The Freeman’s story today about Mayor Jim Sottile’s “credit” on the costs of police overtime for organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will certainly stir some critics as the $1,000 break comes after the Rondout Business Association pulled its parade due to costs.
In the Freeman story, alderman Robert Senor said the move by the mayor was a “slap in the face” to the Rondout businesses.
Debacle aside, what was interesting to learn was that Sottile, Senor and council president James Noble are all members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which are the organizers of the St. Patrick’s parade.
This is a reminder that Kingston is a tightly knit community, with deep immigrant roots. Organizations such as the AoH not only organize parades, but work as a community group on a variety of projects.
The Ulster County chapter’s website has a detailed history page on the organization that says the national AoH is the oldest Catholic lay organization in the country. Read about it here.
The national AoH website has even more information, including an archive and can be seen here.