To be Irish is a blessing…be a Hibernian is an honor
Hibernian derives from the Latin term Hibernia, which means “one who comes from Ireland” or “cold, wet land.” Hibernia is a word that is rarely used today with regard to Ireland, except in long-established names such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Annual events of dances, concerts, and parades sponsored at all levels of the Order raise millions for charity while providing a showcase for the positive contributions the Irish have made in every walk of American life.
Hibernian Halls across the country have traditionally provided a welcome for new immigrants and those of Irish-American descent that wish to re-aquaint themselves with their culture. The Irish culture of art, dance, music, and other interests of the Irish are fostered and preserved making the AOH a home away from home for many.
The Division is the basic unit of the Order. Divisions are combined into County Boards, which are in turn governed by State Boards, and an overall National Board elected every two years. Divisions are at the forefront of support for issues concerning the Irish such as Immigration Reform, MacBride Legislation, and the Right to Life.
Hibernians can always be found lobbying, praying, and working for the total independence of a united 32-county Ireland as their constitution avows “by all means constitutional and lawful”.
The initials AOH may tell the story best. Those who say it means “Add One Hour” are describing the easygoing, no rush attitude of many of its members, while “America’s Only Hope” has been used to define the loyalty of the Irish to the principles of their adopted land.