Our Pipe Major, Joe Brady had the honor to once again march with is comrades from the City of Chicago Police Pipe Band at at Le Défilé de la St-Patrick de Québec this past weekend alongside members of the Emerald Society – NYPD Pipes and Drums and the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums. The conditions were not quite springlike (cold and snow) but the crowds warmed the hearts of all the participants; what a GREAT City!
The Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec Organisation was founded on June 13, 2009. Its main purpose was to bring back the annual St. Patrick’s Parade to Quebec City where, at the end of the 19th century, it had been the largest of its kind in Canada.
From 1816, thousands of Irish fled their homeland devastated by famine to immigrate to Canada. Many of those who survived the perilous trip settled in Quebec. The first St. Patrick’s Parade appeared in 1837. The parade gathered large crowds and immediately became an important event of the City’s annual festivities. In 1916, for unknown reasons, the event was cancelled. It took place again from 1921 to 1926, and then disappeared once more. However, it has not been forgotten.
“From 1816 to 1860, it is estimated that over a million immigrants – 60% of them Irish – passed through the ports of Quebec City and Montreal.” We can conclude that a large part of Quebecers have Irish roots. The legacy of these people is important but poorly documented. For example, few people know that the architect William Lynn, who designed the St-Jean and the St-Louis gates, was Irish. Among the politicians of the province, we can cite Jean Charest with his Irish ancestors. We can’t forget one of the greatest songwriters of her time, Mary Travers, alias La Bolduc and the renowned poet Emile Nelligan, both of whom were influenced by the Irish culture through the legacy of their parents.
In June 2009, Peter Farrell and friends agreed to bring the parade back to Quebec City. They created a Facebook group and the number of members exploded to a thousand within a few days. They continued their promotional campaign and made their way to the newspapers and local radio stations. After a trip to Grosse Ile, the team organised.
The 2010 edition of the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec was a huge success. An estimated 40 000 people lined the streets to see 400 participants march, with the New York Police Department Pipes and Drums headlining the Parade. The organisers worked hard on the 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions to achieve their memorable success. They are maintained their efforts on the 2014 edition which marked the 5th anniversary of the Parade!
Joe left the CHICAGO PD in May of 2005, relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina and formed the Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums on 06 May 2006. 2016 will mark our 10 year anniversary…
Read more about the band’s history @ RaleighPipeBand.com/history
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