St. Patrick's Day Parade in Holyoke, Mass. - Congressional Record: March 17, 1976
EXTENSION OF REMARKS
HON. SILVIO O. CONTE
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. CONTE. Mr. Speaker, today, as the Irish—and as is popularly said, those who wish they were Irish—celebrate the feast of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, I salute the 25th anniversary of the Holyoke, Mass. St. Patrick's Day parade. I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the Irish-American community in that city and around the country in this Bicentennial Year on the great contributions the Irish have made to the building of America.
Twenty-five years ago, on March 16, 1952, the first Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade stepped off on High Street under the direction of parade committee officials, William Lunney, president; William P. Sullivan, vice president; Thomas Mulvihill, secretary; and Emmett J. Cauley, treasurer. Today, a committee of some 150 citizens coordinate the endeavor, whose activities have grown from a single parade to a series of events, including a colleen contest, a coronation ball, a songfest, a benefit to assist a parade committee scholarship drive, and receptions to honor award winners. This year's counterparts to the original parade officials include: Maurice J. Ferriter, president; John E. McHugh, first vice president; Roger Breen, second vice president; Russell J. McNiff, treasurer; Dr. Francis M. Baker, financial secretary and chairman of the Board of Directors; John J. Mansfield, recording secretary; and Leo J. Hickson, sergeant at arms.
The coveted parade awards, given in several categories, honor men and women of Irish and non-Irish descent. Leading this year's award winners is Attorney Edward Bennett Williams of Washington, D.C., who has been named to receive the John F. Kennedy Memorial Award, an honor bestowed upon "an American of Irish ancestry who, by his life's work and contributions to our country, has become a credit to his forefathers and a friend and benefactor to all of mankind." Parade marshal for this anniversary edition of the Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade will be Richard J. Murphy, managing editor of the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram. And winner of the Citizenship Award; given to a person of non-Irish extraction for wholeheartedly supporting the parade, is Louis J. Ryback.
Mr. Speaker, I cannot lay claim to any Irish blood. But each year for the past 25, I have marched proudly in the Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade with my Irish friends. What has impressed me most about the parade is the enthusiasm it generates among all of the residents of Holyoke—those of all ethnic backgrounds and of all ages. It is not only a community festival, and a superb one, but its renown has spread so that the spirit of the parade encompasses the entire western Massachusetts area. I am looking forward to marching this Sunday, March 21, in the 1976 Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade and I take this time to congratulate all of those persons who have been involved over the past 25 years in making the Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade one of the foremost of its kind in the Nation.