The 64th West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade
Sunday, March 15, 2015 ~ Step-Off 12:15
Main Street & Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Morning Mass at 9:00am Our Lady of Valley Church, Orange, NJ
Born on The Curragh of Kildare in 1943, Philomena (Phylis) O'Keeffe is the oldest of Roger and Bridget (Biddie) Sheehy's nine children. Roger was in the Irish Army stationed on The Curragh Camp when he met Biddie, who was reared on The Curragh. The family spent four years in Kildare before moving to Dundalk County Louth, where Roger's family resided. Within a few years, an opportunity presented itself to relocate to Sallynoggin, Dun Laoghaire County Dublin where Roger became a tailor for McCuliaghs. Phylis met Noel O'Keeffe (2008 Grand Marsha at a dance at The Top Hat in Dun Laoghairen in 1961. The two married in Dublin before emigrating to America in 1964. Noel and Phylis have resided in the Oranges since moving to America and have spent 48 of those years living in West Orange . More recently, they have been fortunate enough to establish a presence in Manahawkin New Jersey, fondly known as "The Southern Estate". In the early days, Phylis worked with Noel to establish the family contracting business, O'Keeffe Contracting, in 1964. While not painting, building or fixing things with her own hands, Phylis was the first bookkeeper and Girl Friday, handling whatever needed to be done in the background in order to get the business off the ground and keep running. She continues to provide that support to this day. O'Keeffe Contracting remains to this day a local West Orange business. There is no doubt that Phylis has been a tremendous supporter of the Irish community in West Orange Essex County from the beginning. Phylis, never one to be the center of attention, has provided quiet constant support to countless people and organizations in need. In particular, Phylis has been a tireless supporter of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of Essex County. There are very few people who don't know or appreciate Mrs. O'Keeffe for being a presence in and around the Shillelagh Club doing whatever needed to be done - from prepping for events to baking bread. Phylis has always been there lending a hand. More importantly though, Noel and Phylis have raised four children - Janet, Noel, Shaun and Karen - to have an appreciation of Irish culture. Whether through playing in the Shillelagh Pipe Band or Irish step dancing, their children were raised to appreciate the important of keeping the tradition alive. And with the help of their son-in-law Karl Burke and daughter-in-law Jill O'Keeffe, that love of Irish culture has been passed down to their seven grandchildren, Caitlin, Connor, Brendan, Briana, Molly, Emma and Shaun Jr. The O'Keeffe children and grandchildren fully appreciate where they come from and what their parents have done to create a life for them in this country. Phylis' impact in that regard cannot be overstated. Beyond unknowingly infusing a love of Irish music, she was the primary carpool driver to dancing or band practice, dance costume maker and tunic repairer. Phylis' enthusiastic presence was meaningfully felt at every feis and parade. In fact, Phylis was the official Shillelagh Pipe Band groupie - attending every St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Halloween parade that the band marched. St. Phylis, as she is affectionately known to us, is more deserving of this tribute than she could
Devoted family man; proud husband and father of ten children. Twenty three years as director of a municipal recreation department, annual budget of 1.7 million dollars Instituted - FOOTSTEPS for the Exceptional Child, Summer Registration Day - Electronic Monthly Newsletter, Youth Sports Pool Party, Fishing Rec Achievement Awards, WO Junior Lacrosse Program, Sports Games Night, Mayor's Trophy Wrestling Match, Junior Hockey Program, Friends Park Program, Head Start Clinics, Theater Under The Stars, Flag Football, Mayor's Trophy Baseball Softball Tournament, Mayor's Trophy Basketball Tournament, WO Junior Olympics Pre School Program Reorganized Expanded - Mayor's Program for Individuals with Disabilities, Girls' Softball Program, Summer Park Program, Teen Program, Travel Baseball Softball Program, Partner in the OAK Barrel Pub,West Orange, Proud host of the 2013 West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee Fundraiser, Current Chairman of Lefty Boland Golf Outing, Instituted and administers Boland Grants providing new technologies to special needs teachers in the WO school system, - Chairman of the WO 150 Sesquicentennial Celebration, Chairman of the WO Old Timer's Day Committee, Irish American Society of the Oranges 2004 Honoree, - Archdiocese of Newark 1997 CYO Adult Recognition Award - 1990 finalist for the Neighborhood Leadership Initiative Program of the Community, Foundation of New Jersey , - One of five residents invited to participate with Governor James Florio in West Orange's Capital for the Day Program - Thirteen plus years of successful classroom teaching. Two years in an alternative school setting, Two years as scholastic recruitment director, High School Athletic Director for three years, - Chaired Northern Hills Conference committees on sportsmanship and realignment, Proposed, designed and administered initial Essex County Fencing Championships, Designed, implemented coordinated a scholastic financial aid program for three years, Principal of scholastic summer school program for three years, Extensive committee work on two Middle States Evaluations, Successful basketball coaching career including nine scholastic seasons and two collegiate seasons - Successful baseball coaching career including four scholastic seasons, - Played scholastic basketball on NJSIAA championship team, Ranked second on comprehensive exam for Masters Program in Administration in Supervision at Montclair University , Class of 1991, Ranked in 93 percentile on New Jersey graduate students on NTE test for Educational Administration Supervision, Self-taught writer and researcher of grant proposals, Participant in Safe Homes Program - Grammar Independent League, Former Chairman of Sportsmanship Committee, Founder and Past President of Soccer League, Former President of Girl's Softball League, >Former Executive Board member of basketball league, Co-Founder of Eagle Rock Civic Association, current Executive Board member, - Coordinated neighborhood playground renovation in West Orange, Organized the Peter Quigley Memorial Basketball Game, Former Member of the Board of Trustees for West Orange Theater Under The Stars. Three years of service to urban families in need as a case worker for the Essex County, Welfare Board - Active member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish previously serving as a volunteer coach, athletic director and member of Parent Teacher Executive Board Founder and coordinator of Our Lady of Lourdes Charity Golf Outing.
Tom "T Mal" Malkinski was born in Orange New Jersey to Ann Cully Malkinski (Deputy Grand Marshal Andrew "Eddy" Malkinski. Tom is proud of his Irish Heritage which eminates from his maternal Grandparents. Ellen Smith Cully (born in Drogheda County Louth) and James Cully (born in County Sligo Tom grew up in East Orange where he attended Holy Name Grammar School before moving to Bloomfield and becoming an I.C. Lion by attending Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair (Class of 1978). T Mal joined the Bloomfield Fire Depal'tment in 1984 and retired Deputy Chief after 30 years of dedicated service. As a Player/Coach of the Montclair Rugby Club, Tom toured Ireland in 1982 while playing against various Irish Sides including Bruff RFC and Old Kilcullen This past march, he attended the Ireland vs. Italy "Six Nations" Match at A viva Stadium in Dublin Ireland >Italy Tom currently works as a Fire Instructor in the Essex County< and Morris County Fire Academies A proud and active member of the Essex Chapter of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh as well as the Essex County Emerald society (30 Years) Tom has been marching in the West Orange St. Patrick's Day parade since 1982 as part of the Montclair Rugby Club and most recently as pal't of the Eddie Mal Association. As Treasurer of the Eddie Mal Association, a non-profit charitable organization. honoring the memory of his brother Eddie Malkinski. Tom has helped raise over $100,000 for various families and charities. The EMA parade contingent is annually one of the largest and "entertaining" organizations marching in the West Orange parade. Tom now resides in Parsippany with his wife Kathleen and children Thomas and Molly.