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Centennial Monograph: Ancient Order of Hibernians


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Centennial Monograph: Ancient Order of Hibernians


A summary of the A.O.H. society in Maynard which was formed to promote "the advancement of the principles of Irish Nationality."





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Ancient Order of Hibernians

The "little green isle o'er the sea’ had several names during its long history but how many of my listeners knew that centuries ago the name of this beautiful island was known as Hibernia and thus you can readily see how and why the Ancient Order of Hibernians received its name.

The A.O.H. as it is familiarly called, is a fraternal beneficiary society of men of Irish birth or descent. The order originated in Ireland and was introduced to America at New York City in 1836. One of the main objects of the society is "the advancement of the principles of Irish Nationality."

The first knowledge we have of any of its activities was in 1899 in the month of July when the installation of officers of Division 44, A.O.H. was held either in CoopHall (corner Nason and Summer St) or St Bridget's Temperance Society rooms located in the same building. On that occasion the following officers were inducted: John Moynihan, pres; Timothy Crowley, vice pres; James Mahoney, recorder; James Mullin, and John Regan, directors.

The following year shows that the society was making excellent progress both socially and financially. The membership grew to 110 members. A capacity crowd filled Cooperative Hall on Mar 17 (St. Patrick's Day) WITH THE FAMOUS Harry Brigham’s orchestra furnishing the music.

In 1905 with a fine membership and $1000 in the treasury, a hall of its own to house the increasing membership was being considered. But alas and alack during that very same year, and for some reason that I never thoroughly understood, a second A.O.H. society was formed to be known as Division 43. The installation of officers for the new society was held Oct. 20, 1905 in Masonic Hall. The following officers were inducted: Timothy Crowley, president; John McNamara, vice pres,, James Farrell, recording sec’y; Arthur M. Sullivan and Bernard Garrigan, directors .

We started out with twenty five members and held our meetings directly over the post office, in Masonic Block. We were mostly a young group, among them were "Jink" Murray, Jack Kelly, Jim McGill, Bill Smith, and others whose names I cannot recall at this writing. We were out for adventure and would probably have joined the Red Men were they wiling to provide us with tomahawks and hatchets.

Perfect harmony existed between the two Divisions and in many instances would join forces to promote any worthy Irish cause. One of these joint meetings was held in Hibernian Hall on June3, 19I0 when plans were made to organize a Men's Catholic Lyceum as proposed by the Rev. Walter Browne. On the same day three electric cars were chartered to take over two hundred members for an all day outing at Lexington Park. Two other instances when the two divisions joined forces were in the years 1920 and 1919 for the purpose of raising a Liberty Fund for Ireland and an Irish Bond drive. The 1919 meeting was held in Colonial Hall with Bernard’ Garrigan presiding. The 1920 affair was held in Riverside Hall on Mar 5th with P. J. Sullivan in the chair. Five hundred dollars was realized at this meeting,

The Ladies Auxiliary of Div. 44 should not be overlooked. It was organized in 1905 and the following officers were installed on Nov. 3rd: Margaret McCarthy, pres; May Campbell, Margaret Murphy, Katherine Powers, Inez Scully, Margaret Dineen, and Agnes Waldron, sec'y. The latter Mrs. Agnes Waldron Drisco'll is the only surviving member of this group.

The auxiliary was a progressive group and at one time boasted of a 150 membership. The last big event of the auxiliary before its demise was its 34th anniversary with a dinner held at the Hotel Kendall.

I must revert to Div. 44 A.O.H. for just a moment to recall an unusual incident that happened Dec. 15/16 when William Moynihan, son of John Moynihan, the first Hibernian president, took over the office once held by his father. Father and son were the first and last presidents of the society.