The James A. Curran Division 1 AOH Holyoke, Massachusetts
When Hibernians in Massachusetts speak of the “Golden West” they are referring to the James A. Curran Division 1 in Holyoke, MA. Found 147 years ago by Irish immigrants who worked on the Holyoke Dam, it has been a Division that is truly community orientated. For the past 40 years Division members have volunteered at Providence Ministries Kate’s Kitchen to prepare and serve dinner the last Sunday of every month to 150 plus of the area’s neediest residents. Division 1 member, “Sarge” Nugent helped establish Kates’s Kitchen in 1980. In addition to volunteering to serve and prepare meals, Division members also donate food items to Kate’s food pantry. Since its inception, Kate’s Kitchen has provided over two million meals.
Just prior to the pandemic on February 22, Division 1 celebrated “Irish Night in Holyoke” in memory of their late Hibernian Brother, Daniel P. Curran. The event was held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke to a sellout crowd of 450, where attendees feasted on a delicious New England style Corned beef and Cabbage Dinner with entertainment provided by the Noel Henry Irish Showband, the Cassin School of Irish Dance and piper Matt O’Connor This annual event is a celebration of Irish Culture, as well as, a fundraiser for the Division’s charitable endeavors. The monies raised from this dinner benefit: the Maurice A. Donahue Memorial Scholarship; Holyoke’s St Patrick’s Parade; Kate’s Kitchen; Pan Mass Challenge for Cancer Research, as well as a host of other charitable groups in the western part of state.
During the festivities, Kelly O’Connor was named Ms. LAOH Hibernian 2020, and Matt O’Connor was named Mr. AOH Hibernian, 2020. Each of the recipients were recognized as members who exemplified the Hibernian motto of “Friendship, Unity, and True Christian Charity.”
Holyoke’s Division President and Immediate Past Massachusetts AOH State President Paul Hogan, in a recent email to Division 1 members optimistically noted, “Please hold onto the fond memories of times past and be determined that soon you will create even better times.”
What a terrific philosophy to live by!
Congratulations to the officers and members of the James A. Curran Division in Holyoke, Massachusetts for keeping our Hibernian traditions and culture alive, while at the same time contributing both financially and with their time and talents to their community in the true spirit of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. It is the exemplary works and spirit of the members of Division 1 in Holyoke that make us all proud to be members of the oldest, largest and greatest Irish Catholic organization in the United States, the AOH!