President’s Message March 2015

On May 1 and 2nd the NJAOH will gather in National Park NJ for their biennial convention, hosted by the Commodore Johnjudy-quinn-memorial Barry Division one of Gloucester County. This eagerly anticipated event will be the first time since 2005 the NJAOH and NJLOAH will hold a joint convention. In a special way the attendees will remember recently departed NJLAOH President Judy Quinn.

At a recent joint NJAOH-LAOH state board meeting NJAOH President Sean Pender presented NJLAOH President Nan Mitzen a certificate to recognize the tree that the NJAOH had planted in Ireland in Judy’s memory.

The NJAOH is proud to announce the recipients of the prestigious Torphy, Curtin and McFaul-Mullen Awards which will be presented at the convention:


Jim Shaw – Vol Patrick Torphy Award

Jim Shaw of the Volunteer Pat Torphy Division 2 of Monmouth County will receive the Volunteer Pat Torphy Award which is given to a Hibernian for outstanding service in his field of endeavor. Jim will receive the award in recognition of his tremendous work promoting Catholic education via the yearly Polar Bear Plunge. For the past nine years Jim has run the AOH Polar Plunge for Catholic Education. During that time the Division has led 1000 students, faculty, clergy and family members into the freezing Atlantic Ocean each January. The event has raised over $800,000 with 100% being returned to the school for tuition assistance, projects, infrastructure and sports teams.


Kevin Meara – Corporal Michael P Curtin Award

Kevin Meara of the Joe Cahill Division 10 of Mercer County will receive the Corporal Michael P Curtin Award in recognition of his work with City of Angels an organization that offers support to those on the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Kevin is presently Chairman of the Executive Advisory Committee of the non-profit, City of Angels (COA) NJ. Through COA, Kevin assists families in getting the necessary help to overcome the disease of addictions. He has met with hundreds of families since COA was created in 2009 and has presented in schools, churches and hospitals, as COA advances community awareness about addiction.


Father Kenneth Hallahan – McFaul-Mullen Award

Father Kenneth Hallahan, Chaplain of the Commodore John Barry Division of Gloucester County will receive the McFaul-Mullen Award. The award honors a Religious or Lay person that has shown outstanding service of love and forgiveness with understanding and compassion. Their faith and spirit has guided The Ancient Order of Hibernians with the spiritual guidance that assists all men of this order in living our motto of friendship, unity, and true Christian charity.

This article will represent my last as NJAOH Sate president so I’d like to thank all that have made this time so rewarding. In a special way I’d like to remember my father John and father in law Jim who were both Hibernians for over fifty years, their influence and example helped guide me through these past four years. Lastly to my wife Mary and son Tadhg thank you for your understanding, I love you both

Sean Pender NJAOH President 2011-2015