Report of the Florida State President

The Fall Florida State AOH Board Meeting
Sheraton Orlando North Hotel, 600 North Lake Destiny Drive, Maitland, FL 32751-4124
Citus Room
May 4, 2013

Close Up 1Since our last State Board meeting, I have continued to remain fully active as a Hibernian by attending the meetings of the Fulton J. Sheen Division while engaging in the activities of the State Board, despite the surgeries I had to undertake.

Through the efforts of our National Webmaster, Brother Joe McDonald and our State Webmaster, Brother Michael Shilale, we were finally able to bring down the old state website and create a brand new Florida State AOH Website.  Since its establishment, much information has been added.  This includes sections on Irish History and Irish Government, Social and Irish Sports information, Calendar of Events, News updates, State and National Rosters, Prominent Irish Links, an AOH Division Directory, Membership applications, and National and State official documents.  Each week, new information is posted.  Through the use of a username and password, access to all official Hibernian documents and rosters are  now protected.  The site is extremely attractive and easy to navigate through.

During October 2012, I underwent surgery to remove my Gall Bladder.  Following the surgery, I proudly walked my Daughter down the isle on her Wedding day in November.  A week later, I underwent open heart surgery to replace my Aorta valve and stem.

Following my recuperation, I was back on my feet dealing with both the State and Brevard Division Tribunals, which permanently removed James Rukosky as both State Vice President and Brevard Division Vice President following the conclusion of the hearings.  Due to the seriousness of the charges filed against him at both the Division and State Level, Mr. Rukosky’s membership in the Ancient Order of Hibernians was also officially terminated.

Since the beginning of January of this year (following my return to the fulfilment of my responsibilities), I have traveled over 5,000 miles across Florida attending various AOH related functions.  Some of these responsibilities included the following:

  • Attending the Brevard Division Tribunals on January 8 and January 23;
  • Attending and serving as the Prosecutor for the State Tribunal on January 10;
  • Holding a Florida State Executive Board Meeting on Sunday, January 20;
  • Attending Parade meetings in Brevard County;
  • Attending Brevard 2 Division meetings;
  • Installed the Pinellas 2 Division Officers on January 19;
  • Attended the Orlando reception welcoming Honorary Consul Terence J. Delahunty for Ireland in Florida on January 30;
  • Served as guest speaker for the monthly Craic Sessions at Meg O’Malley’s in Melbourne;
  • Attended the St. Brigid’s Mass at Light of Christ Church in Clearwater on February 3.
  • Attended the Florida State Fair on International Day, on February 14 at the FL State fairgrounds;
  • Took part in the State Presidents’ Call in with our National President;
  • Attended the Wake and Prayer Service for Bishop Dorsey on February 27 at St. James Cathedral in Orlando;
  • Attended the Funeral Mass for Bishop Dorsey at the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe on February 28;
  • Went to Hernando County later that evening to install a new AOH Division;
  • Attended the St. Patrick’s Day observances in Brevard County, Martin County, and the Villages.
  • Attended a funeral & burial ceremony for Brother Michael Brennan in Pinellas Co. on April 18;
  • Traveled to Hernando County, later that afternoon to present the Hibernian Charter to our newly installed Division.
  • Traveled to Pasco County on May 2 to install Division 2’s new officers.
  • Attended the SB Meeting at the Sheridan Hotel on May 4.

In January, I once again began writing to our Governor and requesting that March be designated as “Irish American Heritage Month” in recognition of Irish American contributions to the State of Florida.  In addition to this, request letters went out to different county boards and to city/town governments throughout Florida.  Using the templets I created, a number of Division Presidents contacted their county and local government councils.  With our joint effort, we exceeded the successful responses obtained last year.  By the time March passed, 37 proclamations were received from State, County and local governments.  We greatly surpassed last year’s efforts.

Currently, we are still working to get a United Ireland resolution introduced and approved in the Florida Senate.  Thus far, only the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland, and Rhode Island have approved them.

I also secured by the end of April, a new and much improved Florida AOH State Board Banner.

Since March, much work has been devoted to securing the location of our October State Convention (Sheridan North Hotel in Maitland) and in organising the events that need to take place.

Respectfully submitted by,
Greg Seán Canning, Florida State President