor's Note: Check back later today as Pearl River Patch wraps up its convention coverage with a full gallery of pictures from the event.