Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 15 March 2013 00:00
When he stepped onto American soil in 1959, Patrick Sexton was unsure where his feet would take him. In 2013, the 40-year Floral Park resident found his footing atop a chariot overlooking locals at the St. Patricks Day Parade in Mineola and Garden City on March 3, as its Grand Marshal.
Sexton was born in Ahey Bridge, Miltown Malbay, County Clare, to Patrick and Kathleen Sexton. He is one of eight children, Chris, John, Mary Ellen, Kay, Margaret, Theresa and Thomas, who died as an infant.
Chris had preceded his journey to America. Pat stayed with him in an apartment on 47th Street in Woodside, Queens. Known as PJ to his family and friends, he also lived in the Bronx. He spent several years playing junior and senior football and hurling in Gaelic Park.
“Through the years, I’ve been very involved in the center,” he said. “It’s all volunteer work.”
Though he longs for his home country, he doesn’t miss the rainy days in Malbay.
“You have to pick the right time to go for good weather.”
Sexton was employed in construction by Mitchell Contracting and then joined Local 608 Carpenters and Joiners of America in 1969 until his retirement five years ago.
His work didn’t stop there. Sexton helped renovate the Irish American Society headquarters in Mineola.
“We donated our time and fixed up the center to what it is today,” he said. “It’s a beautiful place to go to.”
In 1968, Patrick, married Mary Ann Sheridan of Raven Hill, Shrule, County Mayo. They are the proud parents of four children; Patrick, Ellen, Mary and Michael and 11 grandchildren; James, Brendan, Sean, Emily, Meghan, Deirdre, Collin, Patrick, Claire, Ryan and Anna.
Sexton said he feels a great source of pride and a cherished privilege to be chosen as Grand Marshal for parade.
“It’s hard describe the way I felt,” Sexton said of his Grand Marshal appointment. “There was someone else in the running, Geraldine O’Brien. They called the names and put them on the bulletin board and they voted. It was a great honor and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Sexton has been a member of the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk & Queens since 1977 and has served on the board of directors. He loves to dance and has chaired many society dances.
Sexton is also a member of the County Clare Association where he has served on the board of directors as vice president. When hung up hammer and nails, he took up golf and was a member of the Irish American Golf Society.
“Grand Marshal PJ Sexton and his aides did a great job putting it all together,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
New Hyde Park residents gathered Saturday, Dec. 7 to kick off the holiday season when The Village of New Hyde Park hosted their yearly Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Village Hall.
The auditorium at the Marcus Christ Community Center, decorated for this holiday season, filled up quickly as families and local residents came to enjoy the Christmas festivities. Mayor Robert A. Lofaro, who’s been on the board for the last 15 years, welcomed guests.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Sewanhaka Central High School District voters rejected a $99.5 million bond on Wednesday, Dec. 4 that would have funded extensive repairs and upgrades to the district’s five high schools. District residents voted against the plan, 2,705-2,412.
Forty percent of the bond would have been covered by state aid. The bond would have cost every taxpayer $144.26 annually.
“There’s not a whole lot you can say at this point,” said Joan Romagnoli, the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park representative on the Sewanhaka school board. “I’m disappointed. The administration worked tirelessly. Their outreach in the community was solid.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano presented citations to honorees at the recent Milan Senior Program.
The mission of the Milan Senior Program is to offer educational and recreational activities, to promote personal growth and socialization, to foster feelings of achievement, companionship, and well-being
that would enhance the quality of life for people 60 years of age and older. For more information on the Milan Senior Program visit http://www.herricksindous.org/Milan
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
More than 300 friends and family attended the “Pig Roast” benefit for Dave Kelnhofer, a local New Hyde Park Volunteer and former FDNY fireman at Spanky’s Bar & Grill in New Hyde Park recently. Kelnhofer contracted a rare cancer, (Amyloidosis) while working at ground zero after 9/11. His wife Fran could not believe how many people turned out for her husbands fund raiser, saying “it is incredible what New Hyde park does to help someone who is in need.”