Chomedey Legion prepares for St. Patrick’s Day fun

By Robert Frank

Branch 251 of the Royal Canadian Legion plans to hold a dinner-dance again this year on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, March 16.

“We will be serving traditional Irish stew for supper, which will start at 6 p.m.,” Chomedey Legion spokesman Gilles Deschambault told The Suburban.

“We want to encourage members and our friends to join us between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.,” he added.

Deschambault said last year’s bash was sold out.

“It was a full house,” he said, “attracting nearly 90 people.”

“You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the occasion,” Deschambault continued. “Some people dress in Irish green for the occasion, wearing a traditional hat or shirt, but it’s not required. We’re there to have fun.”

St. Patrick’s day marks the death of Ireland’s patron saint on March 17, 461, and originated to celebrate the arrival of Christianity in the Emerald Isle. 

It is a statutory holiday Newfoundland and Labrador.

The festive tradition of the occasion stemmed from its proximity to Easter. In the leadup to the paschal holy day, known as Lent, Christians were expected to refrain from eating and drinking alcohol.

However, the church would waive those restrictions to mark St. Patrick’s Day, creating a tradition that today transcends religion and embraces revelers regardless of creed or national origin.

Although today St. Patrick’s Day—and Ireland in general—is associated with the colour green, Ireland’s patron saint was initially associated with the colour blue.

The shift to green began during the 17th century, when the shamrock became synonymous with Ireland.

It was worn in Quebec as early as 1759, by Irish soldiers in the British Army, Later, donning green garb became a symbol of Irish rebellion against the British Crown.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day is more closely associated with green-tinted beer—and having a good time!

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