Accept: by 6n8GZen


									What I remember most from any St. Patrick’s Day celebration in
my childhood was that my mother made me wear something green,
and that as a family we went to the St. Patrick’s talent show in the
municipal building on Partition Street in Saugerties in part to
watch my oldest brother play the trumpet in Father Hardy’s Drum
Corp and in part to listen to people tell funny stories and jokes and
to listen to Jack Keeley and Joan Feldman sing usually sad or
melancholy songs. As a third generation Irish child, I didn’t know
then what it really meant to be Irish. I remember the nuns in St.
Mary’s of the Snow School lecturing us about St. Patrick and the
lesson of the trinity reflected in the shamrock. I thought that was
really special and different; it was a tangible symbol. Eddie Doyle,
from Brooklyn, standing in my parents’ kitchen singing “Danny
Boy” gave me chills with his extraordinary Irish tenor voice. I
remember how he always made my mother and my aunt shed a tear
with his “too-ra-loo-ra loo-ras”. It was only upon joining the AOH
that I came to fully appreciate the heritage with which I have been
blest. I take great pride in my Irish Ancestry, and I am both
humbled and honored to serve as Grand Marshal for this year’s
Kingston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
I take this honor very seriously, and consequently, I beg your
indulgence while I acknowledge some attending tonight.

First I want to…congratulate and recognize my fellow honorees:
       Kathleen Carey-Mihm for being selected to serve as our
Mayor for the Day…Congratulations Kathleen!
       Reaghan Maire Riley for being selected to serve as our Irish
Princess…Congratulations Reaghan! and separate congratulations
on Reaghan’s honor to her parents Greg and Melissa Riley. Greg,
for those who are not aware, is the director of our AOH youth
     Mickey Hein for being selected to serve as the bearer of St.
Patrick; the #1 prized position in all of our parade...
Congratulations Mickey! and separate congratulations on Mickey’s
honor to his parents Mike and Christine Hein.
     I want to recognize and thank all of our former Grand
Marshals for participating in tonight’s festivities and for
historically well- representing our organization with character and
leadership qualities to be emulated. You honor us all with your
presence tonight. Thank you.

I want to thank every one here for attending. This night is the kick
  off event for our parade which celebrates our Patron Saint, our
culture, and our faith, but our parade has also come to be viewed in
   the community as a calendar point for Spring’s approach…a
season we all well deserve this year. Thank you all for being here
                     and for your enthusiasm.
I want to thank
           Jim Carey, President, AOH,
           Patty Jacob, President, LAOH
           Bill Kearney, Vice-President, AOH
     With your three votes of selection – you not only honor me
but my family both living and deceased. I thank you on behalf of
all the Voerg family for this Grand Marshal honor.
 Those responsible for this St. Patrick’s Day Parade grand event…
John Kelly, Larry Dunn, and Kathleen Houghtaling, I want to
thank you for your exemplary leadership that causes Kingston’s St.
Patrick’s celebration to continue to be the best in the Hudson
     Along with you I want to thank all of the members of the
parade committee; together, you have created a well oiled
machine; from tonight through parade day, yours is a huge, selfless

effort: all for the love of our Irish heritage. I tip my hat in thanks
for all of your labor of love.
      I want to thank the members of our LAOH and others who
always stand in full support of all Hibernian concerns and projects.
Thank you for your support; I want to thank those who prepared
and who are serving the refreshments this evening…Thank you
      I want to recognize and thank the members of our Award
Winning Father Con Colbert Wolfe Ulster County Division One
AOH Pipe and Drum Band and Honor Guard. I know you march
and play proudly for all of our AOH activities, but this Grand
Marshal salutes you and your families for the rehearsal hours and
for the week-end hours that you spend perfecting your craft so as
to honor us all while you entertain, console, and bring joy to so
many. Thank you.
      I want to thank Joanie Mac and our step dancers performing
for us tonight; we watch with admiration of and respect for your
talents. Thank you for joining us.

     I want to thank Breda McMahon who inspires us all with her
dedication words for this celebration, for our Hooley on the
Hudson celebration, and for her writings about so many of the
culturally rich highlights of our AOH and LAOH experiences.
Breda continually honors us with her words; she is our poet
laureate, and I thank her for blessing us with her craft.
     I want to thank Ken Brett and Bill Yosh for making this
event and all of our AOH events so well publicized through their
ever popular WKNY Sunday morning Irish Hour. For over
twenty-five years the two of you have brought tremendous joy and
comfort into households near and far. Thank you and may God
bless you both for your talents.
     I want to thank Bernie Gray for serving as emcee tonight;
always a pleasure brother and friend! I look forward to our bus
ride together!
     I want to formally acknowledge this grand organization the
AOH and particularly its president Jim Carey. From the Celtic
Cross on the grounds of St. Mary’s, to our Feed the Hungry
Project, to which another $10,000 has been contributed this year,
to the gargantuan success that is our annual Hooley on the
Hudson™, and yes, to this extraordinary parade event, the men of
the AOH are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to
attending to the needs of others and to spreading joy to others. At
its helm, Jim Carey is the quintessential leader. Jim delegates
authority and then supports the memberships’ efforts without
question. Brother Carey, I salute you for the job you do with a
membership ten times its number from when I started. And fellow
brothers, I salute you all for the tribute you render to our Irish
heritage with your daily participation in this organization. I am
proud to serve with you all.
      I want to recognize and thank my family. I want to recognize
my wife of soon to be forty years, Diana Francello; though 100%
Italian, over the years Diana has embraced a lot of Irish thinking
and behavior. As teenage sweethearts, we shared many of the
same CYO and small town memories; I am a lucky and blest man
to have her by my side. I love you. And…your Irish soda bread is
still the best!
             I want to recognize our Daughter Rachel Lauren and
son-in-law Gregory Flammer of Buffalo, and our Son Ryan
Bradley Voerg and soon to be daughter-in-law Tracy Kramer of
Rye, NY. Rachel and Ryan embrace both their Italian and
Irish/German heritages. I know they wish they could be here
tonight, but they look forward to being with us for the grand
parade event. They bring remarkable joy and peace to my life.
     I want to recognize and thank my biological brother Don
Voerg and my sister-in-law Barbara of Saugerties and their family.
My brother Don is my real life, living, sorely unsung, hero. Look
up “goodness” and “kindness” and “joy” in the dictionary, and you
will see my brother’s picture. I love you, Don, and I thank you for
all that you do for all of us in the Voerg family. I also want to
recognize and thank my vacationing siblings who can’t be here-
my brother Bill and sister-in-law Delores of Saugerties and their
family, my sister Sugar and brother-in-law Bob Jackson of
Pittsfield, Mass. and their family who despite their absence this
evening I know share in the excitement of this honor. We have a
unique bond, the eight of us as siblings, and it is a genuine Irish
family bond centered in love, family unity, and free from turmoil.
     I want to thank my other family members and friends sharing
in this moment tonight…I obviously owe a great deal of thanks to
a good many people…
     I want to extend a special thank you to my AOH brother and
former KHS colleague, Bill Yosh, his wife Barbara, and their
daughter Pam and her husband John, and their son Bill Jr. Twenty
five plus years ago, Bill sponsored me to this organization. I
believe Bill best personifies our organization’s motto of
Friendship/Unity/and Christian Charity. One need only look to the
core ideas and ideals founding the internationally remarkable
family celebration we call our “Hooley on the Hudson™” to
understand the gift and gifts of this man…and I am honored to call
him “friend”. My Grand Marshal honor this evening is a direct
result of Bill’s practicing our organization’s motto. I thank you my
      Soooooooooooo         What kind of an Irish name is Voerg?
It’s not…Voerg… the name–is German not Irish. Ryan and
Bradley and Kerbert are my direct Irish surnames. Other family
surnames connected include Hines, Jordan, Brede, Longendyke,
Hughes, Hill, and the list goes on.
          My father, Bill Voerg, served in the Navy during WWII,
and he was a true patriot. As a result, I was raised to know that
first and foremost I am an American. Irish ancestry and/or German
roots were rarely focused upon or discussed at home. However, I
lived feeling Irish. My parents were humble hard workers who
taught us that faith and unconditional family love is all that is
needed for a good life. All of our family celebrations involved the
church in one way or another, and we watched our faith
comfortably walk our parents and our senior relatives through their
final years.

Finally, I am told you need to know something about your Grand
Marshal select: Born and raised in Saugerties, I attended St.
Mary’s of the Snow Church and graduated from St. Mary’s of the
Snow parochial school, Saugerties High School, Ulster County
Community College, Belknap College in New Hampshire, and
Middlebury College in Vermont. I began my teaching career at
John A. Coleman High School here in Kingston, back in 1973, and
after five years I joined the faculty of Kingston High School. I
retired from KHS in June of 2009 after thirty six years of teaching

In closing…
The community of Kingston embraced me decades ago, and today
I consider myself a man rich with the memories of hundreds of sur
names and cultures and beliefs and practices shared with me by
students, some of whom are here with us tonight. My life has
always been about family and friends, and I have been blest with
the best of both. I humbly thank you all for this night and for this


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