Editor: As we approach March 17th, I would like to take the opportunity offered by your paper to wish all Islanders of Irish descent a very happy St. Patrick’s Day. According to the 2006 census 42,000 Islanders, or 30 percent of our population claim direct Irish descent. Many more than that have at least one Irish ancestor. The same census found that one third of the population of the Greater Charlottetown area claim Irish ancestry.
On March 17th P.E.I.’s Irish community will join millions of Irish in Ireland and around the world in celebrating the history, culture and heritage of Ireland. Ireland’s history stretches back over 3,000 years and its language is the third oldest written language in Europe, after Latin and Greek. Though it has experienced many tragic events over the centuries, Ireland and the Irish face the future with optimism and confidence.
Here on the Island we are putting the finishing touches on the province’s first Irish Cultural Centre. Named after Father of Confederation and former society president, the Hon. Edward Whalen, when completed it will be a resource for the use of all Islanders and in particular the Island’s Irish community. It is already providing workshops, short courses, lectures, and traditional music. It is our intention to expand upon these programs and activities in support of our Irish, Gaelic and Celtic culture.
We look forward to the future with enthusiasm and confidence. As P.E.I.’s Irish get ready to celebrate, from one end of the province to the other, we welcome all Islanders to join with us as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, 2014.
The Benevolent Irish Society of P.E.I.