Remembering The Past: St. Mary’s Temperance And Benevolent Society

by Diane Norek Harrison

SOUTH AMBOY-Dated 1882: A meeting called by the pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, April 7, 1872, it was resolved to form a temperance society. The pastor was appointed president pro tem., and an election of officers was held which resulted as follows: Rev. John A. Kelly, president; Edward Gleason, treasurer; Thomas Bowe, secretary; James Manahan, Michael Mahone, Thomas Maguire and Matthew Connell, investigating committee.

Constituent members were Michael Mahone, James Manahan. James Collins, Michael Kennedy, Thomas Finley, Matthew Connell, Jeremiah Lynch, Michael Noland, John Powell, Michael Corbit, Peter Migher, James Migher, James Britt, Martin Duggan, William Dollton, Patrick Morris, Welton Costello, Thomas Maguire, John Wood, Timothy Burns, Stephen Cannon, and Patrick McDermond.


This society was designed to inculcate upon its members the principles of abstinence from alcoholic liquors as a beverage, and for their mutual benefit when deprived by sickness of the means of earning their livelihood, a funeral benefit of thirty dollars being paid upon the death of a member.

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

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