By Ed Forry
The summer of 2011 is all but history now. The sultry days are mostly behind us, some of the kids are back in school, the tomatoes are at last almost all ripe on the vine. In just the last fortnight, Bostonians have lived through first an earthquake, then, days later, the first hurricane of the new decade. Even the Olde Town team is sitting in first place as we enter Labor Day weekend. What an August month it was!
If you believe in omens, then perhaps you will agree that a World Series championship is almost a certainty. Almost.
But back to reality: The arrival of September brings a return to the activities of the many Irish organizations in greater Boston.
In Canton, the Irish Cultural Centre has unveiled an ambitious program of classes this fall that will be centered on the culture of Ireland. The "ICC Academy" will open for registration this Sunday (Sept. 4) at 1 pm, with a variety of course offerings, including Traditional Aran Cable Knitting, Tin Whistle for beginners and intermediates, and Mancy Grady teaching the bodhran and tipper hand skills.
There will be group set dancing every Monday night, a three-session workshop series in Irish baking and cooking, and even the formation of an ICC knitting group to meet on the first Sunday of the month.
The are a range of fees for the courses, from $5 donations up to $200 for some courses. As always, paid-up members are afforded a reduced discount price for the offerings. All the classes are offered at the ICC's Canton campus, and pre-registration is required.
Meanwhile, in Dorchester, the Irish Pastoral Centre has completed its relocation to offices in the rectory of St. Brendan’s Parish on Gallivan Boulevard. The rectory mail address is 15 Rita Road, Dorchester MA 02124, and the phone number is 617-265-5300. The IPC will host an open house to show off its new digs next Thursday (Sept. 8) from 3 p.m. to 7 pm.
And plans are underway to stage the third annual one-day Irish Festival on Columbus Day weekend (Sun., Oct. 9) at Adams Corner. That neighborhood boasts of one of the city's largest Irish attractions, including Gerard's Adams Corner restaurant and general store, Greenhills Irish Bakery, and the world-famous Eire Pub. And for that one day in October the streets will be closed to traffic as thousands enjoy music, dance and merriment.
The holiday weekend event is free of charge, and organizers have planned a Sept. 17 fundraiser at Florian Hall, featuring music by the Fenian Sons.
In downtown Boston, the Irish Network INBoston is getting ready for the season today with a "Celebrate the End of Summer" reception at the Irish-owned Back Bay Hotel on Stuart Street. Also this month, the board of the Eire Society will gather in Dedham to prepare for the new season's events, and also to make plans for a gala Gold Medal Dinner, likely in the spring of 2012. The Society was founded in 1937 to promote awareness of Irish culture in Boston, and next year will celebrate its 75th anniversary.
And our own special project, the 2011 Boston Irish Honors luncheon, is set for Thurs., Oct. 20, at the Seaport Hotel main ballroom. This is an event conceived by this newspaper as a way of honoring the lives of contemporary Boston Irish families and individuals who can serve as living examples of the great Irish values of loyalty and fidelity, family, friends, and country. A story on Page 3 in this issue gives more details on this signature event for the Boston Irish Reporter.
Our honorees once again are exemplary in every way of all that is good among Boston's Irish community.