REPORT OF THE STATE PRESIDENT
The Spring 2015 Florida State AOH Board Meeting
Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe
8300 Vineland Avenue, Orlando, FL 32821
May 2, 2015
Since our last State Board meeting, I have continued to perform my duties as Florida State President, National Director, and National Co-Chairman of the Freedom For All Ireland Committee.
Despite the fact that we are without a State Webmaster, I have continued to update our State Website. Information continues to be added to various categories. 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. Periodically, new or updated information is posted. Through the use of a username and password, access to all official Hibernian documents and rosters are available through the Gray Menu Bar (members only), located below the Green Menu Bar. The website remains extremely attractive and easy to navigate through.
In support of our Brothers, I have continued to traveled across Florida attending various AOH related functions. In addition to this, I have traveled to Austin, Texas (to assist in the installation of a new division) and to Savannah, Georgia (to participate in their St. Patrick’s Celebration).
Following the last State Board Meeting, I have appointed Joseph Sandefur of Hernando 1 as Florida’s State Chairmen to oversee Project St. Patrick. In addition to this, I have also appointed Dan McKinnon of Pasco 1 as our new State Veterans Affairs Chairman.
Since my appointment as Co-Chairman of the FFAI Committee, Brother Paul Gowdy and I have been quite busy with this year’s Freedom For all Ireland Christmas Appeal. As the new FFAI Chairmen, we exceeded last year’s fundraising and generated new record keeping forms that now makes it easier to track our donations and contact the organizations we are supporting. This year through the fund raising efforts of our AOH Brothers and LAOH Sisters, we provided donations to various organizations in Northern Ireland in support of the Good Friday Agreement and in support of those programs that will enhance our goal of Ireland becoming a United and Free 32 County Nation.
In addition to this, I am serving in the role of Ard Rí for Florida’s first Major Degree Team. By the end of June, our Degree Team should be certified by John J. Kelly, National Chairman of Ritual and Degrees.
A brief synopsis of my ongoing responsibilities included the following:
- Attended special celebrations for Brothers across the State.
- Attended and served as guest speaker for the Easter Monday celebration luncheon in the Clearwater area.
- Officiated at various Division Installation of Officers.
- Attended St. Patrick’s luncheon celebrations held by Hernando 1 and Pasco 1 Divisions.
- Officiated at Division Shamrock Degree Ceremonies.
- Participated in the National Call In for State Presidents.
- Participated in National Call In conferences for National Board members.
- Officiating at the installation of a new Division in Austin, Texas.
- Organized the participation of AOH Brothers in Irish Heritage Night at Tropicana Field (Rays vs. Red Sox).
- Conducting personal meetings with interested candidates from the St. Augustine and the Orlando areas, as well a personal meetings with the State President of South Carolina concerning mutual interests.
- Helped organize and attended the Celtic Thunder Cruise for our Brothers and Sisters.
- Have continued to serve as Acting Recording Secretary for my Division in Brevard County.
- Organized and assisted our Florida Divisions in sending out Irish History Month Proclamations.
- Personally attended and accepted Irish History Month Proclamations.
- Updated various National and State AOH Forms.
- Working with our State Vice-President to bring the 2020 National AOH/LAOH Convention to Orlando, Florida.
- Established Florida’s first State Convention Criteria List to assist is securing State Convention locations.
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 templets that I created, a number of Division Presidents contacted their county and local government councils. By the time March passed, 55 proclamations were received from State, County (10) and local governments (44).
In May, I will be attending the Southern States Regional Meeting in South Carolina on May 30.
From July through October, I will be attending various Southern AOH State Conventions as the National Director for the South.
Respectfully submitted by,
Greg Seán Canning
Florida State AOH President
National FFAI Co-Chairman