The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Alec Campbell, Mauch Chunk Division I, Carbon County held it's 14th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Dinner in the Grand Ballroom at Kelly's Irish Pub in Lansford on Saturday night.
The Grand Marshal Dinner was held in preparation for the 14th Annual Carbon County St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held on Broadway in Jim Thorpe next Sunday, March 13th.
At the start of the evening's activities, the Irish National Anthem was sung in both Gaelic and English by Darren Behan while the U.S. National Anthem was sung by Rebecca McFadden.
Receiving the honor of the title of Grand Marshal for the 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Jim Thorpe was Emmett P. McCall of Lansford, Carbon County Recorder of Deeds.
Four Aides to the Grand Marshall also were presented with parade sashes and introduced to those in attendance. The four Aides included Colleen P. Clauser, Mary Kay Malaska, Gene Binder, and Sean Conway.
A lifelong resident of Lansford, McCall is completing his 12th year in the office of Carbon County Recorder of Deeds.
He is married to the former Mary Ellen Sniscak and they are the parents of five sons Emmett Jr. of Lehighton; Michael of Summit Hill; Patrick of Lake Hauto; Terry of Lansford; and Connell, who is deceased.
Prior to being elected Carbon County Recorder of Deeds, McCall was an agent for the Metropolitan Edison Life Insurance Company, Hazleton, where his efforts resulted in him winning the 1988 Service Award from the firm.
In 1973, Emmett was presented the Allentown Diocese Bishop Joseph McShea Award for distinguish service, and in 1990, he was named the recipient of the 43rd Annual Shamrock Award from the Panther Valley Irish American Association of which he is a 25 year member and past president.
Among the dignitaries in attendance at the banquet were Pa. Senator John Yudichak; State Representative Doyle Heffley; Carbon County Commissioners William O'Gurek, Charles Getz, and Wayne Nothstein; County Controller Bob Crampsie; Honoree, Prothonotary Joann Behrens; Register of Wills Judy Moon; Sheriff Dwight Nothstein; Coroner Bruce Nalesnik; District Attorney Gary Dobias; and County Treasurer Ron Sheehan.
The 2011 Parade will include 10 Bagpipe bands, one Drum and Bugle Corps, 15 Fire Companies and Emergency Service Organizations, four AOH and LAOH groups, a total of 634 marchers and 107 vehicles.
The bands appearing will be Pocono Regional Pipe & Drums; Brian Boru Pipe & Drums; Quittapahilla Highlanders; Lochiel Emerald Society; Celtic United Pipe & Drums; Loch Rannock; Hawk Mt. Highlanders; Ceol Neamh; Lehigh Valley Pipe & Drums; Nae Breeks Pipe & Drums; Blue Eagles Drum & Bugle Corps; and the Jim Thorpe Area High School Band.
In addition to the bands, also appearing in the 2011 parade will be 15 fire companies and emergency service organizations from 12 municipalities of Carbon County; 9 military groups; the Kerry Irish Dancers; 8 units of government representing state, county, and local government; 4 AOH/LAOH divisions representing Carbon, Lehigh, and Delaware Counties, and 22 other groups and organizations.
Receiving the honor of the title of "Hibernian of the Year" for 2011 was Bernadette Behan, the parade's Program Chairperson and a charter member of LAOH of Carbon County Mollie Maguire Division 1.
Members of the Parade Committee are Sean Conway, Matt Stinson, Hugh Dugan, Noel Behan, Gerry McFadden, Chuck Thamarus, Julie McDonald, Joan O'Donnell, Jean O'Donnell, Colleen Clauser, Mary Kay Malaska, and Bernadette Behan.
Co-Chairmen for the 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade are Hugh Dugan and Noel Behan.
The 2011 commemorative program book was dedicated to the memory of the Hon. David W Addy Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Carbon County who passed away on December 17, 2009.
Also remembered in 2011 commemorative program book was William Bernard Clarke who passed away on January 25th of this year. Known to most people as "Willie", he was always there when needed.
In his closing remarks, Master of Ceremonies Ron Sheehan said "I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe parade day and a happy St. Patrick's Day! As always as we celebrate the feast of this great saint let us be reminded that we do this in his honor for his sacrifice, his sincere faith, and his love of the people and country of Ireland."