Green Replaces Dutch Blue
the month of March, everyone in OÕCarbor is Irish.
Even the Hollanders trade in their Dutch blue for Irish
green during this annual spring fling, and the Norwegians
have their own green group ready on standby.
Irish Wildlife Society is firming up plans for their annual
St. Patrick's Day Parade and celebration. Everyone who wishes
can get into the act. The parade moves west on Pioneer Way
to City Beach on Monday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. Captain
Black, NAS Commanding Officer is Grand Marshal, and he and
Mayor Patty Cohen will lead the parade down to City Beach
Park where they will kiss the Blarney Stone, after the Rev.
David Lura and Father Heffernan (who returns from Bremerton
for the occasion) have blessed it. There will be lots of
music and entertainment, ending with a family singalong
at a local 'pub.'
the Sons of Norway, two new features this year are the Crab
Queens and the Oak Harbor Lodge of the International Possum
Brotherhood. Also, families are encouraged to carry signs
declaring their family clan names. If you don't have one,
make it up.
Pat's Day is a good old American custom that makes it okay
to be Irish; to wear something green; to drink green drinks;
and to see and talk to little green men, affectionately
called leprechauns. It does make a change from pink elephants
and white rabbits.
also is said, by those in the know, that the arms of the
windmill at City Beach begin to turn at midnight on St.
Patrick is Ireland's patron saint. March 17th is celebrated
each year, not as the saint's birthday since nobody seems
to know when it was, but as the anniversary of his death
in 493 A.D. According to Roman Catholic authorities, St.
Patrick was not even born in Ireland, but was captured by
Irish marauders at about age 16 and sold into slavery on
that green isle that was to become his home. He spent six
years there, tending swine, learning the Celtic language,
and observing irish customs. Those early years in Ireland
greatly influenced his decision to return later and convert
the Irish from their irreligious ways.
has it that Patrick, whose original name was Maewyn, one
day saw a vision and heard a voice say, 'Behold, a ship
is ready for thee.' He walked away from his master's sheep,
and reached a ship on the coast of Ireland that took him
back to his former home in Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, Scotland.
entered the monastery of St. Martin at Tours, France, where
he became a priest, and later a bishop. In 432 he sailed
back to where he had been held captive. There, in true Irish
style, he met with much opposition from the Druids, who
resented his invading the land with Christian ideas and
converting their followers. When the Druids tried to stone
him, he escaped to sanctuary in his former master's home.
He paid the price of his freedom, then is said to have baptised
the entire family into Christianity. During the next 40
years, St. Patrick worked 'with apostolic zeal' in Ireland.
He preached to countless persons, baptized thousands, established
churches, schools and at least one college.
most popular legend about St. Patrick is that he banished
all the snakes and toads from Ireland. The second most popular
legend is that he taught the Irish how to distill alcohol.
This was undoubtedly so that they could still see the snakes
he had so laboriously banished.
St. Patrick died on March 17, 493, thousands of mourners
came from long distances to his funeral. In a shroud made
for him, St. Patrick was buried on the hill of Down, at
Downpatrick, in Ireland. Although the irish used to have
parades and parties in his honor, in recent times, in Ireland
at least, the day has become a holy one and the public houses
so in O'Carbor, America. Here, as throughout the United
States, parades and festivities are held. The first observance
on record was celebrated in Boston in 1787. Anyone wishing
to join O'Carbor's parade is welcome. Vehicles should be
decorated, and musicians, kids and pets, whether Irish or
not, are encouraged to 'wear the green' and take part.
what else is going on in Oak Harbor?
Island County 4-H is in need of help after all the cutbacks
this year, so Oak Harbor Soroptimists have taken them on
as a special project. Shades of Kow Korner, a '50s-'60s
dance is being held at the Oak Harbor Elks Club, which will
be turned into Dillinger's Diner for the evening. All proceeds
are going to help out those great kids who help out Soroptimists
at Christmas Village. Without them, there wouldn't be a
Children's Zoo each December.
you've driven through Oak Harbor on a holiday, you will
see all the colorful and patriotic flags waving in the wind
along the highway and streets. The Oak Harbor Lions Club
puts them out on each special day during the year to remind
us of our freedom. Also, we have happy and sad . . . squadrons
coming home and squadrons leaving. Oh well, we're a Navy
that doesn't help the schools much anymore, so there is
the 'vote for kids' bond issue to fix the dilapidated high
school on March 11. Please vote!
And let's not forget the Dutch. As soon as they get all
those Irish out of their hair on March 17th, the Holland
Happening committee will go into high gear planning their
annual 3-day festival and parade. This will be the 34th
Annual Holland Happening, set for the last weekend in April.
on that later.