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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

School spirit was at an all-time high when community members joined students, administrators, faculty and staff for Sewanhaka High School’s annual homecoming parade and game.

 

The festivities kicked off with a Pep Rally on Sept. 19 on the school’s athletic field and continued on Sept. 20 with a parade that featured colorful banners and beautifully constructed floats based on this year’s “countries” theme. 

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”


Sports

The Hicksville boys volleyball team improved to 3-3 on the season by topping Sewanhaka in three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-13. 

 

“We lost the first few matches this year but bounced back to win the last three,” said Hicksville’s second year Head Coach Kevin Bunting. “We have a young team—we lost three starters last year. We have no seniors on this team, but we have three juniors,” he added. Bunting noted that it will bode well for next year’s team when they have even more experience to build on.

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - October 1

Silver Sneaker Fitness - October 2

Live Music - October 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