Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hibernians On Parade

As much as Jamaica Plain is known for its Irish population, there were very few relevant acknowledgements of the fact in the Boston Globe until the turn of the century. This article describes a parade through the streets of the district, from Hyde Square to St Thomas church and back to Curtis hall. As someone who marched in many parades, this wasn't a parade - it was a campaign! They certainly weren't shy about marching on side streets. I never marched on streets like Green and McBride - during the 1960s parades were kept on main streets like Centre and South. McBride and Jamaica streets were the historical heart of Irish Jamaica Plain, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they took the route they did.

The speech given at Curtis hall tells us something about the times. There were obviously questions about the loyalty of Irish-Americans being asked, or there would be no reason to speak on the topic.

Boston Daily Globe May 30, 1898

Big Hibernian Turnout.

Jamaica Plain Has a Parade, Concert and Lecture.

There was a monster Hibernian demonstration in Jamaica Plain last evening. It consisted of a parade, a musical program and a lecture by Hon Thomas J. Gargan in Curtis hall.

Divisin 51 of Jamaica Plain had charge of the affair, and at their invitation nearly all the Hibernian divisions of Suffolk county participated in the parade and listened to the program at the hall.

The parade formed at Hyde sq and marched over the following streets: Centre, Green, Call, Keyes(McBride), South, Jamaica, Woodman, St Joseph, South to Curtis hall.

[a parade listing followed]

At the hall an entertainment, consisting fo an overture by the orchestra; soprano solo, Miss Bella Boyle; tenor solo, Richard McMunn; national airs, Bunker Hill cadet band; comic selections, Frank Leslie; recitation, Nicholas Lawless; solo, Miss Mary Donovan; selections by Thomas F. Meagher band of Cambridge; song, John H. Finley, was given.

Rev Fr Charles F. Donahoe then introduced Hon Edward J. Flinn, the presiding officer, who introduced the speaker of the evening, Hon Thomas J. Gargan. Mr Gargan delivered an address on "The Fidelity of Irish Americans to the Rebublic."

The lecture and entertainment was in aid of the school for the blind, now in course of construction in the St Thomas parish.

1 comment:

  1. Re: Hibernians on Parade,

    The fact that the Catholic Church demanded that the students attend Catholic schools caused many to label Irish-Americans as not loyal citizens.