By Irish Echo Staff
The National Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has expressed the sadness of Hibernians around the United States over the death of Past National President and Secretary Emeritus, Thomas McNabb.
In a statement, the board said that it was with “deep sadness” that the order had learned of the passing of Mr. McNabb.
Said the statement: “Brother McNabb was the living embodiment of Hibernians and shaped the Order for over half a century; his contributions to the Order will continue to have impact long after his passing.”
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The statement continued: “Brother McNabb was born and raised in Auburn, New York, where he joined the Auburn Hibernian Division in 1955.
“Tom served his division in every capacity and started many local Irish-American traditions such as the Friends of Ireland Annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon and Auburn’s Irish Festival.
“Thomas McNabb served on the AOH New York State Board as Secretary, Treasurer, Organizer, State Director, and Vice President. Tom was elected as the youngest New York AOH state President in 1975. Tom was elected as AOH National Vice President in 1976 and would be elected as the second youngest National President in the Orders History in 1978.
“Thomas McNabb was elected to the position of AOH National Secretary in 1984, a position where he would serve with distinction for the next 30 years.
“Tom was instrumental in the funding, building, and dedication of the Great Hunger Memorial in County Clare in 1995. This monument was the first memorial in Ireland to honor those who suffered and were lost during The Great Hunger.”
The statement, describing an “unprecedented act” to recognize McNabb’s “unprecedented service” to the order, said that the 2014 National Hibernian Convention had “awarded Brother Thomas D. McNabb the honorific National Secretary Emeritus in recognition of his 38 years of service to the National Board.”
The statement added: “During the closing ceremonies, Brother McNabb was described as “a Hibernian who guided and inspired Hibernians every day for more than 38 years, a Hibernian leader; as a brother who has been a trusted counselor of Hibernians everywhere; a Hibernian mentor; as a brother who has been attached to Hibernians around the world by feelings of affection and personal regard, Tom is every Hibernian’s friend.”
AOH National President, Judge James McKay, paid tribute to his predecessor.
“His leadership set the standard for generations of Hibernian leaders to come who will seek to emulate, but never surpass him,” McKay said.