ALBANY, N.Y. — The 90th biennial Convention of members of the New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians in America will take place at the Turf Holiday Inn in the Empire State’s Capital City, Albany, from Wednesday, July 21, through Saturday, July 24.
An expected 600 men and women will be meeting to elect their new officers and decide their programs and policies for the next two years. They will also decide where the NYS AOH will gather in 2001.
The Convention will be hosted by the Tri-County AOH/LAOH (Albany, Rensesel’r, Schenectady) Committee in conjunction with the AOH New York State Board. An AOH Suffolk County husband-and-wife team will chair the four-day convention: John Hennessy for the men’s convention, and his wife, Margaret Hennessy for the Ladies AOH. The Hennessys live in Deer Park, Suffolk County.
The convention deliberations will be chaired by the respective incumbent presidents: Timothy Comerford of Oswego for the men and State President Bernadette Hartnett of Rockland County for the LAOH.
Tim Comerford, who had been serving as state vice president, assumed the AOH State presidency on May 28 at the death of the incumbent president, James F. Hayes Jr. of North Babylon, Suffolk County. Hayes came to the AOH State presidency on July 27, 1996, at the death of his predecessor president, John Burns of Auburn.
Comerford will be seeking election to a full two-year term. Outgoing LAOH President Hartnett will not be seeking office.
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In a pre-convention statement, Comerford announced: "As all our members know, we recently lost our president, James Hayes Jr. It is the intention of the State Board to dedicate the entire convention to the memory of James Hayes. This will be the first step in honoring his memory. One of the many items that will be on the agenda, will be a more permanent means of remembering both President James Hayes and John Burns, who also passed away in office. Both of these gentlemen dedicated many hours for the advancement of our organization and to the goal of peace with justice in Northern Ireland, and their efforts will not be forgotten."
The early-morning election line on the men’s officership voting outlook as it has gone in the past — each officer moving up one rung on the officership ladder unopposed.
Six LAOH State officers are seen as moving up without opposition: Vice President Rosalie Rairden of Lynbrook to state president; Frances O’Leary of Belle Harbor, Queens, to vice president; Anne Marie Ferguson of Syracuse to recording secretary; Kathryn Cronin of Harpursville, Broome County, to treasurer; Virginia Hogan of Staten Island to Irish historian; Eleanor McDonald of White Plains to Missions and Charities.
The convention will officially open with the traditional Memorial Mass for deceased AOH members on Wednesday evening. The principal celebrants will be the NYS AOH State Chaplain, Father John Ahern of Liverpool, N.Y., and LAOH State Chaplain, Father Joseph Tierney of Yonkers, N.Y. A number of AOH Division and County Chaplains will assist as concelebrants.