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Patrick Leads Parade

Grand Marshal: 100% Irish, 100% Local

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.


News

New Hyde Park Village trustee Donald Barbieri contends helicopters are still flying right over New Hyde Park and other residential parts of the north shore, harming citizens and the town with excessive and unlawful aircraft noise. In spite of what federal law says and in spite of what a federal court says, the noise levels are still an issue.

 

Barbieri drafted a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, apprising the entity of New Hyde Park’s situation. The FAA did not return calls for comment.

Operation Main Street, a plan that would see a section of Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park revamped with traffic calming features and aesthetic updates, is finally in the home stretch, New Hyde Park village officials say. Village contractor J. Anthony Enterprises will be putting the finishing touches on the $1.46 million project this week.

 

“It’s all but finished,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Honestly, I feel good. It’s looking solid. It took forever to get it done. They’re going to put more benches in and plantings; striping the road.”

 

New Hyde Park’s department of public works will maintain the planters and medians installed for the project. Twenty-five potted plants were recently installed along the turnpike, officials stated. More than 10 benches will be available on the turnpike.


Sports

 Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park recently received belt promotions after successfully completing a series of extensive exams.

 

“Our goal at Charles Water Karate & Fitness is to facilitate mental growth enabling our students to reach their highest potential as human beings,” says Charles Water, owner and director of the school.

“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others.”

Runners and walkers from New Hyde Park are invited to join in the fun on one of the most unusual 5K courses on Long Island at the Saturday, Aug. 9 Sands Point Sprint.

 

 The run presents the Long Island running community with an opportunity to traverse a unique combination of paved paths and runner-friendly woodland trails at the Sands Point Preserve. 

 

The August 2013 edition of the Sands Point Sprint attracted 313 finishers, including top New Hyde Park finishers Michael Ringel, who scored first in the 11-14 age group and Dave Frisone, who earned first place honors in the 65-69 age group. Race organizers are looking for both Ringel and Frisone, and a host of other New Hyde Park runners, to be back next week.


Calendar

Literary Club - July 30

Boot Camp - August 2

Six Gun Concert - August 3 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com