The success of the ‘social evenings’ gave us confidence to organize a more elaborate celebration for St Patrick’s Day. We shied away from a ‘Dress Dance” or ‘Black Tie” event in favor of a business dress “Green Tie Affair” to project a relaxed Irish failte. We booked the Crystal Ballroom at the Palliser Hotel for the occasion. Tom Casey headed the volunteers organizing the evening and selling tickets. Guests of honour at the Gala Evening were Susan Coombes representing Dennis Anderson, Alberta Minister of Culture and His Worship Mayor Ralph Klein. When Mayor Klein was invited, he was amused by the Green Tie idea and mentioned that he didn’t have a green tie – so I gave him one and received it back with a kind note expressing his enjoyment of the evening.
A full house of two hundred and forty-six Irish and would be Irish attended the highly successful event. Fear an Ti, Tom Casey kept things running smoothly. The Irish Dancing Schools, Irwin, Regent, Pettigrew and Houston performed a highly entertaining program of jigs, reels and hornpipes, followed by Finnegan’s Wake rendition of rousing and restful ballads. Disco and dance capped off a memorable evening.
In his speech Mayor Klein acknowledged the role of the Irish in the historical development of Calgary and Alberta, and emphasized the importance of a rich cultural heritage as Calgary prepared to host the world in 1988. Enjoying the company of our members and the entertainment provided by the four dance schools and Finnegan’s Wake the Mayor reckoned that we had “a good thing going”.
Dan Bolger welcomes Mayor Ralph Klein to the Green Tie Affair. Tuesday March 17, 1987
Martin Kelly, Shea Scully, Laurin Olsen, Aileen Weldon, Brian Weldon and Caroline Collins
John Ryan, Doreen and Roly Lynch, and Richard Williams enjoying the Green Tie Affair
Collette Smithers, Hugh Neary, Bernie Smithers, John Smithers, Betty Neary dancing the Slosh
Claire Regent, Maura, Albert Regent, Michelle Morigeau and Gail O’Neill
Des Prunty, Anita Cleary, Sally Houston, John Cleary sharing a laugh
Pettigrew Academy of Dance: Lisa Bailey, Kerry Button, Andrea Kane, Jane Lawson, Roisin McComish, Karen McCullagh, Arlene Ridgeway, and Christa Norris. Background: Betty, Michael and Siobhan Pettigrew