Category Archives for "225th Anniversary"

Irish Ambassador Visits Halifax

In recognition of our 225th Anniversary, Ireland’s newly-appointed ambassador to Canada, Ray Bassett, visited Halifax this spring. He attended the Society’s AGM and spoke about his work history and his excitement at being here in Canada. While he was in Halifax, he was guest speaker at the Holy Cross Restoration fundraising dinner, a 225th Anniversary event. He met with business and political leaders and visited Irish historic sites including our Celtic Cross. He’s shown with our president Brian Downie.

Charitable Irish Society Celebration of 225 Years of Irish Culture and Heritage in Halifax at Archives

For Immediate Release

Halifax (January 13, 2011) – On January 17, 1786 a small group of individuals met at the Golden Ball Inn of Halifax, to draw up the first Articles of the Association known as The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax. A month later the first meeting was held to elect a slate of officers.M embers of the society will once again meet on a January 17, but this time to “kick-off” a year-long 225th anniversary celebration of Irish culture and heritage in Halifax. The meeting was hosted at Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management (NSARM) where a new virtual exhibit titled The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax was launched. NSARM is located on University Avenue.

The virtual exhibit draws from minute-books, petitions and letters, photographs, print material and memorabilia to showcase the Society’s activities and interests across its history. Nearly 100 items are featured and include photographs of parades and a gallery of presidents from over the years. Two background articles provide additional information on the long life of the institution.

Jim Connolly, President of the Society said, “ We are excited about this special anniversary celebration and being part of NSARM’s special effort to show how much we have been part of Halifax’s history.”

The evening started with a demonstration of the virtual exhibit followed by the Society’s quarterly meeting and reception. The general public was invited.

“We are planning a number events and activities throughout the year, most happening on the 17th of the month,” explained Mr. Connolly. “On February 17th to celebrate the first official meeting of the Society, we have scheduled a gathering at the Old Triangle the former home of the Novascotian newspaper. Its founder Joe Howe was a past president of our organization.”

Other activities included the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade, the Festival of Saint Patrick Dinner on March 17th, banners on the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, a special flower bed in The Public Gardens, concerts and the list goes on.

You can visit The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax virtual exhibit online at

For Further Information:

Patrick Brownlow

Communications, Charitable Irish Society of Halifax

(902) 430-7227

225th Anniversary Events

New design for all components of our communications. (above)

January 17—On January 17, 1786, a number of Irish men living in Halifax held a meeting and signed Articles of Association which became The Charitable Irish Society.  This year another group met again to observe what those individuals may have envisioned 225 years earlier.  Through the generosity of Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management (NSARM), a virtual exhibit titled “The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax” was unveiled.  It draws from minute books, petitions and letters, photographs, print material and memorabilia to showcase the Society’s activities and interests across our history. Click this link to view a Virtual Tour of Irish History in Halifax

February 17—Executive met in The Snug, The Old Triangle, cr. Prince & Bedford Row to celebrate the anniversary of the first regular meeting of the Society in 1786.  Members were invited to join them for a social event.  This historic building was the former home of the Novascotian newspaper owned by Joseph Howe who reported on debates in the NS House of Assembly.  He was a former Premier, Lieutenant Governor and Past President of the Society.

CIS Billboard

CIS Billboard on Barrington Street

February/March—Charitable Irish Society a billboard was placed on north Barrington Street.

March 3—Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery hosted a special reception and exhibition of selections from the Aileen Meagher Collection of Irish High Cross Rubbings.  This special preview exhibition presented a sample of the works in the collection.

March 12—Members of the Charitable Irish Society participated in the 4th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade sponsored by Saint Patrick’s Church Restoration Society.

charitable irish society of halifax Banner

CIS Banner on the Angus L. Macdonald bridge

March 17—Annual dinner celebrating the Festival of Saint Patrick   Guest speaker was popular CTV News Anchor Steve Murphy.  A Special 225th Anniversary Award was presented to members of the Donahoe family for generations of involvement and commitment to the Society.  To commemorate the occasion each guest received a 225th lapel pin and a crystal whiskey tumbler.

April/May—12 Charitable Irish banners were flying on the Angus L. Macdonald bridge.

May 9—Leader of the Opposition Stephen McNeil presented a Resolution in the Nova Scotia Legislature on behalf of the Charitable Irish Society.

It received unanimous consent.

Annual General Meeting Irish dancers

Annual General Meeting Irish dancers


May 17—Annual General Meeting of the Society was held.   Guest speaker was John Woods, VP, Energy, Minas Basin Pulp & Power.  His topic was renewable energy in Atlantic Canada.  The emphasis was on Fundy tidal energy and projects in Ireland were highlighted.  Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada, Ray Bassett, was a special guest.



62nd Annual Maritime Fiddle Festival

62nd Annual Maritime Fiddle Festival

.July 8 & 9—62nd Annual Maritime Fiddle Festival featured some of the top names in Irish fiddling on opening night.  Among the artists were Kevin Burke, one of the greatest living Celtic fiddlers (New York Times); Brian Conway, a premier Irish-American sligo-style fiddler, called one of the best fiddlers of his generation; Matt McGranahan, one of the leading fiddle players in Ireland and many more.  CIS VP & Cultural Affairs Chair, Brian Doherty, was MC for the Irish concert.

Halifax Public Gardens Display for the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax

Halifax Public Gardens Display for CIS Halifax



All summer—Halifax Public Gardens has planted a carpet bed displaying our logo
in celebration of our 225th Anniversary.


Ardyth Jennifer in concert

Ardyth Jennifer in concert at Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel in Holy Cross Cemetery


August 31—Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel in Holy Cross Cemetery was built on August 31, 1843.  In honour of this occasion, there was a private concert, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm, by Ardyth and Jennifer.  Ardyth and Jennifer are singers, songwriters and harp players.

September 17—The September quarterly meeting was a picnic at Uniacke Estate Museum Park.  This is the country home of former Attorney General Richard John Uniacke who was born in Ireland. He is the acknowledged founder of the Charitable Irish Society.


Remembrance Day Wreath 2011

Remembrance Day Wreath 2011




November 11—President Brian Downie participated in the Remembrance Day ceremony at Grand Parade, Halifax by laying a wreath.




.Fall—Walking tour map of Irish sites in downtown Halifax is being designed.


Three-panel colour folder will be written, designed and printed.  This folder will raise awareness and be given to new members.

Constitution and By-Laws of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax (the green book) will be revised.


Ireland’s former Ambassador to Canada, Declan Kelly, during a visit to Halifax, viewed the Charitable Irish Society’s Celtic Cross Memorial with Mayor Peter Kelly and members of HRM municipal council.

From left to right: Ms. Dawn Sloan, HRM Councilor, District 12; Councilor Patrick Murphy, HRM Councilor, District 11; Mr. Declan Kelly, former Ambassador of Ireland in Canada; Mr. Peter Kelly, Mayor, HRM; Mr. Bob Harvey, HRM Councilor, District 20.