The annual Montreal Irish “Walk to the Stone”
Montreal Irish “Walk to the Stone” – For more than 100 years the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) have hosted a Walk to the Black Rock to remember the 6000+ victims from the tragic events of 1847, as well as, to remember the tremendous humanitarian efforts, by Montrealers of all religions and languages that went to provide support and comfort to these poor and dying Irish in Black ’47.
This year the Walk is scheduled as usual on the last Sunday in May – May 27th.
Since about 1970, after St. Anne’s Church in Griffintown was demolished, the Walk has originated from St. Gabriel’s Church at 2157 Centre Street in the Point. The Walk starts after a Mass in the Church (10:30am) – normally around noon. (It proceeds along Centre to Wellington St.; Left on Wellington; and then right on Bridge St. to the Black Rock). The AOH also provides a bus for anyone with mobility issues that are not able to walk the distance. Generally the Walk, along with short speeches by the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries, at the Black Rock, takes just a little more than 1 hour.
WALK OF SUPPORT
In recent years, the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation has joined the AOH in this Walk. The objective of the Foundation is to build a beautiful memorial park in the area just opposite the Rock. After about a decade of effort, this initiative seems to be going well – a number of meetings have taken place with Hydro-Quebec (owners of the property) and The City of Montreal over the last year – but it is still important that everyone (both Irish and non-Irish) comes out to demonstrate their support.
AFTER THE WALK
After the Walk many people return to the basement hall of St. Gabriel’s Church to mingle and celebrate the day. This year there are many special events taking place after the Walk. There is free Irish stew and other refreshments provided by the Irish Embassy Pub; The Lord Mayor of Dublin and other dignitaries will be in attendance; there is the Roadshow where the family histories of Irish Montreal will be recorded; there is music with Siamsa Montreal School of Irish Music; a book by Keith Henderson that touches on the Fenians; D’Arcy McGee; and the Black Rock will also be available in the hall and much, much more.
Great Famine Voices Roadshow
The Great Famine Voices Roadshow is a series of open house events in the United States and Canada that bring together Irish emigrants, their descendants, and members of their communities to share family memories and stories of coming from Ireland to North America, especially during the period of the Great Hunger and afterwards. Come and share your stories.
SUNDAY, MAY 27th 2018
Starting at noon from St. Gabriel’s Church, 2157 Center St., Montreal (Point St. Charles)
Special Guest 2018 –
Lord Mayor/Ardmhéara of Dublin – Mícheál MacDonncha