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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

James Sokol and Jake Leeds from Boy Scout Troop 298 recently completed their service projects.

 

Sokol and fellow Scouts replaced the backboards, rims and nets in the basketball court in Nuzzi Park. They also trimmed trees and repainted the court lines. 

The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from local school districts showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, 39 students in the Herricks School District opted out of the English exam, while 74 did not take the math test. For the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District, 17 students did not take the English test while 18 refused to take the math test.


Sports

The Sewanhaka Indians varsity football team hosted Elmont Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 18 in its final home game of the regular season. 

 

It certainly did not go as the Indians had hoped, falling 18-8, in a mistake filled game. Head coach George Kasimatis said the Indians had their chances, but kept digging themselves into a hole with mental mistakes on both sides of the ball. 

 

Playing from behind, senior running back Brenton Mighty was able to break free for a long touchdown run, to put the Indians on the board. 

Sewanhaka Indians Head football coach George Kasimatis told his team to expect a dogfight in this weeks game against the New Hyde Park Gladiators, and he was right after its 35-21 victory last week. 

 

“All the kids know each other really well, it’s always competitive when we play each other,” he said. 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 22

International Night - October 23

Halloween Dance - October 24


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