MICHIGAN ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
Among ethnic groups we’ve tackled so far as part of the ‘Our Story’ series, none have offered the foundation of ‘great television’ more than the Irish. All the searing drama, the pageantry, the color and the sheer joy of living exists in this community, responsible for so much of Detroit’s past glories—Henry Ford’s roots, for example, were in County Cork.
A few of the leaders in the Irish community, including 2008 Parade Grand Marshal Pat O’Hara, gathered September 18th at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall on Grand River to hear an overview of the ‘Our Irish Story’ documentary scheduled for WXYZ-TV airing in December, 2009. As Executive Producer Keith Famie outlined plans for filming throughout the rest of 2008 and into the new year, fifty or so proud Irish Detroiters viewed the trailer created by Visionalist production covering a few of the events already ‘in the can’ and offered suggestions for numerous upcoming events.
Friendship, Unity, and True Christian Charity, Cairdeas, Aontacht, agus Carthannacht Criostai in Gaelic, is the motto of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, an Irish Catholic men's organization. The AOH was originated in the United States in nineteenth-century New York City by Irish immigrants who banded together in protection of the Catholic Church. The AOH in Ireland was formed in the fourteenth century for many of the same reasons.
According to the official statement of the order, “The initials AOH may tell the story best. Those who say it means "Add One Hour" are describing the easygoing, no rush attitude of many of its members, while "America's Only Hope" has been used to define the loyalty of the Irish to the principles of their adopted land. In any case, the Order is best described by the statement, "To be Irish is a Blessing, to be a Hibernian is an Honor."
Among the stated goals of the order are the promotion of friendship, unity and Christian Charity; the fostering of loyalty to country and community; the aid and advancement by all legitimate means the aspirations and endeavors of the Irish people for complete and absolute independence, promoting peace, with justice, and unity for all Ireland; and to foster the ideals and perpetuate the history and traditions of the Irish people.
The last goal is ultimately, the goal of the Visionalist crew in producing ‘Our Irish Story’.