Mae Collins will mark 107 St. Patrick’s days this Saturday. Mae was born in Bohola, County Mayo on March 17th, 1905. she now lives in Shenerock, NY.
Mae is the oldest of 10 children and the only survivor. When she emigrated, she sailed on the Baltic and it took seven days to arrive in New York. She began her new American life by way of Ellis Island on October 22, 1922.
She married Martin Collins from Co. Limerick on October 17th, 1931 at St, Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan. Martin
died in 1989.
Mae has two children, Peg Heslin and Marty Collins. She has eight grandkids and 13 great grand children
Mae is a parishioner of St. John’s Parish in Mahopac and last weekend she attended the Mahopac, St. Patrick’s Day parade in which she has been a proud participant, for the last 10 years.
She also attends the yearly Emerald Association St. Patrick’s Dance held in Brewster.
Mae’s advice for a long life is simple: “I have worked hard all my life. I lead a regular life, get up at 8 a.m. and go to bed at 9 p.m. I eat meals at the proper times. I have a drink of rye and water every afternoon at 4 p.m. I don’t bear any ill will to anyone.”
Editor’s note: Mae’s immigrant story is not untypical, even if her grand age is exceptional. Her start in life, and her passage across an often unforgiving ocean, reflects the majestic and always unfolding story of the Irish of America, a story that is reflected in the cover of this St. Patrick’s Day issue in a work by artist Colleen Doran, whose broader work can be seen in the newly published graphic novel, “Gone to Amerikay.” In the spirit of Mae Collins, and all who have made the crossing since the birth of America, we wish you, our readers, a happy, blessed and peaceful St. Patrick’s Day.