16 MARCH 2015
(FREDERICTON, N.B.) – There is a day each year when people around the world pay homage to a saint who has come to embody the spirit of a nation and who has us all combing through our ancestry for the slightest streak of green. Among them is Fredericton-South MLA and Green Party Leader David Coon, who joins people throughout New Brunswick to celebrate St. Patrick's Day today.
While St. Patrick's Day has become synonymous with fun and high-spirited shenanigans, it is also a day to celebrate the pride, culture and contributions of the thousands of Irish immigrants who started arriving on these shores in the early 1800s, making New Brunswick home to the oldest indigenous Irish population in North America.
"From the first boats carrying thousands of emigrants from a world away, the history of the Irish in New Brunswick is a story of survival and sacrifice," Mr. Coon said. "They showed tremendous resilience in the face of great hardship and we continue to see their influence throughout the province to this very day," he added.
The MLA for Fredericton-South acknowledged the continuing contributions people of Irish descent make to the cultural mosaic as members of the Saint Patrick's Society in Saint John and the Irish Canadian Cultural Association of New Brunswick.
"A lot of pride and energy have gone into the planning of activities," he said. "So however you choose to celebrate the day, whether joining in St. Patrick's Family Fun Day in Saint John, the Shamrock Winter Carnival in Irishtown or the parade in St. Andrews - fun, food and perhaps an Irish jig are ahead for those who join fellow New Brunswickers as they celebrate being green."