What an Honor


Parade day is Saturday, March 2, and among the lineup will be a bevy of fine lads and lasses that make up this year’s honorees.

This year’s Grand Marshal Thomas A. Callahan, is the president and business manager of Local 15, 15A, 15B, 15C, 15D and 15H, the International Union of Operating Engineers. This Long Island resident is a 21-year member and a third-generation Operating Engineer, who moved up in the ranks before ultimately becoming the sixth president and business manager of the union in 2014.

This year’s Gael of the Year, Kieran O’Hanlon, is a sitting councilor in the City of Limerick in Ireland. O’Hanlon is a consummate politician who has placed the City of Limerick and the Council of Limerick, at the center of his life’s mission. However, he’s no stranger to Rockaway. He has marched in Rockaway’s parade on several occasions.

This year’s Honorary Female Grand Marshal is Cathy Hogan. This Yonkers resident, who spent many summers in Rockaway, is an active participant in several Irish organizations, including the LAOH Our Lady of Knock Division 19 in Yonkers, the LAOH Westchester County Board, the Clare Football Club of New York, the Galway Association of New York and many others.

John Norbury is this year’s Honorary Grand Marshal. This Howard Beach resident has been a laborer since 1986 and has served as Vice President of Construction and General Building Laborers’ Local 79 and President of the NYC Building Trades Queens Board of Business Agents.

This year’s Deputy Grand Marshals include Father Tom Basquel, Pat Cullen, James Morton, Lynda Collins, Wil Hurley, Michael Moran, Donald Morrish, MD., Joe Caruana and John O’Grady.

This roundup includes several locals. Local resident, Father Tom Basquel was assigned to St.Camillus – St.Virgilius Parish in 2015 and has been Mission Director for the past ten years.

James Morton, a Roxbury resident is a member of the NYC Department of Sanitation, as well as a volunteer at the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 21 (AOH 21). Lynda Collins, a lifelong Rockaway Beach resident, served as President of the Home School Association at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy in Rockaway Beach for six years, and is a member of LAOH Division 25. Rockaway Beach resident, Wil Hurley, has been an MTA Track Manager for more than 25 years. He also serves as vice president of AOH 21, and is a member of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association. Rockaway Park resident, Mike Moran has been an active member of the Msgr. Burke Council 2672 of the Knights of Columbus for the past 31 years, and is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is also a member of AOH 21 and has had a long career in telecommunications. Dr. Donald Morrish is the Chief Medical Officer/Sr. Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

Congratulations to all of the honorees and to parade president Michael Benn for organizing another great parade!