United Irish Societies in Detroit
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   United Irish Societies   •  St. Patrick's Parade Office  • 2068 Michigan Ave   •  Detroit, MI 48216  •  313-963-5745
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Brian Bonner2008 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal

Patrick O’Hara is the 2008 Grand Marshal for the 50th St. Patrick’s Parade. For several years, Pat has been active in the Irish community promoting Irish heritage and culture.

He recently completed a two-year term as the Supreme Sir Knight (National President) of the Knights of Equity, a National Catholic Irish Fraternal Society and has also served as the Worthy Sir Knight of Court 6 in Detroit for five years. Pat has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Cultural Forum since 1981 and is a long-time member of the Gaelic League.

Currently, Pat serves as the Treasurer of St. Patrick Senior Center in Detroit. Pat has also volunteered his time and talent to the Detroit Cristo Rey High School, the new Catholic high school to open this fall at the site of the former Holy Redeemer High School in southwest Detroit. He served on the school’s Planning Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Pat is a Certified Public Accountant and has an accounting practice in Detroit and Grosse Pointe. He graduated from Catholic Central High School, attended Sacred Heart Seminary and received his Accounting Degree from the University of Detroit. He has been active in Detroit politics and was elected to the Detroit Charter Revision Commission that rewrote the city charter. Pat is married to Anne Marie White, a history professor at Marygrove College. They live in Grosse Pointe Park with their 2 children Julia Rose, 14 and Tom, 11.

Metro Parent interview with Pat O'Hara...


Brian Bonner2007 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal

It came as a shock that Curtis passed away in January 25, 2008.

Curtis was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1939, into a family that had immigrated to Canada from Ireland and Scotland in the 1840’s. His family was instrumental in the laying out of the village plan for Dungannon, Ontario. In 2005 Dungannon had its 150th year anniversary and the memoirs of Curtis’ father were printed and distributed throughout southern Ontario thanks to Curtis’ efforts.

Curtis married Judith Werth in 1961. They have 3 sons; Michael, Douglas and Jeffery, and 5 grandchildren; one, James Patrick was also born on St. Patrick’s Day.

Curtis is a graduate of the University of Guelph, formerly called the Ontario Agricultural College. He was inducted into Guelph’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 for his football achievements in the late 1950’s.

After graduation, he moved to Armada, Michigan to work for the Borden Ice Cream Company, and to also farm (a life long dream of his). In 1964, Judy and Curtis had more sheep than anyone in Michigan. Judy spent more time in the barn than in the house at lambing time. Curtis went on to manage Upland Hills Farm in Oxford, and created “From the Barnyard to the Schoolyard”, a traveling farm show, which presented such activities as sheep shearing, milking the cow, etc. Curtis also served in the USMC Reserve.

Dabbling in real estate in the early 1970’s proved to be more profitable than farming and Curtis made this his profession with the opening of Shamrock Properties on the Detroit/Grosse Pointe border. His business has been running now for some 30 years.

Curtis has been active in the Detroit Irish Community since the 1970’s. He, along with Joe Parsky, owned the Emerald Isle Pub on Detroit’s east side. Their pub was purchased from Mike Griffin and Charley Taylor.

Curtis is the past president of the Fraternal Order of United Irishmen (FOUI), an active member of the Irish American Club, Gaelic League, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Irish Northern Aid, and is the long time vice president of the United Irish Societies of Detroit.

The shamrocks that adorn the parade route were designed and manufactured by Curtis, who oversees this labor of love each year. Curtis’ passion for playing the bodhran is quite evident when he says he will drive a 100 miles and buy the beer when he gets there, if they will let him play the bodhran in the band.

Curtis feels very honored to have been selected as the 2007 Grand Marshal, and is also very grateful for the recognition. He hopes to use his Irish heritage to enrich the lives of those in the Irish community and beyond.

Favorite quote: “They said it couldn’t be done, but he with a grin, he tackled the thing that couldn’t be done and he did it.”
** Edgar A. Guest

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Brian Bonner2006 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal

Brian was born in Buffalo NY. Both his parents were from Dungloe, County Donegal, where, he returns to visit often. He is married to Úna Tansey (from County Roscommon), has four children: Brian(Kristie), Kevin(Amy), Sean and Mary Kate. He is the proud Grandfather of five grand children.

Before moving to Detroit in 1973, Brian was very active in the Buffalo Irish community. In Buffalo, he was one of the founding members of the Buffalo Irish Center and the Buffalo International Feis. He was also a very big part of the Buffalo Irish entertainment scene.

Since moving to Detroit, Brian has been a fixture in the Irish community. He was one of the founding members of the Downriver Irish American Club (DIAC) and is currently a member of the Gaelic League, The Fraternal Order of United Irishman (FOUI’s), The Knights of Equity, The Irish Canadian Cultural Club (ICCC), the Detroit International Feis, the Heinzman Booster Club. Brian is past Commodore of Great Lakes Steel Boat Club, and a member of the International Order of the Blue Gavel.

Over the years Brian has played with most of the local Irish musicians in the area. Brian has donated his time and talent to the Gaelic League, St. Patrick’s Senior Citizen’s Center, the Pallottine Father’s Mission’s, the United UIrish Societies annual fundraisers, the DIAC Irish festivals, and the Rose Kennedy LOAH Heritage Days.

Brian is also a member of the FOUI’s Chowder Society, which entertains at many local nursing homes. He has also been very supportive of Irish dancing. Over the years he has played at numerous Feisanna. Locally, he has played for both the Heinzman and O’Hare Schools of Irish Dance, as well as, the Kitty Heinzman Ceili Dancers.

Brian worked as an engineer for both Great Lakes Steel and General Motors. He is now retired. Brian is also a Veteran of the United States Navy, where he served as an Electronic Technician.

Brian is proud to be joining the select group of individuals selected to be Detroit's Grand Marshall.

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2005 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal

Colleen Karagozian


2004 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal

Kathleen O'Neill
Kathleen O'Neill
Irish Radio Hour


2003 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal


1997 Detroit St. Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal

Roger McCarville 1997
Roger McCarville
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Last Updated: 11-Mar-2008

United Irish Societies  •   St. Patrick's Parade  •   Grand Marshals  •    Maid of Erin Pageant  •   Modern Journeys: The Irish In Detroit  •   UIS Irish Plaza
United Irish Societies Detroit

St. Patrick's Parade Office • 2068 Michigan Ave • Detroit, MI 48216 • 313-963-5745

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