Hibernian Of The Year 2018 – Joseph Boyle

Joseph Boyle receives the 2019 Hibernian of the Year from State Board President Bill Halpin

Joe Boyle is one of the “rocks” of the Father Corby Division.  Regardless of the task, Joe is one of the core members who the Division Leadership can ALWAYS rely on to be there and help. 

One significant Division initiative Joe has spearheaded is the Division’s sponsorship and management of the annual Memorial Day weekend flag placement and the Mass and Blessing of the Graves ceremony in the St. Mary of Sorrows Historic Church cemetery.  Joe maintains the several hundred small US flags that are placed on each grave in the cemetery – over 400 – as well as the Irish flags that are placed on the graves of those of Irish ancestry.  He coordinates the volunteer force that places the flags on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, as well as the removal of the flags the week following Memorial Day. 

Joe also organizes the Memorial Day Mass and Blessing of the Graves ceremonies which are presided over by the St. Mary of Sorrows pastor, priests, and permanent deacons.  This includes predetermining the “route of march” through the cemetery, arranging for three Division flag bearers – one of whom is always Joe – who lead the procession through the cemetery, coordinating the ceremonials at the Mass which starts the day’s events, and helping to coordinate and run the post-procession fellowship reception among all the participants of this event.

Joe accomplishes all of the above while simultaneously serving over the Memorial Day weekend as the Chaplain for his local American Legion Post.  These duties require that he also participates in the Post’s wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Joe has been an INVALUABLE advisor to me, based on his many years’ experience in the Father William Corby Division – he is a Charter Member and Past President, and the sum total of his experience as a Hibernian.  His advice has helped ensure a more active and responsive Division, owing to him helping me outline a course of actions that are well supported by the membership.

Along those lines, Joe is a key participant in the set-up and execution of our two, semi-annual charity fund-raising events.  Whether it is setting up for the events, helping out during the activities, or participating in the post-event clean-up, Joe is ALWAYS there to help support these key events which allow the Division to provide over $9,000 annually to 20 different charities.  Additionally, he was one of the Brother Hibernians who helped the Division successfully host the September 2018 Virginia State quarterly meeting.

In summary:  Joe has been a Hibernian, starting with the Port Richmond Division #18 in Philadelphia 61 years ago; longer than most people in the United States have been alive! During that time, he has consistently provided exceptional support to his Division, to his State, and to our National Organization.  The Father William Corby Division is proud to nominate Joseph Boyle as our candidate for the 2018 Virginia State Hibernian of the Year.


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