Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2021 ☘️

Since the parade in Boston is cancelled this year, here are a few Boston Globe St. Patrick’s Day stories from the past that mention Gloucester.

1957 Crowd 450,000 strong line South Boston

St. Patrick’s Day Parade: “Roars of 450,000 Rock Old Southie – Throngs in Deafening Tribute

Among the marching groups, a message from Gloucester:

“…Typical of the pure fun of this Irish carnival was the green-clad junkie’s horse and wagon, topped with a dozen members of the Hibernian Student Assn. There was also the usual assorted nags, jockeyed by small boys in green derbies, and a number of other informal entries, like the man with the green-lettered sign, “Eat Gloucester Fish.”

Forman, Ian. “Roars of 450,000 Rock Old Southie,” Boston Globe. 1957 March 19. Front page, continued p.22

1968 Rainy day

South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1968 featured Gloucester youth, St. Peter’s Bagpipe Band, as the bring it home musical act, – were you watching or marching?

“The last musical unit to bring up the parade was St. Peter’s Bagpipe Band of Gloucester. As the boy and girl pipers marched through the rain past the final reviewing stand, they lifted their water-soaked bagpipes to their lips and proudly skirled out “The Wearing of the Green.”

Davis, William. “‘Twas a ‘Soft Day’ for Boston’s Irish.” Boston Globe, 1968 March 8, p.19.

1961 Senator Ben Smith is Irish

Local politics

“the political longshot from Gloucester…He credited Al Smith for his courage in the face of bigotry, starting a job that Jack finished last November.”

“About Time We Knew: Ben Smith is Irish,” Boston Globe. 1961 March 20

Nurses from counties Cork, Limerick and Donegal, invited guests, were “beautiful, young and single.” Because 1961.

1892 How Ireland was Observed in Gloucester

A children’s medley performance at St. Ann’s made the St. Patrick’s Day roundup news. Do you recognize family surnames? (The Church is spelled St. Anne’s in this Boston Globe article.)

“The day of Ireland’s patron saint was fittingly observed here today, the Sunday school teachers of St. Anne’s Church giving an excellent entertainment, consisting of the operetta, “A Trip to Europe,” and readings, tableaux. The entertainment was under the management of Rev. C. W. Regan, assistant at St. Anne’s. The hall was packed with enthusiastic friends of the performers, who generously applauded the finished manner in which the various parts were rendered. The tambourine drill in the second part was a picturesque and pleasant feature…The readings by Miss Maggie Keefe and the tableaux also won high favor from the audience…”

Boston Globe 1892

Names mentioned: Jeannie Dooling, Eddie Fanning, Maggie Fanning, Michael Fanning, Etta Gibbs, Maggie Gibbs, Miss Etta Greenleaf, Hannah Harris, Lizzie Healey, Charles Hennessey, Maggie Keefe, Master George Kelley, Denis Moore, Miss Mary Murphy, Miss Sadie McAuley, Hugh McDonald, John O’Brien, Willie O’Brien, Nellie Nugent, Katie A. Roach, Miss M.E.J. Roche, Clara Smith, Katie Smith, Master Walter Smith, Miss Maggie Wells, Dora West, Clara White. Minstrelsy costumes were part of the program, boys were assigned roles dressed up as “four little curly headed (slur). ” 1892

St. Ann’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day revue was held at City Hall in 1924

“The annual St. Patrick’s Day entertainment of St. Ann’s Catholic parish was held last evening in City Hall auditorium. The hall was filled. overture was by Ralph Handran, pianist Helen Handran, violinist, and Helen Mitchell, drummer. Vocal solos by Mrs. George Adams, Mrs. James Cunningham and Joseph Buckley; violin solo Miss Lucille Rowe; reading, with music, Miss Irene H. Veno; address, “Christian, Citizenship,” Charles S. O’Connor of Boston; selection by the orchestra. There was community singing.”

My friend dropped off her scrumptious Irish soda bread so it feels like a pot of gold already.

What’s your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow this year?

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