Remembering The Past: Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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by Diane Norek Harrison

SAYREVILLE-On March 17, 1951 St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated at Coby’s on Routes 9 and 4, at Rose’s Corner. There was Irish music and songs by the orchestra. Corned beef and cabbage was served.

SOUTH AMBOY-On March 17, 1959, for the first time in the city’s 51 years, the flag of Ireland flew beneath the “Stars and Stripes” at the City Hall on John Street for St. Patrick’s Day. This was in compliance with the request of the local unit of the ladies’ Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 4. The program was held at 10 a.m. with the raising of the Stars and Stripes and the singing of the National Anthem.


Former mayor, John D. Leonard, had the honor of raising the green, white and orange standard of Ireland. He then introduced various city officials. John McCloud, president of the South Amboy First Aid and Safety Squad, gave a resume of the history of the local A.O.H. Auxiliary, and Mrs. Mary McCloud, president of the Middlesex County A.O.H. Auxiliaries gave a short address and introduced the local auxiliary’s officers and members. The American Stars and Stripes was blessed by Rev. Fred Clancy from St. Mary’s Church.

Other speakers were: City Clerk John J. Triggs, who represented Mayor Joseph Charmello, Michael Hayes, Representative of the State A.O.H., Council President James J. Harrigan; Councilmen John Howley and James VanDerveer; Miss Rose McNeal, daughter of Mrs. Rose McNeal, founder of the local A.O.H. Auxiliary. Patrick Burke of Perth Amboy, one of the oldest Hibernians in the county; Mrs. Rose McCloud, John McCloud and Mrs. Rose Kilmurray.

The Melrose Drum and Bugle Corps. furnished the color guard and the South Amboy First Aid and Safety Squad stood by. The John Barry A.O.H. Division 1 of Perth Amboy were guests of the local auxiliary.

Mr. Joseph Demarco was the General Chairman of the affair and John D. Leonard served as toastmaster. A buffet luncheon followed at the Hillcrest Inn.

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201.

The former S.A. Pub which was on the corner of No. Feltus St. and Augusta St. with their contribution for the March 11, 1990 South Amboy St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It was their first year after taking over the Brave Bull. It is now the Corner Pub & Grill. Photo by Diane Norek Harrison

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