A Simple Idea
One day, while shooting the breeze over a few beers, some guys in Westfield had a simple idea. During their discussions they found that while they were different in many ways, they all had something in common. They were all descendants of Ireland. After further discussion, and a few more beers, it occurred to them that they might be onto something here. Wouldn't it be great if they could do this on a regular basis? What if there was a club where people like us, with similar heritage, could meet, socialize and further our interests in our community? So a group of eighteen guys set out to make that simple idea a reality.
The first organizational meeting was in October of 1978. Several meetings thereafter, held at member's houses and at Blessed Sacrament Social Center, resulted in securing rented space for a regular meeting place at 266 Elm Street in Westfield (above the old Donut Shop). The space as it existed was not suitable for the founder's purposes, so once again they set out with a new goal -- increase membership and funds. Their commitment and dedication resulted in 150 new members (69 Charter Members) and the establishment of The Sons of Erin Inisfail Charter in January 1979. With new blood and new funds, the Club was able to finance the remodeling of 266 Elm Street. The Club now had its headquarters, but it did not end there.
As the popularity of the Club grew, it was time to expand. Through the hard work and dedication of its members, the Club was able to purchase the property located at 22 William Street in 1984. To this day, it remains the Club's home, but there were more renovations to be done and room for expansion.
The Club has grown by leaps and bounds in property, assets, and membership. Three additional land purchases were made in 1994, 1995, and 1998 as well as numerous improvements to the property inside and out. An outdoor maintenance shed and BBQ was built first, followed by the Pavilion and outdoor kitchen. The indoor kitchen and lounge were also renovated. While all the improvements are impressive, even more impressive is the dedication of the membership, who continue to donate their time and money in support of the Club's many functions and charitable events year after year.
The Charter members are the foundation and soul of the Club, but it is the member-volunteers that are its heart. It is the member-volunteers that keep the Club alive and kicking. They improve and maintain the grounds. They plan, set up, staff, and clean up the many events and fundraisers sponsored by the Club. The following is a brief list of some of the activities handled by member-volunteers: Colleen Ball, St. Patrick's Day Parade and Float Committees, Benefit Dinners, Benefit Golf Tournaments, the Irish Festival, Scholarship Committees, Children's Halloween and Christmas Parties, Adult Christmas Party, and Athletic Team Sponsorships.
A few guys of Irish descent, a few beers, and a simple idea. An idea that 40 years later still shines true. Although at over 900 members, much larger than the founders envisioned, the Sons of Erin is still a close-knit, social community of Irish-American descendants gathering to promote and foster Irish heritage and interests in Western Massachusetts.
SONS OF ERIN CHARTER MEMBERS
|James P. Alamed||Thomas Glynn||Michael McMahon|
|James Armstrong *||William Godfrey||William E. Moore *|
|John F. Ashe||James Halloran *||James J. Mulvenna *|
|Dr. Joe Bagamary *||Michael Halloran||Thomas J. Mulvenna *|
|Thomas A. Baker||Kevin W. Harraghy||John P. McMahon *|
|Thomas J. Baker *||Edward Harrington III *||Joseph G. Olsen *|
|James Boardman||Paul Hickson||Daniel J. Regan|
|Bernard Barrett *||Robert Hickson||John J. Regan *|
|John F. Burke *||Patrick J. Hurley *||Kevin F. Regan *|
|Lloyd Burke||John F. Johnson *||Thomas F. Regan|
|Aaron Carey||Eugene E. Kane *||Edward J. Riley *|
|Robert L. Carey Jr.||James M. Kane||Dr. George Reynolds|
|Seth Carey||John E. Kane||Joseph Rodgers|
|Daniel T. Casey||Patrick John Kane *||George R. Rooke *|
|James Cavanaugh *||Dr. J. Vincent Kane||Thomas R. Shea *|
|Joseph Cavanaugh||Patrick Joseph Kane||Bernard Sherry *|
|Michael Conroy||Thomas F. Kane||Eugene F. Sullivan *|
|Patrick Conroy||Thomas M. Kane *||James J. Sullivan|
|James J. Curran *||Daniel F. Keenan *||Francis X. Tierney *|
|Michael J. Curran||Frank Kelleher *||John C. Tierney|
|Robert E. Cusack *||Sean M. Mahoney||Joseph K. Trant|
|Thomas J. Ennis *||Michael Manning *||Leonard J. Warner Jr.*|
|William J. Farrell *||James McCarthy||William F. Welch *|
|John Fitzgibbon *||Michael McDonough *||James Gilhooly|
|Christopher Olsen||* - deceased|
|Address:||Sons of Erin
22 William Street
Westfield, MA 01085
|Directions:||Rte 20 or Rte 10 & 202 To Meadow Street
William Street is off Meadow Street
|Membership Requirements:||Proof of Irish Heritage
21 years of age
Applications are available at the Club and under 'About Us',
'List of Forms' section of this site.
This organization was formed to foster, promote and perpetuate the furtherance of Irish-American history, culture, and relationships; for the association and accommodation of the society of Americans of Irish descent; for the establishment and maintenance of places for social meetings for Americans of Irish descent and to comply with the Charter of said Club.